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In search for insight 2017

From gut feeling to data-driven decisions

Where to place 180 charging stations?

Problem

Göteborg Energi is Western Sweden's leading energy company that provide customers with energy services, broadband, district heating, cooling, natural gas and the electricity supply network.

Göteborg Energi aims to create energy solutions that are sustainable in the long term. Efficient energy provision is one of the most important building blocks of a well-functioning society. One of the many sustainable projects the company supports is related to the electric vehicles, more exactly the charging stations for these.
During 2017 Göteborg Energi was to place 180 charging stations in different areas in Gothenburg. A decision of this type is historically made based on gut feeling and accumulated experience from project members.

Solution

Based on geographical needs, Findwise assisted Göteborg Energi in producing a basis for decision regarding where to install the large quantity of charging stations. Findwise acted both as strategic advisor in thinking data driven, and performed the GIS (Geographical Information System) analysis, using nothing but open data or data already available. In this specific case, a method of exploratory data analysis was used. This approach is used to analyse data sets to summarise their main characteristics, often with visual methods (in this case heat-maps). By exploring data this way, possibilities to formulate hypotheses that could lead to new data collection and experiments often arise, and this was something that Göteborg Energi felt mapped into their needs.

Result

The outcome of this project is a decision support map with geographically represented data in different layers, enabling overview and new insights. The map covers and takes in consideration data regarding:

  • Usage of already installed charging stations
  • Car and population density
  • Living- and business areas
  • Traffic flow in the city
  • Areas undergoing change
  • External charging stations

Based on the data above, an accumulated map with recommendations where to place charging stations was visualised. This gave Göteborg Energi a base to make a data-driven decision, rather then to go on gut feeling when placing the new charging stations.

In addition, Findwise held an internal seminar at Göteborgs Energi, spreading the data-driven approach into different parts of the organisation. Creating this data-scientific mindset and visualising decision support from complex data sets is a way to empower data-driven transformation in an organisation.

GIS analysis. Exploratory analysis to make data-driven decisions
Heat map with recommendations