Barclays Africa begins work with 8 Joburg hackathon teams

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Barclays Africa has begun work with eight teams to advance concepts generated during the Barclays Africa Global Data Hackathon, held at Johannesburg’s Turbine Hall in late 2015.

The 24-hour hackathon was launched to leverage the power of the bank’s big data to uncover insights and develop new solutions. Teams competed across ten different time zones, in ten cities and six countries to develop data-enabled solutions to challenges posed by the business.

The challenges were aimed at identifying and addressing new opportunities and improving existing processes, and included leveraging trends in consumer credit card usage data, analysing market data to optimise trading methods, collecting and analysing data to identify the best date to issue debit orders to check accounts, and utilising human resources data to provide training, ensure optimal job placement and retain key talent.

“We were really pleased with the strength and variety of the solutions proposed during our first Global Data Hackathon. The next step in the process is to continue fleshing out the proposals in partnership with the top eight teams so that we can start rolling out the solutions across the business,” said Pieter Vorster, chief analytics officer of Corporate and Investment Banking Africa, and host of the Global Data Hackathon.

The overall winner of the event was the Revenue Science team, which developed a predictive model on collections cost reduction. Teams from the University of Cape Town, Deloitte and an international team from Prague also presented winning ideas in the collections, card spend space.

These solutions will be implemented by the Barclays Africa Corporate and Investment Bank early this year.

Temi Ofong, chief executive of Corporate and Investment Banking Africa, said the success of the hackathon proved that Barclays could harness the power of the crowd to solve challenges as an industry and as society.

“We, at Barclays, are very proud to have hosted the event and we are very encouraged by the global participation and most importantly the innovative insights and solutions developed during the hackathon,” Ofong said.

Disrupt Africa reported in December Barclays had signed proof of concept agreements with three startups that participated in its first Tech Lab Africa programme in Cape Town, while ventures taking part in the programme raised US$10 million in funding.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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