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CenterPoint Energy: Achieving High DQI through Onsite Damage Data Collection and Emphasis on Data in Organizational Culture

The collection of accurate and complete damage data is incentivized at CenterPoint Energy by emphasizing the data as a crucial tool for the business model throughout the organization. Damage data collection is viewed as a shared responsibility and begins in the field to ensure that the damage information is collected by individuals who actually responded to the location. The field crew takes photos and completes a digital form associated with the work order, and that system automatically interfaces with the damage reporting system to transfer the information for the damage prevention department. The form provides a wealth of helpful information about the damage, including excavator type, the facility affected, type of work being performed, initial locate information, and more.

Once a damage is thoroughly investigated by a member of the CenterPoint’s Damage Prevention team, it is processed to claims and regulatory for reporting. This damage data is then incorporated into CenterPoint’s online damage prevention scorecard, an internal dashboard that enables the company to analyze a number of data points year-over-year to inform decision-making across the organization. The insights are used for a variety of functions, from budgeting and claims management to providing insights into public awareness campaigns that reach the largest contributors of damages to facilities. The data allows the company to identify trends, areas for improvement, and areas where additional training may be needed. Consistent reporting of this data also allows CenterPoint to analyze areas of improvement in its own data collection processes, which has helped improve its damage data quality over time.  CenterPoint has found that sharing the data and its impact on decision-making across the organization positively influences the field crew when collecting data and the overall shared responsibility culture.

DIRT Analyst Perspective: CenterPoint increased its DQI score from the mid 70s in 2019 to the mid 80s in 2020 and 2021. The leading areas of improvement were in Part C - Facility Affected Information and Part D - Excavation Information, each worth 20 points. CenterPoint also went from leaving Part H -Interruption and Restoration entirely blank to answering those questions over 90% of the time.

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