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Netilion Conserve

Rethinking Sustainability Monitoring through Memories

About

We spent ten weeks working on a design project for E&H, aiming to help water treatment plants track their progress toward sustainability using Netilion Water Network insights. 

Solution

The challenge of keeping a track of sustainable practices at a water treatment plant is not just limited to silent monitoring. The real benefit of monitoring comes in place when you learn from your past and improve strategies for the future. The solution we proposed for this challenge was Netilion Conserve: Tracking sustainability with memories. A collaborated dashboard with complete transparency of consumption, production and decision making. Along with simplified report generation and data collection.

Challenge

The biggest challenge in the existing workflow to maximize sustainability practices was scattered data and a tedious analysis process. Beyond that, they needed to review historical data to compare the past and present activities and utilize that data to build effective insight-based future strategies. To build an efficient sustainability monitoring dashboard solution for water treatment plants we formed our problem statement as

“How might we make it easier for water treatment and community water companies to track their sustainability progress and activities?”

Process

For this design challenge, I was assigned to a team of three and contributed to each and every aspect of the design process. We achieved the stated solution "Netilion Conserve", after rigorous desk research and market analysis combined with user research, followed by ideating how could we solve the problems in the existing workflow of potential E&H clients. Finally, shaped and evaluated our idea with a mid-fi prototype. We also built a business model to take the solution to the market.

Research

Market Landscape

Why do industries need sustainability monitoring?

Address Climate Change

Improved Outlook

Government Regulations

Is it worth investing resources in this vertical?

A rise in sustainability reporting

Since 2011, the number of S&P 500 companies publishing sustainability reports increased from 20% in 2011, to 90% in 2019. 

Government Investments

“We have the opportunity to build a more resilient, sustainable economy – one that will put the United States on an irreversible path to achieve net-zero emissions…by no later than 2050.”

– BIDEN-HARRIS CAMPAIGN

What are various approaches to track sustainability practices?

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Traditional Excel Monitoring

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External Assessment Services

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Environmental Analysis Software

Problem Identification and Customer Segment

We interviewed Justin Redman (Manager of Water System Control and Planning) and Ann McIver (Director, Environmental Stewardship) from Citizens Energy Group, a leading water treatment plant in Indianapolis. The interviews helped us absorb the sustainability monitoring workflow from a focused viewpoint and capture significant pain points in current workflow.

Analysis

We performed thematic analysis which helped us to sort the data in distinct categories and further helped us to develop the personas and empathy maps which led us towards brainstorming solutions for identified opportunities.

Key Insights

The frequency of report review could vary from company to company. 

Historical data is required before setting sustainability goals

From collection to analysis to sharing, the complete movement of data is manual which takes around 80 hours for one report cycle.

External factors like weather could fluctuate the overall output

Customer Segment

Personas and Empathy Map

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Matthew Miller

Data Analyst

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Sarah Jones

Sustainability Executive

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Mark Manson

Plant Manager

Matthew Miller (Data Analyst)

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Sarah Jones (Sustainability Executive)

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Current Workflow

How are personas connected to one another?

After studying the data from research we were astonished to discover that the whole process is manual and the data is extracted in different excel sheets. Those excel sheets are further reviewed by multiple stakeholders with different responsibilities. In one of the interviews the user(sustainability executive) shared

 

"It takes my data analyst around 80 hours to assemble a report for me to review if some modifications are needed, she has to go through the entire process once again."

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Existing Workflow Example -
80 hour cycle

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What is missing in the existing workflow?

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Ideation

We conducted multiple brainstorming sessions to develop various ways to solve pain points in the existing workflow. We came up with many ideas for each and every pain point.

 

We built three different solutions from a combination of these ideas. We used a value proposition canvas to down select the best solution to solve the needs of maximum customer segments. 

Brainstorming and Sketching

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Idea 1 featuring Time Travel

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1

Idea 2 featuring Memory Palace

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Idea 3 featuring distribution

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Down selection: 
Value Proposition Canvas

We compared the value proposition of each idea with respect to the users and monitoring demands, Idea 2 featuring Memory Palace aka Netilion Conserve  came out to be the best direction for monitoring and improving sustainability practices

Idea 1

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Idea 1 vs Idea 2 vs Idea 3

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What does Netilion Conserve offer?

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Increased collaboration and transparency

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Strategic task allocation 

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Effortless reporting

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Centralized data collection

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Increased efficiency with sensor health monitoring

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Evaluation

Overview

Issue Categories

Issue Priority

Reported By:

Issue Type

Evaluators

Peers

UX Designers and Software Developer

 

Citizens Energy

Sustainability Executive and Plant Manager

Carmel Utilities

Utilities Director and Manager of Customer Relations

Key Findings

"I really like the way you have called this section memory palace, I can completely relate with this"
                                                 - Ann Mclver

Adding a blueprint to locate sensor in data connections would be helpful for diagnostics

"We definitely need something like this, especially to motivate people to be more mindful about water consumption"                                                    - John Duffy

Ability to download visualization with annotation and comments could be helpful for quick sharing.

Business Model

How do we maintain customer relations?

Tech Support

to make sure customers
face as few bugs as possible

 

Consultancy

to provide guidance in building a pilot set-up

Freemium

Customers could be given
sensors for free to incentivize
them to join NWNI

How do we make the water treatment industry aware of Netilion Conserve?

Newsletters

Subscribed customers can be reached out through emails.

Partnership

Partnerships with NGOs and

regulatory bodies

Talking to PMs

Speaking with PMs from
existing customers

LinkedIn

Marketing Groups, Network updates from employees, other stakeholders, and Blog posts

Revenue Sources

Number of reports per plan

Paid Cloud Storage

Sensor Sales from Health Recommendations

Sustainability Consultation

SWOT Analysis

Strength

  • E+H’s value, reputation, and customer base

  • Integration of other tools
    with the software

Oppertunity

  • Government regulations,
    NGO and ESG Policies

  • Compulsory reporting of
    data related to sustainability

Weakness

  • Slow-moving industries

  • Software is not a core competency

Threat

  • Sustainability is not taken seriously by smaller companies

  • Software companies that built systems on other Company’s hardware

Special thanks to..

Ann Mclver and Justin Redman from Citizens Energy group for interviewing and sharing their experiences. 

John Duffy and Kelli Prader from City of Carmel utilities for evaluating our solution.

Team Reveal

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Lou Lenzi

Mentor

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Matt Walsh

E&H Sponser

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Manali Bhetaria

Team

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Nahush Farkande

Team

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Vandana Munjal

Team

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