requires a process
We approach problems by using a defined process. We work with our clients in four stages to:
- Describe the nature of the problem they face,
- Understand what is going on,
- Model the problem using the best tools available,
- Solve the problem and help them make a decision.
We explain each of these phases below, with a particular focus on the energy sector where we conduct the majority of our work.
Describe is an exploratory phase that involves scoping the problem and datasets involved. This is where we conduct extensive research.
We define the key components and dimensions of the system: What is the market? Who are the players? The way we express a problem, and the terms in which we define it, are critical to how we solve it. Once we define the key variables, we can start to quantify them – to express them in numerical terms.
Understand is a stage where thinking converges, distilling findings from the initial phase. This involves developing insights that can inform us of customer hypothesises that can be tested through our models. This includes data wrangling and visualisation to identify initial insights on relationships between variables, identify outliers and inform the team of possible methods which could be used to explain data. Charts are powerful. We like making them.
Models allow us to distil a complex system into its principal components. We can then gain a better understanding of the relationship between these key elements. Models allow us to simulate – to test and investigate a system without affecting it. In the virtual world of a model, we can build a highway, shut down a power station, and even merge two rival firms.
A simulation is a laboratory for us to test our intuition, extend our understanding, and explore the limits of a system. Many problems lend themselves to Optimisation. We have extensive experience in operations research and are highly familiar with a range of Optimisation tools and programming languages (ie, AIMMS, GAMS, AMPL, Python + Gurobi). We routinely prototype Optimisation models in a matter of days, and have particular expertise in electricity market modelling.
A model that can help us understand a problem is powerful. But models can take us beyond understanding alone. They can help us solve a problem, and make better decisions.
Endgame helps our clients make predictions and so decisions: What will a carbon tax mean for electricity prices? How will batteries affect electricity networks?
Ultimately, our models and advice help our clients make better decisions:
- We help governments formulate better policies
- We work with regulatory bodies to make better rules
- We help businesses make better strategic decisions.
Models help us move beyond intuition, beyond ‘gut instinct’ towards robust decision-making