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Demola Project – Fingrid Electricity Market Visualization

Demola is an international organization that facilitates co-creation projects between university students and companies, either locally or internationally. This is the project brief from Demola’s website: Visualising the Future Electricity Market.

In this project, we were tasked to formulate an idea along with its concrete example i.e prototype to reach the goal. The goal in this project is to make sure people could understand the electricity market in an easy way. We were team of 5. 3 of us were developer and theo other two were from social sciences which had been working previously in the energy sector. The first few weeks was all about idea formulation. We map the main problem that need to be solved. Analyze to root cause of those problems. We define the main value proposition that we want to offer. Until we came up with several ideas such as:

  • Integrated marketing campaign which includes: social media campaign, microsite campaign, youtube campaign etc.
  • Simcity-like game but in this case, instead of managaing cities, the player would manage an electricity grid company like Fingrid.
  • Mobile apps to track electricity usage.
  • Electricity marketplace which will connect electricity buyer and electricity provider.
  • Open, personalized and extensible electricity market visualization dashboard.

With several considerations, we finally decided to build the last idea. We Developed the dashboard using NodeJS and D3.js. I setup the framework for the technical team so that they could code it faster. I prepared the build process. I split the job of creating visualizations to the three of us, including myself. We also did intensive testing on their newly developed RESTful API and found several critical bugs to which they finally made some big adjustment to their API configuration.

Basic demo: http://kamalabs.com/fingrid/

Challenges

This was my first experience working with a big international corporate client professionally. There were a lot of communication challenge on this part. We have to make sure that we could really understand what Fingrid wants. Initially the scope of the porject wasn’t very clear.¬†And it was intentionally designed that way by Demola. They expected us to dig the problems by ourselves and formulate the solution for that. Fingrid of course already something in mind but they want to see what kinds of problems that we find and solutions that we offer to them. Fortunatelye, with good communication through Slack and various other channels, we could come up on the same ground.