We’re now into Week 5 of the United Utilities Innovation Lab

This week we met up with Richard Vilton, CEO and Co-founder of Emu Analytics, to find out more about the team’s progress in the Lab and to understand what utilities innovation means to them. 

Hi Richard, thanks for joining us. So, what is Emu Analytics?

Emu Analytics is a data analytics and visualisation software company. We build software platforms that are designed to analyse and visualise geo-spacial data, which is data about the movement and position of objects. 

Really, we bring together lots of different and quite complex data in real time and turn it into useful insights. Our user interface makes this information easy to understand by anyone - not just data scientists. This way, an organisation can really start getting benefits from its data, rather than limiting its understanding to just a few data specialists.

What attracted you to the United Utilities Innovation Lab? 

We’ve worked with L Marks previously on some of their other Innovation Lab programmes. We found them incredibly useful, so when we heard about the United Utilities programme we just had to apply.

How will Emu Analytics benefit United Utilities’ customers in the North West?

Although our software platform will be used internally by United Utilities’ teams, the operational efficiencies will positively impact customers. By providing United Utilities with insights about its network in real time, our software will optimise UU operations. Over time, the end users in their homes will benefit from lower costs and charges and better service performance.

What are you hoping to achieve in the remaining weeks of the Lab?

After meeting with a number of United Utilities teams, we’ve identified six or seven different potential use cases across the business for our software platforms. Although we’d love to explore them all, we only have 10 weeks in the Lab, so we’ve had to narrow this down to two or three to start working on. We will focus on increasing operational efficiency in waste processing and using lots of data inputs from different geographical locations.

In three words, what does innovation mean to you?

Opportunity, challenge and resolution.

Looking ahead, where do you see Emu Analytics in two years?

We have a high-level plan for the next couple of years, but this seems to be constantly changing! We already have a number of customers, and we’re generating revenue, so over the next two years we want to focus on building our portfolio of B2B clients, particularly in infrastructure, transport and utilities sectors. Eventually, I’d love to see Emu Analytics becoming the go-to platform for any geo-spacial analytics needs.