Root Cause Analysis in Utilities: The Art and Science of Knowing Why


Nov 08 2023
Delivery Type


No CEUs offered

Understanding why things happen is a fundamental management skill. For anyone who is challenged to manage data quality, business processes, or people and organizations, finding root causes is an essential skill. Understanding why is the key to knowing what to do – the core of sound decision making. But cause-and-effect relationships are elusive. Real causes are often difficult to find so we settle for easy answers. This leads to fixing symptoms rather than to solving problems, and to little or no gain where opportunity is abundant. Root cause analysis is the alternative to easy answers. Looking beyond the apparent and obvious to find real causes brings insight and sows the seeds of foresight.


  • Jed Summerton
    Jed Summerton
    Consultant & Adjunct Professor

    Jed Summerton is an analytic leader and practitioner with over 40 years of experience in commercial businesses, with a 50/50 mix of internal roles and consulting. As an internal leader he served as VP of Analytics to companies such as DaVita, TerumoBCT, Level 3 Communications (now called Lumen) and General Electric. As a consultant his clients include Lumen, GE, Xerox, PetSmart, Newmont Mining, McKesson, Michelin, Merrill Lynch and Technicolor. Early in his career he worked for NASA on space shuttle operations, where he learned that “NASA” really means “Never A Simple Answer.”

    Jed also serves as an adjunct professor in the department of Business Information and Analytics in the Daniels College of Business since 2010, and he chairs the department’s advisory board. He teaches in the graduate and undergraduate programs in analytics, in the online and professional MBA programs, and in Executive Education.

  • Mark Peco
    Mark Peco
    Independent Consultant & Educator
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Root Cause Analysis in Utilities: The Art and Science of Knowing Why


Nov 08 2023
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