Friday, November 1st, 2013

New Big Data technology has helped water utilities in California accurately predict their customers’ behavior years into the future, and test a range of interventions to encourage water conservation.

The project was conducted in partnership with the global engineering and consultancy firm Arcadis for Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD), Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC), and Moulton Niguel Water District (MNWD). These water companies are among the largest and most respected utilities in the United States with a combined customer base of approximately 19 million consumers.

Consumer behavior and demand has changed significantly in recent years due to drought, water conservation measures, economic recession, and regulation. Using traditional forecasting approaches in this complex and dynamically changing consumer environment has proven difficult. ISD Analytics used it flagship analytics tool Simulait Online to create a detailed simulation of each of MNWD’s residential customers.

Publicly available Census data was used to capture the demographic profile of each customer and combined with detailed behavioral models to create a simulation that was able to predict how each individual consumer uses water around the home and how their behavior changes with different types of interventions such as restrictions, marketing of water conservation, and water price changes. Simulait Online is also able to assess the impact of other changing factors on demand, such as uptake of efficient appliances, population and demographic changes, changes to housing density, and short and long term weather changes (e.g. climate change).

ISD Analytics CEO Dr Don Perugini said: “We calibrated the model using demand from 2003, and then demonstrated that we were able to accurately predict customer demand up to 2013. The validated model was then used to run a range of future scenarios and forecasts, and quantify the impact of different consumer trends and interventions on future demand. With our cloud based solution, utilities can now use the tool themselves on an ongoing basis via a web browser."

Simulait Online can assist utilities to reduce uncertainty in their demand forecasts, and support a range of business functions, such as capital and master plans, water efficiency plans, marketing strategies, targeted policies, regulation, and risk assessment.

"Now with successful projects and publications in Australia, Europe, and recently in the US, we have demonstrated that ISD Analytics has the most sophisticated and comprehensive consumer demand model in the world. We are now looking to commercialise this technology more broadly in the US, in water and other industries such as energy, retail, and emergency management," said Dr Perugini.

For more details, call Dr. Don Perugini at ISD Analytics on +61 (0)8 7200 3589, email [email protected], or view the website at

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ISD Analytics

Predict and influence how people actually behave ISD's Simulait allows you to better predict and influence human behavior at any level from individuals to complete populations, in order to assist with business strategy and Government policy… it’s like a real-life SimCity application! Simulait has been applied to a range of industries globally including water, energy, retail, transport, emergency response, Government policy, and organizational analysis, where it has achieved greater than 90% accuracy in predictions.
Don Perugini
P: 0412 662 544


big data, behavior, predictive analytics, simulation, consumer modeling, Simulait



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