Business Analytics (Apr 20-21)

Utilities find themselves inundated with a huge diversity of data across all lines of their business. Business analytics professionals are a critical link to analyze and interpret information to improve systems and operations, maintain organizational health and ultimately improve the bottom line. These professionals gather semi-annually to discuss best practices and tools used to efficiently capture and communicate analytics within each unique utility.

General Details

Program Chair
Meagan Montgomery
NorthWestern Energy

Program Location
Residence Inn Bozeman
6195 E Valley Center Road
Bozeman, MT 59718

Who Should Attend
Professionals responsible for data mining, data warehouse, enterprise reporting, data analytics and developing metrics for their utility. Depending on the organizational structure, these professionals come from areas including finance, operations, business planning and customer service.

Registration Options
Member: $399

Registration fee includes admittance to all sessions, meals and optional networking dinner. Guest passes are available for $100 and include admittance to the networking dinner.

For more information contact Anna Sanger Reed at 503.688.2795.


Wednesday, April 20

8:00 AM – 8:30 AM
Registration and Check-In

8:30 AM – 9:00 AM
Welcome from NorthWestern Energy
Facilitator: Meagan Montgomery, TD Organizational Performance Analyst, NorthWestern Energy
Speaker: Carolyn Loos, Director, TD Organizational Performance, NorthWestern Energy
Learn about the history and current initiatives at NorthWestern Energy, which has been serving the region with electric and natural gas transmission and distribution for over 100 years. Participants will also hear examples and insights about operational changes and process improvement as they relate to business analytics and corporate performance.

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Roundtable and Introductions: Low Hanging Fruit to Large Opportunities
Facilitator: Meagan Montgomery, TD Organizational Performance Analyst, NorthWestern Energy
Get to know your peers and identify key opportunities and challenges at other Western energy companies. Please be prepared to share information about a recent success or a challenge you’re hoping to find a solution for as we leverage the wealth of knowledge and experience in the room.

10:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Networking Break

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Tools and Resources Demos
Facilitator: Joshua Wrobleski, Spec, Business Planning & Performance Management, ENMAX Corporation
Speakers: Archie Ewers, Financial Analyst, Portland General Electric
Lee Beran, Business Support Manager, FortisBC
Michael Champ, Manager, Enterprise Performance, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
See the tools three utilities use to develop and share reports on key measures of success. For each utility, there will be a brief demonstration of the report, with a discussion of where, how, and why it is used. The presentation will also cover what data and software foundation the reports are built on – how the data moves from entry to report, and where and how data cleanup and governance occurs.
• Portland General Electric – Archie Ewers – Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE)
• FortisBC – Lee Beran – Power Quary, Power BI
• SMUD – Michael Champ – SAP Business Objects (BOBJ) Operational Reports

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Networking Lunch

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
From Metrics to Action: Implementing Analytics Results
Facilitator: Meagan Montgomery, TD Organizational Performance Analyst, NorthWestern Energy
Speaker: Dan Munson, Manager Distribution Engineering, NorthWestern Energy
NorthWestern Energy has developed a new infrastructure for asset management that ranks risks to decide which projects should be completed first. Hear about this new initiative and how the process loops back with business analytics functions to monitor and improve overall company performance on an ongoing basis. This presentation will be followed by an opportunity for participants to share examples of asset management projects from other companies and identify best practices in how results of those initiatives are measured.

2:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Networking Break

2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Change Management to Break Down Departmental Barriers
Facilitator: Ted Peterson, Program Manager, Questar Gas
Speaker: Rob Jones, Manager of Accounting, Questar Gas
One of the most critical skills for a successful business analyst or business analytics department is the ability to collaborate across the organization and through competing priorities to push initiatives and projects forward. Ted Peterson will present on successful change management and collaboration strategies and illustrate with specific examples how these best practices have helped expedite cross departmental collaborations at Questar.

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Benchmarking Tools and Best Practices
Speaker: Nick Schmidt, Account Manager, SNL Energy
Facilitator: Nels Wahlman, Business Analyst, NW Natural
The SNL Energy service includes exclusive and breaking industry news in power and fuels; big-picture market & trend analysis; broad-based company intelligence; deep analytics in power plant and fuels markets; interstate gas pipeline analytics; unique regulatory and rate case content; historic and forward commodity prices; plus databases, pre-built Excel templates, energy industry mapping, bench marking tools, and more. Nick Schmidt will share tools available to access and analyze benchmarking data, strategies on screening peers, weighing/scoring peers, and building refreshable templates.

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
WEI Hosted Networking Dinner
Open Range
241 East Main
Bozeman, MT, 59715

Thursday, April 21

7:30 AM – 8:30 AM
Networking Breakfast

8:30 AM – 9:45 AM
Recipe for Success: Best Practices for Hiring and Empowering a Strong Business Analytics Organization
Speaker: Archie Ewers, Financial Analyst, Portland General Electric
What does a Business Analytics department look like as a team? Hear a case study of how Portland General Electric has built their business analytics team and what process they took to define roles and design the team structure. We will discuss what skills are most beneficial to hire for or develop, and best practices in training new team members. Learn and compare how different business analytics departments interact with IT and how different organizational structures may have advantages or disadvantages. We’ll also discuss best practices for navigating a re-organization to strengthen your team’s ability to be successful.

9:45 AM – 10:00 AM

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Roundtable Discussion: Opportunities and Challenges Next Steps
Facilitator: Meagan Montgomery, TD Organizational Performance Analyst, NorthWestern Energy
For our final roundtable discussion we’ll circle back to the challenges and opportunities identified in our opening dialogue. This is a great time to bring up any unanswered questions or identify peers who have experience that will benefit your current projects and initiatives.

11:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Wrap–up and adjourn

Hotel + Travel

Residence Inn Bozeman
6195 E Valley Center Road
Bozeman, MT 59718
Phone: 406.522.1535

Please contact the hotel directly at 406.522.1535. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $129 room rate single/double plus state and local taxes. This rate is guaranteed to March 20, 2016 or until the WEI room block is full.

Meet The Speakers

Carolyn Loos

NorthWestern Energy

Director, TD Organizational Performance

Archie Ewers

Portland General Electric

Financial Analyst

Nels Wahlman

NW Natural

Business Analyst

Michael Champ

Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Manager, Enterprise Performance

Dan Munson

NorthWestern Energy

Manager Distribution Engineering

Rob Jones

Questar Gas

Manager of Accounting

Ted Peterson

Questar Gas

Program Manager

Lee Beran


Business Support Manager

Nick Schmidt

SNL Energy

Account Manager