Working with industry to improve submission of regulatory data

Publication date
9th September 2019
Information types
Policy areas

On the 9th August, we ran an industry workshop to test our understanding and get feedback from people who supply data to us.

Our new service for exchanging data with Ofgem

We are improving how we collect and share data, while assuring security and with focus on a user- driven service. As we do this we are rationalising our existing data collection mechanisms, with a plan to one-by-one replace them with our new modern digital service – our “Data Exchange”. 

We are helping our users by giving them many small improvements to their experience through this new service, this way they don’t have to wait a long time before they benefit from our work. We have a busy programme, the Data Exchange will only cover some of their requirements in its first iteration, but we’ll keep making it a better service for them and so minimise their regulatory burden. We are launching a beta version of the Data Exchange and are starting to move suppliers onto the platform. If you supply data to Ofgem we will be in touch in due course to set you up with an account for the Data Exchange. You do not need to take any immediate action, but please keep an eye on the usual channels for further announcements and messages from us in the coming weeks.

The Data Exchange is one of the ways we are doing our part to modernise energy data

An inclusive service

At the industry workshop, we looked at a number of alternative user interfaces that looked at a number of alternative user interfaces for the Data Exchange for the submission and resubmission of data, as we want to create a system that fits the mental model of the people involved. This is key to creating a service that is intuitive and inclusive for people of any technical ability.

We walked through user journeys for different ways that people might wish to resubmit data, either because they have found errors or because Ofgem has asked them to revise or correct their data. 

Understanding our users’ pains

Our users told us about how the preparation of data for submission is often a complex process, requiring them to bring together data from multiple IT systems run by different areas of their business, then compiling it and cleaning it. We are investigating whether it is better to provide tools to help industry validate their data in their own local systems, reducing the number of submissions they make that contain errors. 

Positive user experiences

We talked about users getting notifications in relation to data submission. Regulatory managers in businesses told us they like receiving email notifications, as it makes it easier to keep all Ofgem communications in one place. We will now investigate keeping a log of all the notifications that we send.

The Data Exchange service will provide users with an activity log of what they have submitted, by whom, when, and the current status of their submission. We asked how this information is best displayed, and what users would most value to enable them to do their jobs with minimum burden from the regulator. 

Automated self-service

Finally, we talked about validating data submissions and error reports. As far as possible, we’re looking to automate this process so that providers get very quick feedback telling them if their files are acceptable, and to pinpoint the errors in submissions. This will allow them to self-service their regulatory obligations and to do so on their own schedule.

Today, often the process of fixing validation errors can be frustrating and time consuming, involving multiple teams across the company providing the data. We are investigating how far we can and should go to support this. The insight our users have given us on how they handle validation reports is informing this. 

Get involved!

We’re going to run more workshops and research activities, online and face-to-face. If your company sends data to Ofgem and you would like to be involved – drop us a line at

OfgemDataServices@ofgem.gov.uk  and we’ll be in touch.