RedLines Part of The DE Group

A groundbreaking and innovative portal utilising real-time data to transform climate change information for the energy sector

RedLines Part of The DE Group

RedLines, a subsidiary of The DE Group, is at the forefront of revolutionising the energy sector. Their mission centres on harnessing data-driven solutions to elevate operational efficiency, fine-tune maintenance timetables, and reinforce safety protocols. Innovation is not just a component of their strategy; it is the core of their ethos, fuelling a deep-seated commitment to spearheading meaningful advancements in the battle against climate change. The DE Group's proactive stance on sustainability and climate change reflects their dedication to not just adapting to, but actively shaping a more sustainable future.

The Challenge

As the impact of climate change becomes an increasingly critical factor in shaping our future, the need for accessible, understandable, and actionable climate data has never been more urgent. 

Despite the remarkable efforts of a global community of scientists, meteorologists, mathematicians, and programmers, a significant gap remained in the widespread dissemination and utilisation of invaluable climate forecasts. These forecasts are pivotal in informing decision-making processes across various sectors, yet they remain elusive for the broader public and organisations that need this information to understand the future effects of climate change on their specific projects and organisation sites. 

The DE Group had a vision, to create a platform under the RedLines brand that would demystify climate change data and make it easily accessible, viewable, and measurable for everyone. In addition to improving accessibility, they wanted to educate people about climate change and help them navigate to the right data sets. The ultimate goal was for the platform to become a trusted source in the industry, acting as a bridge between the complexities of scientific data and the necessities of public understanding.

The DE Group set out to face the challenges of addressing these inefficiencies head on and they aimed to do so by building a subscription based web portal.

The primary obstacles

These included the difficulty in locating these forecasts, the complexity involved in comprehending the vast arrays of data, and the near impossibility for individuals to engage with this information in a meaningful way. A pertinent example of this challenge is the user experience encountered on platforms like the IPCC metadata browser, where even straightforward searches, such as for temperature data, can prove to be a daunting task.

The task was not only to simplify and present data in an approachable manner but also to build a system that maintained scientific integrity and credibility. This complex interplay of usability and accuracy represented a significant undertaking for Digital Engineering, setting the stage for an innovative solution that could transform how the world interacts with climate change information.

The web portal needed to do three things:

  1. Make it easier to interact with climate data via interactive graphs and charts
  2. Provide an interactive training resource to give people the confidence to interact with the data
  3. Provide scoring metrics based on what forecasts are most accurate, such as how much warming has happened.
The Solution

An intensive innovation workshop 

In order to understand the intricate complexities of the challenge at hand the collaboration between The DE Group and Newicon began with an intensive workshop. During this phase of the project, both teams worked diligently to define the target audience for the platform, identifying who the users were going to be, what they would expect, what their needs might entail, and what obstacles were hindering them from achieving their goals.

Target audience and platform design

It emerged that the web portal would primarily cater to users interested in viewing current and future forecast data, tailored to their specific variables and requirements. The goal was to enable users to see the direct impact of climate change on their assets and industries.

Development of a bespoke forecast summary board

The workshop provided invaluable information that led on to the design of a user-friendly solution that aims to guide users step by step in creating a custom forecast summary board. The process for the build was meticulously divided into clearly delineated steps, making it easy to understand and follow. The key points from these steps included:

  • Adding assets and locations: Users could add multiple assets to one board for an aggregated analysis, permitting a nuanced investigation of specific locations.
  • Defining the forecast timeframe: Users were given control over the timeframe of the forecast, ensuring relevance to their unique needs.
  • Selecting variables and metrics: A tailored approach allowed users to select variables, metrics, and impact rules that would drive their specific analysis requirements.
  • Choosing pathway types: Users could set the levels of challenges to mitigate, challenges for adaptation, and prediction levels to specify the types of datasets needed for analytics use.
  • Customising forecast frameworks: Users could confirm recommended forecast frameworks or modify the selection according to their preferences.
  • Result presentation: The generated board presented clear forecast findings across the user's set assets and preferences, with the ability to further manipulate the results for informed future business decisions.

The initial platform incorporated additional functionality such as a comprehensive knowledge base on datasets, an extensive library of variables, pre-configured sets of impact rules, and customisable user permission settings. These laid the foundation for a powerful and user-friendly tool designed for interacting with the climate change data.

Newicon designed the prototype for an innovative platform that effectively simplifies complex climate change data whilst offering customisations to meet the specific requirements of various users. The portal not only makes abstract data understandable but also transforms it into actionable insights, with an easy to use interface.

The collaborative journey of the project began with a deliberate and strategic approach, akin to producing a “movie trailer” for the platform, effectively laying the foundation for a solution that addressed the problem space - the urgent need for accessible and actionable climate change information.

The Result

Where has this led?

Prototyping for Investment

The initial design served as a compelling prototype, aimed specifically at attracting potential investors. By showcasing the essential features and potential of the platform, it allowed The DE Group and subsidiary brand RedLines to present a clear and engaging vision of what the complete system could achieve.

Securing Initial budget

The prototypes success in conveying the value and potential of the platform was instrumental in the group securing an initial budget. This funding was a critical milestone, providing the means to move forward in defining and developing the project.

Product roadmap & MVP development

With the initial budget in hand, The DE Group returned to Newicon to embark on the next phase of the project: defining and building the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). This step signified a transition from conceptualisation to realisation. The collaboration evolved towards creating a functional and impactful software product, with strong foundations which were further enhanced and scaled as user feedback was continually gathered and additional funds were raised.

Aligning vision and execution

Newicon's adoption of the Agile Architecture approach, conceptualising the platform as a 'movie trailer,' effectively aligned the project's vision with its execution. This strategy laid a robust foundation for the build phase.

The results of this collaborative effort are a testament to the power of strategic planning, innovative design, and alignment between vision and execution. The journey from prototype to MVP showcases a thoughtful and effective pathway to success, providing a blueprint for how targeted design can translate into tangible progress and then investment. The continuation of this collaboration holds promise for the creation of a platform that can truly democratise access to vital climate change information.

Phase two

The design and build of the portal

Newicon undertook the design and build of the portal. The project underwent a further design phase building on the initial architecture phase and clearly scoped out defined requirements to ensure the portal's success and to ensure uptake of the system for its desired users. 

The actual development phase was characterised by a methodical and agile approach, allowing for its completion within a few months. This strategic process ensured a smooth and efficient build, culminating in a platform that is now actively used by clients of The DE Group and RedLines customers. 

The project was a great success, one designed to enable organisations with multiple energy sites, like wind farms, to understand the impacts of past climate changes on their operations. This feature facilitates more accurate forecasting of future climate effects on these locations.

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