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Ensuring grid stability with high-quality Esri data collection

May 15, 2024

The electric grid is a complex and dynamic network that requires continuous monitoring and management to ensure stability and reliability. In this context, high-quality data collection is not just beneficial but essential. Esri’s GIS technologies transform how electricity utilities manage their infrastructures. By integrating Esri with Fulcrum for data collection, utilities can enhance their operations across various facets such as grid management, asset management, and outage response. This blog post explores the impact of this integration on ensuring grid stability.

Importance of GIS in electricity utilities

Definition and role of GIS

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are powerful tools that collect, store, analyze, and visualize geographic data. GIS is indispensable for mapping utility infrastructure, analyzing spatial data, and planning maintenance and expansion. The ability to analyze complex datasets geographically helps utilities to make informed decisions about where to invest in infrastructure and how to efficiently dispatch repair and maintenance teams.

Esri’s ArcGIS Online

Esri’s ArcGIS is a leader in the GIS field, providing a comprehensive suite of software that allows utilities to create detailed maps and spatial analyses that are crucial for day-to-day operations. ArcGIS helps in modeling grid networks, managing assets, and optimizing service delivery. Its capabilities enable utilities to predict and react to outages, plan the locations of new lines or plants, and maintain existing infrastructure with greater accuracy.

Esri and Fulcrum: a collaborative approach to data collection

Integration features

The integration of Esri’s GIS technology with the Fulcrum field data collection and process management platform provides a seamless flow of data between field personnel and office leadership. The Fulcrum platform allows for the easy capture of real-time data on-site, and is directly integrated into ArcGIS. This means less manual data entry and reduced errors, leading to more accurate datasets.

Benefits for utilities

For utilities, the benefits of integrating Esri with Fulcrum are manifold. Enhanced data quality leads to better decision-making and more precise resource allocation. Utilities can monitor their systems in real time, respond faster to emergency situations, and plan maintenance activities more effectively. Additionally, this integration supports the deployment of advanced analytics for predictive maintenance, thereby reducing downtime and extending the lifespan of critical infrastructure.

An example

GeoForce, an electrical utility contractor, significantly improved its utility pole inspections by harnessing the power of ArcGIS in tandem with the Fulcrum data collection platform. Initially, Geoforce grappled with the cumbersome process of loading vector data for wires into Fulcrum, relying on third-party applications that ate up time and caused inefficiencies. However, with the Esri-Fulcrum integration in place, it can now directly mark and color-code wires within ArcGIS, providing clear guidance for field crews within the Fulcrum app.

Esri-Fulcrum integration revolutionized Geoforce’s workflow, enabling faster and more precise field operations. By eliminating the need for third-party applications for data conversion, GeoForce overcame major operational hurdles, significantly enhancing the speed and efficiency of its pole inspections. This case underscores the significant advantages of integrating ArcGIS and data collection technologies for optimizing utility management tasks.

Enhancing grid management with quality data

Real-time data for grid stability

High-quality, real-time data is crucial for maintaining grid stability. The integration of Esri and Fulcrum allows utility companies to monitor their infrastructure with unprecedented precision, enabling them to detect and address potential issues before they escalate into major disruptions. 

Optimizing grid operations with predictive analytics

In addition to real-time data, predictive analytics play a crucial role in optimizing grid operations and ensuring stability. By leveraging historical data, machine learning algorithms, and advanced statistical models, utilities can forecast potential issues and proactively address them before they lead to disruptions. Predictive analytics enable utilities to anticipate equipment failures, identify vulnerable areas in the grid, and optimize maintenance schedules to prevent outages.

By enabling predictive analytics with accurate data collection from Esri and Fulcrum, utility companies can take proactive measures to enhance grid stability and reliability. This holistic approach to grid management enables utilities to minimize downtime, improve customer satisfaction, and ensure the efficient operation of the electricity grid.

Asset management optimization

Improved asset tracking and management 

Asset management is another critical area where GIS data collection proves invaluable. Esri’s ArcGIS lets utilities keep an up-to-date inventory of all physical assets, including transformers, substations, poles, and wires. This comprehensive mapping enables precise tracking and monitoring of asset conditions, facilitating proactive maintenance and replacement schedules. With detailed knowledge of each asset’s location and status, utilities can optimize field operations and minimize unscheduled outages.

Reduced costs and increased efficiency 

Better data collection and analysis not only improve the operational efficiency of utilities but also lead to significant cost reductions. Accurate GIS data helps utilities avoid over- or under-investing in infrastructure by directing maintenance and upgrades where necessary. This targeted approach reduces wasted resources, prolongs asset lifespans, and stretches every dollar while maintaining high service standards.

Improving outage response with Esri and Fulcrum

Faster response times

In the event of an outage, time is of the essence. Integrating GIS from Esri with Fulcrum’s data collection tools helps utilities promptly identify outages and dispatch crews. Real-time data streaming provides decision-makers with the latest information, ensuring an effective and efficient power restoration process.

Increased customer satisfaction 

Quick and effective outage response not only stabilizes the grid but also significantly enhances customer satisfaction. When customers experience fewer and shorter outages, their trust in the utility’s ability to provide reliable service increases. Moreover, utilities can use GIS data to communicate more effectively with customers during outages, providing real-time updates and estimated recovery times, which further enhances the customer service experience.


Integrating Fulcrum’s high-quality data collection capabilities with Esri’s comprehensive GIS  is transformative. Fulcrum ensures the seamless capture of accurate, real-world data that feeds directly into Esri’s sophisticated models, enabling utilities to maintain a detailed and up-to-date representation of their assets. This collaboration allows for efficient management of infrastructure, swift response to outages, and proactive strategies for grid stability.

By harnessing Fulcrum’s ability to link the physical world with Esri’s advanced modeling tools, utilities gain a crucial connection between field operations and strategic planning. The result is more resilient infrastructure, optimized operations, and heightened customer satisfaction. As the grid continues to evolve and the demand for energy grows, embracing these advanced technologies becomes essential to maintaining a reliable and efficient electricity grid.

Ready for the next step?

Want to learn more about the transformative power of Esri and Fulcrum integration for your utility management tasks? Schedule a demo today to see how our solution can enhance your grid stability, streamline operations, and improve customer satisfaction. Contact us now to get started!