The Client Goal
The Dakota County Electric Association is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative founded by local farmers in 1937 with the help of the Rural Electrification Administration. With more than 104,000 members, it is the second largest electric cooperative in Minnesota and ranked among the 25 largest electric distribution cooperatives in the nation. Nativ3 was chosen over nearly 100 other vetted firms nationwide to complete a website overhaul for Dakota Electric. This project was a comprehensive redesign, filled with custom tools for electrical gauges, an integrated chat system, and a software to report an outage. Because Dakota Electric serves so many people, it was critical to make the site load quickly, present relevant information efficiently, and have a site that outperforms expectations.
Our Role in the Project
Because this project was so large in size and scope, Jon was tasked with coordinating with multiple shareholders at the Association, identifying which pieces needed to be completed first, and getting multiple design mock ups based on the client’s feedback. We started as a business analyst to identify internal processes that would need to integrate with the site, from who would respond to live chat to how a customer would report an outage. Research and execution were going to be key in this project. From there, we worked with the Dakota Electric team to consolidate content and identify what the “most important” pieces of the website were. Data from the old website’s analytics played a large role in this.
How Dakota Electric Reached their Destination
Dakota Electric launched a comprehensively-rebranded website, which centered on the user. Understanding that Dakota Electric was not in the business of actively acquiring new customers meant we had to create a digital asset that served its current members well. We were immensely successful in doing just that. The site’s advanced functionality, including live chat, bill pay, power gauge, and outage reporter, took a large load off the backs of their internal staff. This was the most rewarding part of the project. Once launched, the site saw a great influx of traffic, time on the website (a key statistic for them), and amount of activity that came from the website. This project was a gargantuan undertaking, but because we pride ourselves on being great analysts of situational business, we were able to help craft an experience that Dakota Electric’s team fell in love with.