Covanta

Ensuring data trust to drive business outcomes

There is now a shared understanding across operations and strategy, business and IT, of what our data means. Now we trust the quality of the data we use to operate our facilities.

Charles Link

Generate clean electricity, maximize uptime, and ensure worker safety

10% savings per year

for maintenance activities alone

Under 4 months

to build a data supply chain management solution

Shared source of truth

to bring business and IT together


Covanta provides sustainable waste to energy and environmental solutions across North America and Europe. Covanta’s innovative approach to sustainable waste management and clean energy solutions produces exceptional results, but also poses significant complexities and challenges.

“At Covanta, the stakes are high,” explains Charles Link, chief data officer at Covanta. “One of our biggest initiatives aims to optimize operational efficiency. Operating an energy-from-waste facility is complicated and expensive. We must ensure the safety of our workers while generating clean electricity and maintaining maximum uptime.”

For Link, an undertaking like this is more than just a “data project.” Instead, he says, it is “always part of a business initiative. It’s about how to deliver incremental business value today. The outcome is not data; it is always a business result. We are invested in that result. Therefore, trust in the data is critical.”

Using the data supply chain management approach, the company established the Covanta Data Hub, where information is easy to find and readily consumable, and quality is assured.

The hub uses a standard data architecture that relies on Talend Data Fabric, combining integration capabilities with the processes documented in Talend Data Catalog. Link credits the hub with establishing credibility, confidence, simplicity, and quality.

For maintenance activities alone, Link believes Covanta is on track to save at least 10% per year. “I like to think of Talend as the nerve center of our data fabric, and it allows us to have a wide variety of parties and data sources communicating in near real-time. By tracking the labor that actually goes into service activities, we can renegotiate contracts based on the actual work performed rather than initial estimates.

With Covanta’s data hub approach and Talend, IT can deliver the data quality needed for the business to have far greater confidence in its decisions. “There is now a shared understanding across operations and strategy, business and IT, of what our data means. Now we trust the quality of the data we use to operate our facilities.”