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LGAQ Leverages Alteryx to Help Council Districts Save on Energy Usage

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Local Government Association of Queensland Key Stats

Industry: Non-Profit
Department: Business Intelligence
Region: Asia-Pacific

data ingestion point instead of numerous, disparate data ingestion points

of 4 analysts executing work of 20 analysts

+ Tableau + Snowflake combined for end-to-end process

Delivering the most effective solutions to councils across Queensland

Since 1896, the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) has been representing local councils to support their operations and strengthen relationships with their communities. The association connects people and places across all councils, supporting their drive to innovate and improve through smart services and sustainable solutions, and delivering them the means to achieve their goals.

LGAQ’s data and analytics team, led by Brodie Ruttan, principal of data analytics, is accompanied by data architect and governance officer Sunny Hussey-Smith, and business intelligence specialist Shane Dolley. “We’re the jack of all trades team,” Ruttan says. “We provide solutions to all of our councils through data and analytics, and we are the only team in the association doing this. We assist councils in energy, waste management, fleet, mobile, solar and more.”

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Driving data-led insight for action on energy usage


When the team discovered a council in several remote indigenous islands off the coast of New Guinea hadn’t had their energy meters checked in a long time, they knew they were in a bind. “We had no understanding of our asset management or energy utilization for this area,” Ruttan says. “We were set up to help councils save energy, but we didn’t have the proper blueprint. We were using manual processes in Excel, Java and MySQL for anomaly detection, and this took months of work. Our team of four is doing the work of what twenty analysts should be doing, and we needed our productivity to increase drastically.”

With previous experience using resources in data and analytics, Ruttan had a solution in mind. “I’ve been using the Alteryx Analytic Process Automation Platform for five years now, and I’ve had experience using it with other systems integrators,” Ruttan says. “I got our team a few licenses and we immediately started automating our processes.”

“We created macros around an ingestion point so that we could see where the energy data was coming in from a single point of entry, instead of multiple disparate points of entry. We combined three technologies to achieve an end-to-end process: Snowflake acts as the data warehouse to keep everything nice and clean, Alteryx does the heavy lifting to extract the data and then prep and blend it, and Tableau helps us visualize energy consumption and utilization.”

“After running the analysis, we discovered major cost savings for the council, enabling them to utilize their energy resources more effectively,” says Ruttan. “We weren’t even really looking for savings, as we were mainly just looking to do a general analysis. But because the data was so clean, it just made everything that much more transparent.”


lgaq-brodie-ruttan
Brodie Ruttan
Principal of Data Analytics
Local Government Association of Queensland

Our team of four is doing the work of what twenty analysts should be doing, and we needed our productivity to increase drastically.

Empowering teams to have the confidence in their data

Ruttan says it’s a big deal to have access to the right resources. “Not only do I have the Platform at my disposal, but I don’t have IT leaning over my shoulder to support my environment,” Ruttan says. “Since there’s only four of us on the team, we only cost about two-thirds what the larger team was previously, and we have confidence in the data we’re leveraging through Alteryx.”

“Since there’s only one data ingestion point instead of multiple, we are able to do more with less. Other teams have caught on to what we’re doing, and they are starting to leverage our capability for more opportunities. I know that another team is also using it for tariff analysis, so it’s really cool to see other teams taking advantage of it.”

We combined three technologies to achieve an end-to-end process: Snowflake acts as the data warehouse to keep everything nice and clean, Alteryx does the heavy lifting to extract the data and then prep and blend it, and Tableau helps us visualize energy consumption and utilization.

What's Next?
Implementing new ways to serve councils across the state using data and analytics

So what's next? “I believe I’m personally making a positive impact on people around me by removing the need for scope on projects,” Ruttan says. “I know that other teams are going to end up spending hours working on manual processes, so I tell them to use Alteryx and utilize my knowledge as a subject-matter expert. People now have different expectations when they come to me with a question, so that’s a good feeling.”

Looking ahead, Ruttan believes there will be many new issues that his team can solve for districts. “Some other areas we’ll be looking into is analyzing health and safety initiatives, rates for land usage and construction, and energy usage within different districts. I also know that the CEO wants us to start taking advantage of AI, and I’m confident we’ll have the right tools at our disposal.”


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