Every year students from UCL School of Management’s MSc Business Analytics programme carry out a practical consulting or independent research-based project with business and support in finding a solution to a problem the company needs solving. They use the skills and knowledge they have developed on the programme to analyse the data and come up with solutions to help the organisation, better its business, change a process or just get more of a throughout understanding of its customers and target market.
Mike McCloskey, Co-Founder of Utilidex shares his experience working with three UCL School of Management students on their Business Project and the benefits it had for Utilidex.
What Does Utilidex do?
Utilidex delivers a range of integrated software products supporting end customers, consultants, and energy suppliers for data management, billing, trading, budgeting, and energy management. Delivered on the Microsoft Azure platform, our software products can be purchased independently, or as part of an integrated suite.
What attracted you to working with students at UCL School of management?
UCL School of Management is based in the same building, and I was introduced by the team at Level 39. This is the second time we have worked with UCL School of Management; the first time was a valuable experience too and we recognise the students are very well motivated. In short, the relationship and proximity are ideal.
What problem was investigated through the student consulting project?
The students investigated energy problems which we think are important to start solving through machine learning and analytics. This year we explored CHP (Combined Heat and Power) optimisation, predicting short term prices using pure maths models and demand forecasting
How did you initially scope the problem, and how did this change throughout the project?
We had a simple two-pager which we embellished in partnership with the three students and turned into a scope of work. This took a little more time than normal since we were originally planning to take only one student on. However, once we had spoken to the prospective interns, we wanted to find a way to work with all three who had applied.
What value has the project brought to your organisation?
These are R and D projects, what we do is pitch Minimum Viable Product offerings to prospective customers to explore commercial interest with the output of the three projects. So, in effect, UCL School of Management Student Consulting Projects are a fundamental part of our R and D.
In addition, the projects help to upskill and widen the perspective of what can be achieved in the energy market for our full-time team who worked really well with the UCL students.
Would you recommend the Business Project with UCL School of Management to other organisations?
Yes, all the students we have worked with have been absolutely great. Highlights for me are the level of motivation and intellect, their ability to view problems with clarity and logic and their willingness to work very hard to do the best they can.
Interested in hosting an MSc Business Analytics student to support a Business Project? Register your interest using this form.
For more information and to learn more about how UCL School of Management students could help you with a specific project, please contact Tracey Phillipson, Student Projects Development Coordinator.
Notes about the author:
Mike McCloskey has spent over 20 years in Energy, across a number of business domains from wholesale trading, electricity generation, distribution and supply. Mike’s expertise across these varied disciplines has seen Mike lead a number of innovations and developments, which were at the forefront of the industry. Prior to co-founding Utilidex Mike was responsible for Siemens IT business in energy for the UK / Ireland. Mike is passionate about customer focus and innovation, believing that the energy sector has enormous potential for additional value with the right use of innovative technologies.