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.
A breakdown of each field in the Data Exchange Spec for Accounts and Assets.
- CSV Files and Excel
Tips for opening CSV files in Microsoft® Excel®.
- Quick Reference Guide to IDs
Unique identifiers and when to change them.
- Syncing BEACON and Billing Systems.
Step-by-step instructions on importing Data Exchange files into BEACON.
- Data Exchange Validation Errors and Warnings
Understanding the errors and warning in an Exceptions Report.
- Understanding the Starter Spreadsheet
A quick start guide to provisioning for ORION Cellular 10-pack Customers.
- Where Data Appears in BEACON
See where Data Exchange info shows up in the BEACON User Interface.
- Data Exchange Specification
Download the Data Exchange Spec from this page.
- Data Exchange Spreadsheet Template
Download a blank Data Exchange Spreadsheet Template from this page.
- BEACON – CIS Schema Mapping
A workbook to help you match CIS data to columns in Data Exchange files.
- Importing Meter Reads
Understanding and using the Billing Meter Reads Specification.
- Importing Interval Meter Reads
Understanding and using the Interval Meter Reads Specification.
- Billing Read Export Specification
Get an explanation of and download the Billing Read Export Specification.
- Rules for Creating, Updating and Changing Data
See which IDs are needed to create or update any given data field.
- Updating IDs
How to updating Account and Asset IDs.
- Consumption Targets
Understanding and using Consumption Targets to set water budget goals.
- Endpoint Installation Form
Download the endpoint installation form here.
- Manually Provisioning Endpoints
Step-by-step instructions on provisioning endpoints one at a time.