Data Exchange

How the Data Exchange Spec Relates to Your Business Processes

BEACON uses a method called Data Exchange to model common utility business processes. Those processes encompass residential or business customers moving into locations where the utility delivers water services. Service agreements keep track of service start and end dates, while accounts are issued to persons or businesses that are responsible for paying for the service.

“Service points” are specific locations where your utility delivers water. Any given location (for example, a home, shopping center, hotel or industrial facility) will have one or more service points associated with it. Each service point is equipped with water metering technology, typically a meter, an encoder register and an endpoint for measuring and reporting water use.

It all comes together in BEACON AMA, which supports AMI, AMR and manual reading meter technology. Using a process known as provisioning, data in your billing and other customer information systems is synchronized with data in BEACON. Starting with provisioning, Data Exchange files are used to setup, synchronize, export and update data using spreadsheet files that follow the Data Exchange Specification.

The Data Exchange Specification is actually a family of specifications that spell out the precise column names, maximum character counts and formatting required to import, synchronize and update utility data in BEACON, import current and historic reads and update and correct Account and Asset IDs. Another specification defines the billing read output of BEACON.

Data Exchange file spreadsheets in CSV format have fields for gathering information pertaining to:

Accounts – ID, account holder name and contact information, billing address and so on.

Locations – ID, service point address, geolocation data for the meter/service point and other details about the location such as number of occupants, evapotranspiration values, whether the location has a swimming pool and so on.

Service Points – ID used to distinguish multiple hookups at a single location (for example, someplace with a meter for potable water and a different meter for irrigation), geolocation data (used for greater accuracy when there is more than one service point at a single location), route number and so on.

Meters – Serial number, manufacturer, model, size, continuous flow/intermittent flow expected tag, unit of measure, resolution, installation date, removal date and so on.

Service Agreements – ID, service start and end dates.

Endpoint Configurations – Serial number, type, installation date and removal date.

AMR and Manual Reads – Read sequence, alert codes and high/low read limits for meters.

The following sections of the BEACON User Guide will help you synchronize your CIS and billing systems with BEACON AMA using Data Exchange files.

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