The Big (and Smart!) Data Opportunity coming from Futurewave


08 Feb The Big (and Smart!) Data Opportunity coming from Futurewave

With thanks to John White, managing director at Radical Company, for this guest contribution to the blog. 

From an early stage of the project, Radical has been supporting the EIC to evolve a data driven prototype of the Futurewave platform that will deliver real benefits to energy customers and to the industry as a whole.

Quite early on in the process it became increasingly evident that data had a vital role to play in the development of the platform. Consequently, a wide range of data sources were pulled together into a new database or “black box” to enable the desired user experience.

Exciting new territory

This was the first time the UK energy sector had explored pulling together such a wide range of data sources in this way, and so as development progressed the opportunities this presented began to grow exponentially.

From a consumer point of view, the underlying data allows users to quickly input their address/region, existing energy mix, building type and age so that in under 90 seconds, the platform can provide them with a range of alternative energy sources that could save them money and lower their carbon footprint.

Data-driven insight

As consumers begin to engage with the platform, this will create a whole new data set which will feed into a wider community view and provide community leaders with rich and valuable insight into what community wide opportunities exist.

They can then use this to explore partnerships across the whole community, enable community-wide projects faster than before, and to bring their community-wide bills and carbon footprint down even further.

For installers, the data capture of individual household needs and community-wide desires addresses two of their biggest pain points:

  1. More accurate and efficient cost estimation – this is enabled through detailed consumer demand data, including building type, age and existing energy mix.
  1. Educating customers around the alternative energy mix options available to them – the installers we spoke to estimated that this activity currently takes up nearly 60% of their time.

Disruptive innovation

The big winner in all these data sources coming together is the UK energy sector as a whole. The large network providers, policy makers, energy suppliers and government bodies can now have a vastly more sophisticated view of the UK’s energy mix, in real time and begin building actionable insights to work upon.

Real time analysis, reporting and measurement of live projects and communities, trend analysis of both consumers and the technologies provided by SMEs. This, along with analysis of specific geographical regions most in need, could all be realised in the platform.

The segmentation opportunities offered by Futurewave are also very exciting. The ability for the industry to select a specific county, narrow down to a specific council, understand the make up of the buildings, their age, its residents, their existing energy mix and demand for alternative models, could dramatically reduce the time required to start a community project, and become a method of benchmarking best practices.

Encouraging participation

Where one community seems very similar to another and has successfully implemented a new energy project, confidence can be built in the new implementation by taking on board the lessons learned from the previous project.

For the industry, Radical will be supporting the EIC to evolve a bespoke analytics portal which will ensure that these opportunities are realised. Radical will be designing the portal in such a way as to bring the insights to life and present the data in an “actionable” format so that it encourages participation and usage.

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