Northumbrian Water Group - Field ChApp PoC

Northumbrian Water invited us to undertake further work on their FieldChapp, an app used by NWG's field operators to capture data about worksites throughout their extensive infrastructure network.

  • Industry: Utilities

  • Company Size: 3K Plus Employees

  • Annual Turnover: £900 Million

  • Market Scope: UK

  • Project Timeframe: 3 Weeks

The Challenge

In July 2023, Ntegra had the privilege of being invited to Newcastle to participate in Northumbrian Water's Innovation Festival. We were assigned the task of executing a ”Hack" on the company's FieldChApp, an application utilised by NWG's field operators to record and collate data pertaining to their on-site operations.

One of the major challenges voiced by the NWG employees related to the difficulties they experienced in accurately capturing data from their field operators' job sites. This was partly due to a cohort of seasoned field operators who, despite their proficiency in maintaining the company's infrastructure, exhibited reluctance towards using mobile apps, because of the volume of data for asset health purposes and regulatory reporting that they are being asked to record. Reports of a poor user experience caused both irritations for field operators and frustration amongst data analysts within the asset teams.

The Solution

After undergoing the initial discovery session including research into design concepts and tech considerations with the team at NWG, the Ntegra team proposed the following solution: a simple comment box capable of accepting either typed or voice inputs.

By leveraging Natural Language Processing (NLP) from Azure's OpenAI service, the new FieldChApp analysed text and autonomously populated the form. This strategy transformed the onerous task of filling out a complicated and detailed form into a streamlined review process. The field operator can now simply type, or voice record their observations about a job, and the NLP takes the text, analyses it and auto-completes the form with relevant and accurate information. Consequently, the field operator's role now is simply to confirm the automatically selected dropdown options.

The Outcome

The new and improved FieldChApp has the potential to become a game changer for NWG, substantially reducing the 'time-to quality-data' as well as improving the field operators' user experience, in turn allowing them to get to their next job more quickly while simultaneously providing analysts faster access to meaningful and accurate data for higher-quality reporting.​

“We worked closely with Ntegra and were delighted to be able to prove the concept of using Generative AI within one of our field apps. The level of knowledge in this area was extremely impressive. They actively shared their expertise and insights, demonstrating a genuine desire to make the project as successful as possible.
They have a strong focus on innovation and collaboration where all ideas are valued and welcomed. One of the most impressive aspects of working together is the dedication and passion of the team. Each member brings a high level of skill and enthusiasm which helped us solve sometimes complex problems. In summary, our collaboration was incredibly rewarding with scope to expand upon it in the future.”

Tony Pearson | Digital and Geospatial Product Manager at NWG​

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