Talent Retail General

Retail tech teams flex their brain power in #HillsHackathon

William Hill Retail: Our First Hackathon

We caught up with Richard, a Business Analyst in Leeds to get his account of our Tech Retail Hackathon:

The first ever hackathon for William Hill Retail tech was held on 27 April 2018. The department was split into 8 teams, and the environment was set up to get the creative juices flowing to solve business problems. The day opened with an overview from our Chief Technology Officer David Turner, setting the scene for the teams. The key theme of the day was to use modern technology and artificial intelligence to propel William Hill Retail into the future. 

With the teams formed, off we went to begin working on their chosen scenario. Cue the hive of activity, whiteboard meetings and business flow diagrams even Van Gogh would be proud of.

To finish the morning session the team gave a quick update on findings and progress so far. Safe to say all teams' competitive edge was on show, they were all very coy over the detail that was being leaked to the rest of the Retail tech team, either that or there was a fair bit of bluffing at this stage.

Naturally with hard work comes hunger, supplemented with standard William Hill lunchtime offering of pizzas and a few drinks to digest the stodge. The afternoon session was set to get underway. With the food coma active the teams set off back to work! The final stretch was underway and the teams began to start hooking up their proposals. The end of the 5 hour timeframe drew to a close, with the putting the final touches to their 5 minute pitches.

Eight great pitches where put forward to the Dragon’s Den panel comprising of Retail’s elite and of course the man who controls the purse strings. Competition was tough with each team producing great pieces of work. The winning pitch saw team Blazin’ Squad embracing Artificial Intelligence using Amazon Web Services. The team delivered a lo-fidelity prototype which would allow shop staff to proactively identify self-excluded customers easily and quickly. Congratulations must go to all teams as they have definitely shown that the businesses creative thinking to solve business problems is possible using modern technology.