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Acumine & EcoWorld Get Hacking

On 24th and 25th May 2022, Daniel Maddocks and I attended the Project:Hack 15 event at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London as guests of EcoWorld. It was my first time at one of these events, and I’ll definitely be going to more in the future as it was great fun!

For those who aren’t familiar with these events, they bring together business analysts, project delivery experts and data scientists to push boundaries and develop innovative solutions to enhance project delivery outcomes. Working as part of a team, the attendees tackle real world industry challenges from the likes of Highways England, Petrofac, NHS, SRM, Environment Agency, TFL, Sisk & More. And a great bonus is that all profits from ticket sales go to Cancer Research UK.

Networking, solving real-world problems and donating to charity – what could be better? Plus the breakfasts and lunches on offer were outstanding. Working with data is much more fun once you’ve had some decent grub!

The challenge that all of us on Team EcoWorld chose to tackle was called “Identifying Emergence Signals”. This challenge was about using data to identify emerging risks to the business. Essentially, you’re identifying emerging trends before they become a bigger issue.

The challenge was a conceptual one and during the event we created diagrams to help visualise what was needed and how we were going to approach it.

We mapped out the various types of data our model would need to consume, where that data would go, we created a vast library of critical KPIs, how the data would be measured against those KPIs, and how we would visualise the outputs.

In addition to that, we built an app that would allow the user to input an emerging risk, and then be presented with the KPIs that they needed to focus on to maintain the security of the business.

Our concept meant that in response to an emergent situation, a suite of tailored dashboards could be deployed rapidly to focus on what was important and help a business navigate the situation. Such an emergent risk could be something like the war in Ukraine and any impacts that may have on the supply or costs of materials and any programme implications.

In short, once an emergent issue was logged via the app, you could be reviewing critical business KPIs related to an emergent situation within minutes, thanks to our our library of pre-built KPIs and data pipelines. To demonstrate the concept we deep dived into work package-related detail, where our data model would help identify the work packages needed the most attention – In our case it was ‘Bathroom Pods’. This was based on a number of commercial and programme-related KPIs in addition to labour monitoring, supply chain manufacturing and delivery.

An additional feature of our dashboard was an embedded PowerApp, that would allow users to create actions or interventions from directly within the Power BI Report whilst they are reviewing the data.

Of course, as is customary with these types of events, we were presented with questions from the judges once they’d reviewed our challenge proposal. The questions we faced were around how we could be more proactive in capturing emergent risks, how we can ensure we are capturing the right data, and how we can ensure that all the relevant people are notified of emergent issues. The work we did at the event answered all of those questions, and more.

Daniel and I were excited to add our skills and experience to the impressive talents displayed by EcoWorld and solve one of the challenges at the event, but at the same time help EcoWorld understand some of their own data aspirations. The six of us worked really well as a team.

It was hard work (especially the walking – I did over 15,000 steps every day!), but it was a very rewarding experience which we’re glad that we shared with our friends at EcoWorld.

Until next time!

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