Researchers demonstrate the value of consumer data for population dynamics and utilities research.
A team of five researchers, based in Liverpool’s Geographic Data Science Lab (GDSL), recently took part in a three-day hackathon organised by O2, Virgin Media and Northumbrian Water. The hackathon, which took part in a hybrid online/remote format, comprised teams from many different backgrounds, including app design, UX, digital services and academia.
The team, led by Patrick Ballantyne, comprised of GDSL PhD students; Danial Owen and Sian Teesdale, and CDRC researchers; Zi Ye and Meixu Chen, with project support from CDRC Deputy Director, Professor Alex Singleton.
Utilising some impressive datasets from O2/Virgin Media and Northumbrian Water the team presented their take on “The value of consumer data for population dynamics and utilities research”.
Over the course of three days, the Liverpool team constructed a UK customer geodemographic, using data on audience insights from O2/Virgin Media, to capture the search interests of O2/Virgin Media customers.
They then applied their customer geodemographic, utilising the excellent O2 motion and Northumbrian water datasets, to demonstrate applications to population dynamics and utilities research. They investigated the recovery of different residential areas following the COVID-19 pandemic (see application 1), and the applications of geodemographics for selective targeting of water meters where they would provide better value for customers (see application 2).
Team leader Patrick Ballantyne reflected upon the experience: “This hackathon was a great opportunity to collaborate with some of my excellent colleagues on a short and exciting project, drawing upon our individual skills and talents. It enabled us to get a better understanding of how new sources of consumer data, such as O2 motion, can be used to provide solutions to societal problems”.
It is hoped that the CDRC will establish a partnership with O2/Virgin Media, enabling researchers to use their data, to provide solutions and empirical evidence to help answer societal problems.