Nebula Labs

App experts in need of data know-how

Arrow brings the right team together for sure-fire app success

Nebula Labs is a small technology company creating mobile apps and software, with a strong regional client base that includes Cobalt Business Park.

Project supported and funded by ERDF.

Newcastle upon Tyne

Artificial IntelligenceDigitalSoftwareTransportData analysis

Their Challenge

Bridging the knowledge gap to speed up success

The tech experts at Nebula Labs were challenged by their client, Cobalt Business Park, to create a travel app that could survey the 14000 people who work on their site, with the purpose of supporting transport decision making. Although Nebula Labs already had expertise in digital technologies, they needed additional data knowledge to develop the survey app. To overcome this barrier to success, they got in touch with the team at Arrow.

The project went really well because NICD are obviously specialists at what they do and we are specialists at the technology that we work with. So, the two of us coming together was a really good combination and collaboration because we brought our skills from the app sector and they added their expertise in AI, data analysis and machine learning.
Dylan McKee

Co-founder of Nebula Labs

Arrow identified the right support

We understand the wealth of specialist knowledge that’s available across our four partner universities. We quickly established that the National Innovation Centre of Data (NICD) at Newcastle University had experts who were best placed to support the Nebula Labs project.

Working together for real results – Arrow’s solution for success

Arrow is uniquely placed to match North-East businesses with university experts who can inject the right knowledge to spur innovation. Our Arrow Innovation Associates are all highly qualified professionals in their own right and are at the heart of every project’s success. NICD worked closely with our Arrow Innovation Associate who was a data specialist. Together, they provided our clients with the specific insights needed to enhance the project’s data collection processes and analysis, enabling Nebula Labs to make significant progress.

NICD recommended that Nebula Labs get to work collecting more data. This led to 28 volunteers downloading the app and having their journeys monitored over a three-month period. Arrow’s data specialist with support from NICD then worked with our client to identify an off-the-shelf model that – with a few tweaks and adaptations –  could efficiently analyse their data.

With the two teams now working closely together, data analysis identified how staff on the park were travelling. The model meant Nebula Labs could pin down different methods of travel with a great deal of accuracy, including details such as whether each person was likely to be walking, driving or waiting on a train platform. They also introduced machine learning to continuously improve this over time.

Fast, cost-effective data capture

When our clients combined their specialist app capabilities with data science expertise from NICD, the results were rapid and transformative.

Nebula Labs were now able to create an app that tracked journeys in detail with an accuracy rate of between 80% and 96% – informing a variety of important transport planning decisions. It’s hoped that the app will put an end to the need for a costly and time-consuming physical survey. Nebula Labs are also considering how their innovation could be used for other business parks and transport authorities.

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