Where can you feel excited, nervous, motivated, passionate, challenged, enlightened and tired in 24 hours? At a hackathon.
In case you’re new to the term, a hackathon is a blend of the words ‘hack’ and ‘marathon’. It’s basically a marathon event to create new software, innovate and create a solution. Pizza crusts, caffeine overdose, along with endless tapping noises on keyboards, are the “cliché” images that often come to mind. However, that wasn’t quite our experience. Let us tell you about our less crusty, yet caffeinated, experience from the Power BI hackathon at Procter & Gamble!
Procter & Gamble (P&G) focuses on providing packaged consumer goods through five segments worldwide: Beauty; Grooming; Health Care; Fabric & Home Care, and Baby, Feminine & Family Care. Their Information Technology (IT) department masters these five segments through game-changing technology and IT driven business models. There they unite business, innovation and technology to create P&G’s competitive advantages.
Yet, Procter & Gamble understands that improvements in technology can create a gap in our human learning curve, especially when it comes to processing big data. To close this gap, P&G called upon the expertise of the ultimate gap-closer-deluxe, a.k.a., our Arcade SWAT. We believe in a hands-on learning approach. And as it turns out, Procter & Gamble does too. They organised a Power BI hackathon in order to solve this gap and boost the company’s reporting skills. They were looking for a solution that would provide:
- Real-time reporting insights from existing P&G software
- Graphs, visuals and a bigger picture of company growth
- Automation of accounts and eradicate the potential for human error
- Focus on revenue-generating activity by increasing efficiency
The stakes were high: create a Minimum Viable Product in only one day in exchange for eternal fame and a grand prize. Arcade leveraged its technological knowledge to help translate the brightest ideas of 6 P&G departments spread across Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg into a single report using multiple data sources.
So, how exactly did we manage you might ask?
- Teamwork: Developers, business professionals and operations teams made most of the opportunity and put their heads together. The Power Bi hackathon established a two-way conversation between those that use the technology and those that develop it. Leveraging each other’s strengths, and working on viable solutions as a team was imperative for the hacking teams to meet the deadline.
- Innovation: “People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” — Steve Jobs. That is exactly the attitude the determined hacking teams embraced. We needed to transform and innovate meaningfully against the fast-paced nature of this hackathon, which led us to stimulate our creative and problem-solving juices.
- Agility: Delivering breakthrough innovation at a break-neck speed. This has never been more critical and central to driving business value; as it is in today’s world. There is no doubt that a hackathon is the shortest route to significant outcomes. It allows you to rapidly prototype an idea, determine the quality of the idea, spot flaws, reiterate, scale it, and roll it out.
They did it. We did it. This Power BI Hackathon is where ideas became a reality, the unthinkable was achieved and disruptive solutions were born. As an outsider we brought a fresh perspective to P&G’s gap, as well as give an outside-in view of products and organisation. We hacked the hackathon and brought P&G’s knowledge to a level thought to be impossible in just one day.
Is your company looking for a flow of ideas that are downright crazy and brilliant? Let’s plan a hackathon.