Data Fluency Drives SSE’s Net Zero Strategy

  • Employees: 12,180
  • Industry: Energy & Utilities
  • Revenue: £12Bn
  • Learners: Over 400 (February 2024)

The Company

SSE plc is an energy multinational leading the way in the renewable electricity market. They’re listed on the FTSE 100 and headquartered in Perth, Scotland. SSE has 7 business units working across energy trading, renewable energy generation, customer and business energy solutions, energy networks, and storage. They are diligently working towards their target of becoming a Net Zero operator by 2050. With an ambitious capital investment plan of £20.5 Bn, their progress will accelerate at a fast pace over the next five years. They’re not just keeping the lights on, they are changing the energy game.

The Challenge

SSE faced a multi-faceted challenge in fostering a data-driven culture. The company recognised the critical need for digitalising business processes. However, as a core competency, embedding data literacy across its operations has become a clear priority. Now, more than ever is the time to focus on an intelligent approach to managing and using millions of data assets. Driving this data culture shift company-wide is key to meeting their Net Zero transition. It ensures the growth of their data maturity and quality across all of their business units.

Ashar Khan, Chief Data Officer, has over 30 years of experience in the energy sector.

He spoke to us about the crux of the challenge.

SSE organises its data teams with a hub-and-spoke model. This creates another challenge when driving a unified approach to data skills development across their diverse business units. This backdrop underscored the urgency for solutions to elevate their employees’ data literacy.

The Solution

The partnership with Data Literacy Academy introduced a learning pathway tailored to SSE’s needs.

The rollout of the programme was met with enthusiasm across the business. Maxime De Hennin, Acting for Head of Data Culture, recalls, “There was a strong interest in data literacy courses, with a pilot for 110 users and an expanded course for 500 users showing immediate demand.”


Clive, PMO Manager, reflects on his decision to join: “Data Literacy Academy offers a blended learning approach. This helped the classes to be accessible and adaptable to different learning styles and schedules. We were also supported by accreditation and rewards such as LinkedIn badges.”



The Results

What are some of the benefits that SSE sees from its data culture transformation? They’re seeing signs of more self-service data visualizations and data-driven business benefits. There’s also a clear buzz of excitement among employees as they see the impact on their career development. The focus on data storytelling has been particularly well received.

There has been an increase in the quality and quantity of their documentation, business proposals, and development opportunities. These improve the likelihood of success in proposal development and acceptance. The previous work that has been done on data standards, frameworks and policies is now coming to life.

Izzie, a Metadata Analyst, has seen how the impact extends beyond hard data skills to influence the broader organisational culture. She’s actively bridging the gap between technical and business teams and is a key part of SSE’s data community. As a strong advocate of demystifying data and making it relatable to everyone, she’s ready to keep supporting building SSE’s data culture from the bottom up as she notes there is no quick fix.

Other learners have highlighted tangible outcomes such as increased data confidence and the fostering of a more inquisitive culture around data and technology.

The ongoing education of SSE’s teams will lead to data being viewed by everyone as a valuable asset that needs to be trustworthy, accessible, and ready to fuel their Net Zero Goals.


Top Reasons why SSE chose Data Literacy Academy

Flexible Learning

Live learning creates the space for engaging conversations. Access to recordings allows all learners to follow their learning tracks regardless of their work schedule. The incentives such as LinkedIn badges help people feel proud and showcase their efforts.


With the support of Data Literacy Academy, SSE now provides hundreds of learners with a consistent level of world-class education without worrying about delivery.