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Powered by data: E.ON's journey to sustainable energy

Powered by data: E.ON's journey to sustainable energy
The Journey to Data Intelligence and Governance at E.ON Group 35:48
E.ON powers data readiness, metadata management, data governance and data modeling with erwin® by Quest® to ensure energy continuity for 51 million customers.
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E.ON is an international, privately owned energy supplier based in Essen, Germany, with approximately 72,000 employees and 51 million customers – making it the largest energy provider across Europe. With a clear focus on its core businesses, the company aims to become the partner of choice for energy and customer solutions. E.ON provides solutions for the new energy world guided by key emerging energy trends including transforming yesterday's power lines into tomorrow's smart energy networks and meeting the increasing demand for innovative customer solutions.

As part of its digital transformation, growth and sustainability goals, E.ON was determined to achieve better governance over its highly heterogenous data landscape — to leverage the data for maximum impact. The sheer quantity of data inputs poses a challenge, with operations covering 13 European countries. With sustainability at the core of its mission, E.ON leverages 900,000 renewable energy plants with decentralized green sources of energy through its Germany distribution network. “We want to make a difference,” said Romina Pyplacz, Global Head of Data Management and Data Governance at E.ON. “We support our customers in their decarbonization and also want ourselves to thrive and reduce our carbon footprint.”

With 51 million customers relying on E.ON throughout the energy crisis, E.ON’s top priority is ensuring energy continuity for its customers. “All of this is not possible without digitalization,” said Pyplacz. “That’s why we are digitizing and standardizing the entire system – networks, products, customer interfaces and internal processes, and making E.ON the first ‘All Digital’ energy company.” E.ON needed to help its data scientists and engineers improve their data knowledge, find the best data for use at the best time and put the data in the most appropriate business context. They needed visibility for and access to enterprise data from disparate ERP, CRM, BI, ticketing and service systems. In addition, data from one million smart energy meters also needs to be processed to improve service, develop incentives and enhance financial reporting.

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Our purpose is to ensure enterprise-wide deployment of our data as a strategic asset.

Romina Pyplacz, Head of Data Management and Governance, E.ON


The company began its data readiness (DaRe) journey in 2018 after realizing that taking better advantage of data and data intelligence would help improve customer services, increase efficiency in energy production and make it easier to meet the regulatory requirements of the countries where E.ON operates. With E.ON’s data landscape being enormously heterogeneous – including several thousand applications where data is stored (SAP, Microsoft Azure, Oracle, old legacy Windows servers and others) – the company needed a data intelligence software that could map as many data sources as possible. The E.ON DaRe team spent months evaluating metadata management and data governance capabilities to ensure they would select the right data intelligence software provider that could help them not only kickstart their data journey, but be integral in helping them achieve their long-term goals.

Guided by its vision, E.ON selected erwin by Quest as its software provider. erwin Data Intelligence by Quest was initially deployed for automated metadata management, data lineage documentation and impact analysis. With these capabilities, E.ON has improved data quality, detected data redundancies and achieved IT efficiencies that were not originally planned for when first starting their data readiness journey. “We use erwin for the auto-configuration of data pipelines,” said Pyplacz. “I did not imagine in 2018 that I would use a data catalog to automatically configure data pipelines, but I can. I can do things that I didn’t even think about when I got started.”

The E.ON DaRe team has used the data governance and data literacy capabilities of erwin Data Intelligence to deliver a standardized, business-focused data catalog to improve IT and business collaboration, as well as alignment. By defining and standardizing common business metrics such as KPIs, and making associated data asset relationships clearly visible within erwin Data Intelligence mind maps, E.ON has been able to provide clarity for business stakeholders.

Emboldened by the success of these initiatives, E.ON expanded its erwin partnership with a focus on data modeling harmonization by adopting erwin Data Modeler by Quest, and began to explore the addition of data quality, data provisioning and data-as-a service as key E.ON data readiness offerings. In 2022, E.ON started development of its own data provisioning platform, E.ON Data House, capitalizing on all of the learnings and tool efficiencies of the previous years. This mission’s focus is utilizing E.ON’s discovered best practices of data management within a platform that will ultimately serve as the foundation for E.ON’s future.

E.ON’s DaRe team began as a team of only two E.ON employees in 2018 but has expanded to include more than 30 experts operating with 24 business units. erwin by Quest is used by more than 600 E.ON users today for data modeling, intelligence and governance.


erwin Data Intelligence has helped E.ON achieve its goals of growth, sustainability and digitization. Various subsidiaries now have more transparency into their data assets, provided by properly documented data ownership and a commonly agreed-upon business language to describe data and separation of data domains. This has enabled a paradigm shift from application-centric to data-centric processes, a requirement to fuel the value of artificial intelligence (AI). Data scientists and AI professionals in particular benefit from the transparency and the shorter “time to data,” which, at the scale of E.ON, results in several million euros of additional revenue from harnessing the data. Company-wide benefits include:
  • E.ON identified more than 2 million Euros in business impact after 24 months. They have 67 systems connected across 4 countries with 24 business units using erwin Data Intelligence for data governance.
  • E.ON is rapidly scaling its metadata management capabilities, with 44 data domains defined, over 600 users trained and 550 business terms created since early 2019.
  • E.ON is ensuring a common, compliant way of working across all RUs and BUs, based on standards, roles, policies and understanding. Since 2019, they have developed 24 BUs with data governance roles and announced 15 new leadership roles related to data governance.
  • E.ON estimates a savings of 30 percent on external data management costs and a 50 percent reduction in time spent on data discovery because better data availability and quality have a direct impact on productivity for each data-driven activity across the enterprise.
  • By delivering “data governance as a service” for one-stop data access and lineage, E.ON has standardized its vocabulary, met regulatory compliance requirements, and has been able to understand and then optimize how data is used across global operations.