Hack your way to success: 3 tips to get the most out of your AI Hackathon

Aldrik de Jongh
03 Apr, 2024

At HSO we are convinced that AI can be a great catalyst for enhancing productivity, efficiency, and job satisfaction. And our customers agree with us. Together we are exploring how to implement AI applications that address a specific problem and are scalable.

A proven way to quickly go from idea to concrete solution is a hackathon. HSO's Customer Engagement Team in the Netherlands recently facilitated some of these sessions, together with customers, focused on learning by doing, stimulating creativity and building applications on the spot.

Are you interested in organizing an AI hackathon? Aldrik de Jongh, senior consultant CE at HSO, shares 3 tips for success.

1. A multidisciplinary team

To develop value-based use cases, knowledge of data and AI alone is not enough. For an AI Hackathon, it is important to bring together a multidisciplinary team with experts in the field of business applications (for example CRM), Data and AI experts, and Power Platform consultants. This mix proves to be a winning combination to quickly and effectively learn, build, and achieve concrete results. The same applies to our customer teams: they usually consist of participants from the business, IT, data engineers and so on.

2. Good preparation is half the battle

Make sure your expectations and goals are clear in advance. Do you mainly want to learn and exchange knowledge? Or do you want to deliver at least one concrete product? What requirements should that product meet? In short, when is the hackathon successful? Good technical preparation is also important: arrange a development environment, access to databases and applications for the participants, and a backlog in DevOps. And think carefully about what expertise and therefore what people you need at the table.

3. Provide a safe, open atmosphere

Provide a safe, open atmosphere where everyone is invited to ask questions, and share ideas. Mistakes are allowed! This is another reason why it is important to involve participants from all kinds of expertise and backgrounds, precisely to learn from and with each other.

Hack to success #1

Automatic translation, secure and fast, with Copilot Studio and Azure AI

A globally operating testing, inspection and certification organization has already started to translate inspection reports using AI, specifically for peer reviews. Safety, quality but also a smooth and efficient process are key success factors here. However, the team ran into technical obstacles and asked HSO for help. With our technical know-how, especially in the areas of architecture, Copilot Studio and Azure AI, we were able to take the use case to the next operational level.

Hack to success #2

Using Copilot for a new data model

An educational publisher is dealing with a heterogeneous application landscape. One of their biggest challenges is to build a uniform data model, which is essential for reliable management information. During the hackathon, we explored how Copilot in Power Platform and Microsoft Dataverse could help build a new data structure. The conclusion is that Copilot can help normalize and harmonize data, which means a huge acceleration of the process.

Interested in an AI-Hackaton for your team?

Connect with us, our teams are ready to help and set you up for success.

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