Sponsored data integration and expression project with Northumbrian Water – Get involved

#Hack Series 2015-2016 Event 3:

Creating insight tools for energy managers (Non-Household and Local Authority customers)  

Northumbrian Water are currently seeking to evidence the potential of investing in a new customer facing insight tools. We are organising an exciting 2-day initiative to bring together data analysts and expression specialists, software developers, and entrepreneurs to demonstrate the potential value of the investment in creating new solutions to improve the quality of insight provided to non-household customers and specifically considering the needs of local authorities and government.

The event will span two days and take the form of a contest. North East based participants will compete to see who can build the best and most impactful data insights supporting including data expression, mashup or visualization relating to our challenge.


Our goal is to productise new reporting tools and we are using this event to identify relevant skills and potential commercial suppliers based in the North East UK. The output of these events often include contract opportunities for successful participants. Open to all interested parties, this event is part of a jointly funded project by Northumbrian Water and Sunderland City Council and we are offering 5 sponsored places for North East based businesses.


Why participate?

Engage with one of the largest organisations in the North - NWL have an £800m turnover and invest heavily in regional skills, expertise and innovation. We are actively seeking enterprising organizations that can help us resolve complex problems.

Collaborate with other disciplines and organisations - Hackathons are a great way to meet and work with a wider range of stakeholders. Present will be professional application developers, business leaders, academics and researchers as well as other groups.

Help to solve a scale real world challenges - We are working to ensure our future services are safe, secure and offer best value to the public. Your involvement not only supports your local community but potentially could establish data innovations that have application across the utility or infrastructure management space.

Financial contribution towards the cost of your time – We are offering five companies the opportunity to receive £1200 towards the cost of their time. The contribution is supported by Sunderland Software City and will help to underwrite the costs of teams seeking to join the NWL supplier community. Companies will be selected by the Hack judge panel based on the results of a pre-hack workshop.


The Challenge

This initiative reflects our passion to be the very best water utility in the UK. The public sector is under intense pressure to reduce costs and improve services. Energy managers are very interested in water usage patterns, discovering leaks, reducing inefficiencies and improving usage behaviours.

Our goal is to offer support to energy managers both in local authorities and elsewhere by working with you to consider their needs and in providing new reporting and tools to enhance water usage insight. This may include exploring new ways and means to integrate data and streamline pattern recognition in support of energy management processes and enhancing reporting capability of existing systems.

To put it simply, we want to provide enhanced water usage reports suitable for the needs of local authority energy managers; with some consideration of other non-household customers needs.

We want you to help us define and demonstrate the potential savings that could be made through this investment.

The resulting models and tools will belong to you. We may well wish to invest with you in developing some of these for application with our customers and are ensuring a process is in place to take selected ideas forward.


Principle goals and focus

To create and demonstrate practical reporting tools and extensions to commonly used energy management platforms that:

  1. Support more efficient energy management reporting and related processes
  2. Establish extensions to existing energy management reporting, or develop new complimentary tools
  3. Develop a pilot demonstrator and visualisation




Develop your project at the Sunderland Software Centre, submit project through Devpost, and participate in the Sunday pitching and judging. In order to be eligible for prizes, you must submit through Devpost and participate in judging on Sunday (If you are an 'inperson' event participant)!

Participants: Individuals (over 18 years in age); Teams; Organizations (up to 100 employees)

Countries: United Kingdom


Usefulness in better supporting energy management performance at the local authority
How does report concept support effectively support operational eneergy management and decision making?

  • Practicality in application
    How useful is the report in its intended real world situation.
  • Completion of evidence solution
    How complete or polished the report is.
  • Presentation 
    How polished and impressive is the presentation of the report.
  • Data expression and usability
    How well-designed is the report, paying attention to user experience and user interface

Hackathon Sponsors


£6,750 in prizes

First prize

Runner up

Sponsored participation (5)

Five applicant will receive funding in support of participation. Sunderland Software City team will select participants in collaboration with the NWL IS team.

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

How will it work?

If you are interested in participating, simply ENTER HERE

If you have any questions please contact Paul Sutherland, Innovation project manager, (T:07738 284 310) or email paul.sutherland@nwl.co.uk

The study will run across two days from the1-2nd October and will be led by Sunderland Software City and the business intelligence team at NWL, along with a number of postgraduate volunteers with an interest in big data, data analytics and data exploration and expression.

Aspects of the data will be closed and others open. Those close will be in-person and data will only be released onsite.

Technical details and open data will be available via our hackathon site www.smartwatercity.devpost.

The event will be hosted at the Software Centre, Tavistock Place, Sunderland SR1 1PB, and will support distributed work and support from a wider community including Sunderland University. Participants will be invited to join the space and work in a secure way on the data.

Further NWL systems and BI specialists will be on hand during the data hack to assist with questions arising during the experiment.

Needless to say on signing up and undertaking confidentiality terms, a document outlining the detailed challenge and the rules of the competition in more detail will be released.

Prizes and Judging:

  • First prize: £500
  • Second prize: £250
  • Judges and criteria will be announced on DEVPOST.


Naomi Morrow

Naomi Morrow
Sunderland Software City

Paul Sutherland

Paul Sutherland
+ADD Strategy

Andrew Sinclair

Andrew Sinclair

David Cooper

David Cooper
Sunderland City Council

Judging Criteria

  • Usefulness
    Usefulness in identifying and tracking potential water energy savings
  • Integration
    Smart approaches to integrating available data from local authority, utility and other sources
  • Impact
    Beyond operational benefits, the potential to help the local authority save money
  • Practical reporting
    Consideration given to data expression and reporting system integration

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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