Hacking into problem solving data

Northumbrian Water is teaming up with IT giants Aiimi, Microsoft, Oracle and DXC to run three data hackathons at the 2019 Innovation Festival.

Hackathons bring together Data Science and Subject Matter experts to work alongside one another and tackle big challenges and solve real world problems.

They have been a regular fixture at Northumbrian Water's Innovation Festivals in 2017 and 2018 and have produced some amazing results that have made a real impact on the water industry.

Innovative data analytics techniques will generate insight and data visualisation that will help Northumbrian Water solve problems and improve its services to customers.

Previous Festival hackathons have led to a data driven approach being embedded in Northumbrian Water's operations to help reduce impact on customers.

They focused on reducing sewer flooding and leakage, and have even seen the company using satellite technology to help identify leaks from outer space!

This year they the hackathons will tackle three different key issues:

Every Second Counts (Aiimi): How do we go about turning every drop in our water supply networks into 24/7 data that we can monitor and manoeuvre in real time? How can we minimise interruptions to water supply and create an ‘always on’ customer service? In this hackathon, we’ll use cutting edge Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques to harness data and find the answers to these big questions! We’ll explore how we can proactively handle interruption incidents and use existing monitoring equipment to give us an upper hand in minimising interruptions to water supply.

Cloudbusting (Microsoft): We've got a great cloud, but can we make it rain? This hackathon will explore the capabilities of AI and advanced analytics in the Azure cloud and how we can get more from our existing data like video, images and sound to help tackle big challenges like climate change and employee safety.

Absolute Clarity (Oracle and DXC): The quality of the water you drink is monitored at every stage of the production process, from source to tap, to make sure our customers receive the very best. Real-time monitoring generates lots of data. We're looking to use this data and a little water science to help create the ‘perfect blend' of tap water for our customers.

Michael Hull, Intelligence Manager at Northumbrian Water, said: "At the Innovation Festival, we will focus on how we can use data, both our own data, as well as Open Data, to gain insight that will help Northumbrian Water deliver the best possible services to its customers.

"Opening up and sharing our data with our partners and working together in this brand new way is revolutionary. It's really changing the way the water industry is approaching some long-standing historic big issues like leakage, maintaining our networks and assets and stopping bursts.

"This is now the way we operate at Northumbrian Water and we're huge advocates of what data insight can tell us."

The Northumbrian Water Innovation Festival 2019 takes place from 8 to 12 July at Newcastle Racecourse.

More than 3,000 people from around the world, including industry experts, engineers, students and customers, are expected through the gates, where they will search for solutions to major societal and environmental challenges.

To sign up to a hackathon, visit www.innovationfestival.org and to keep up with the innovations that come out of the Hackathons during the Innovation Festival, you can follow the action on social media by following @NorthumbrianH2O on Twitter and Facebook.

Janine RillandsComment