Pioneers of PrecisionHawk: Kristen Ellerbe

Innovation is in our roots—we’ve pioneered best practices in flight operations and geospatial data analysis since our founding in 2010. While we’re experts in blending multiple layers of data sources—our solutions aren’t driven solely by technology. They’re driven by the people of PrecisionHawk.

Today, we spotlight one of our experts—meet Kristen Ellerbe, Vice President of Product Management and Design. Kristen leads our PrecisionAnalytics team whose work is improving every step of the data value chain for essential organizations, market leaders, and Fortune 500 companies.

FB KE 2Career Progression: From Networks to Solutions

Early in her career, Kristen saw the promise of artificial intelligence—as a tool to ensure that source data is accurate, precise, and high-quality—and her work in product development is guided by this principle today. “The strength of your artificial intelligence is only as strong as the quality of the data that you’re feeding into it,” says Kristen.

In her early work to design and optimize human capital management systems and human resources software, Kristen became fascinated with the interconnection of software products within the same organization.

“When you look at how most companies are structured, they run multiple software products to support operations,” says Kristen. Yet those systems are often siloed within an organization, meaning that they aren’t always integrated, or optimized, to provide a system-wide analysis of the most recent, most accurate data.

“I became really, really interested in data and the transfer of data across systems,” says Kristen. “I realized that if you’re not able to connect software systems together, companies may not be able to benefit from a comprehensive presentation of available information to allow them to make the most optimal decision.”

That’s what drew Kristen to PrecisionHawk—the opportunity to build software solutions that integrate data gathered from the field throughout an organization’s existing systems. 

“An organization’s most important assets are their people, and we’re designing products that enable people to address and solve pressing business challenges,” says Kristen.



Building Solutions to Overcome Challenges

Kristen’s team recently released updates to PrecisionAnalytics Energy, which helps enterprises use geospatial data to better manage their assets, such as electric distribution and transmission structures. These updates address an obstacle that many organizations face—data availability—which emerges when a company seeks to identify one or more rarely occurring anomaly.

“For common issues with electrical assets, it is easy to find data information setups,” says Kristen. “But when you’re trying to catch rare anomalies before they occur, you don’t benefit from routine data sets.”

For example, a utility might need to identify whether any of their poles on a distribution circuit have holes of up to four inches in diameter. Utilities can use geospatial data technology to locate these holes. Artificial intelligence-powered software accelerates and automates this process.

By using a product like PrecisionAnalytics Energy, a utility can quickly learn which distribution poles exhibit issues, the precise location of the holes, the additional components that are installed on the pole, and then assign a severity ranking to assist a technician in scheduling maintenance or repair. 

“We’ve learned what expert linemen look for when inspecting poles for anomalies, injected their criteria into PrecisionAnalytics AI engine, and then trained it on imagery of specific examples—like identifying four-inch holes, and many more common and uncommon anomalies,” says Kristen. 

“We’ve put together a robust data analysis toolkit that allows us to process a lot of different data sources from different industries because we understand our clients, we care about subject matter expertise, and we build solutions to actual use cases.” 


“If you’re not able to connect software systems together, companies may not be able to benefit from a comprehensive presentation of available information to allow them to make the most optimal decision.”


Tackling the Biggest, Most Urgent Problems

Successfully identifying a rare anomaly—a hole less than four inches in diameter on a distribution circuit—is one use case that Kristen’s team has already resolved for a client.

Far beyond solving single, specific use cases, Kristen’s team is building an integrated data value chain, from data collection to data analysis. Doing so allows her clients to tackle the biggest, most urgent problems. 

“Success for us is creating a full solution,” says Kristen. “That assists companies in building data systems that remove manual steps while improving accuracy.” 

That’s the vision Kristen shares—every day—with her team. And she’s on a mission—delivering solutions to her clients, helping them empower their human capital with data technology solutions.

Such solutions-focused products must be well-executed, robust, and comprehensive. For Kristen, product design and delivery aren’t solely about the technology—they are about adding capacity so that people can drive systems-level change.

Kristen and her team are helping utilities—and organizations in other industries—enhance their data value chain, regardless of the data collection method used to gather information.

“What we care about is ensuring that our clients’ data systems are built to process all of their data, whether it was collected in the past, present, or the future,” says Kristen.

“Being at PrecisionHawk taught me the benefits of understanding a clients’ complete geospatial data analytics ecosystem and the challenges therein,” says Kristen. “We work closely with our clients to overcome what can seem to be an insurmountable challenge: wrangling variate and disparate sets of data. We help adopt new tools and accelerate and automate the tools they already have.”

“That’s how innovation happens at PrecisionHawk, and that’s why I joined the team,” says Kristen. 

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