KBR Graduates Code Their Way to the Finish Line with Project: Hack10!
14 Sep 2021
Not ones to shy away from a challenge, three members of KBR’s Advisory Consulting team recently spent a weekend taking on Project:Hack 10, a hackathon-style event bringing together analysts, engineers and industry professionals to solve real world data challenges set by industry experts. Graduates Paul Church, Ted Stephenson and Tom Vick have been developing their skills in software programming, app development, automation and data science by spending the last three months participating in a “Project Data Analyst Academy," a part-time scheme to enable rapid progress in project data analytics.
The course finale, Project:Hack 10, put these skills to the test with a 32-hour Hackathon. Paul, Ted and Tom teamed up with other external participants to take on the "article web scraping tool for opportunity monitoring" challenge. This aims to aid business development where countless hours are spent trawling through the latest client news publications to identify the latest industry updates and opportunities.
The team developed a tool that automatically scrapes information from a pre-defined list of client websites using Python. The data was processed into digestible summaries through the natural language processing model, GPT-3. This deep learning system produces human-like text when fed with messy data from target websites.
Once a list of email recipients and their topics of interest (hydrogen, LNG, etc.) have been identified, Microsoft Power Automate is used to automatically send out weekly “Opportunity Update” emails. Each recipient receives a list of customized article summaries covering any publications released in the previous week that are relevant to their chosen topics. From there, the recipients can choose to follow a link to read more about a particularly interesting article, or alternatively, alter their tailored keywords to tweak the blend of information that is being emailed to them.
Overall, the team found the experience to be a very intense but richly rewarding. They were surprised and proud at the quality of solution they developed and are excited to see how they can build further on their data analytics capabilities within KBR.
“Participating in ECITB’s Data Analytics Academy has allowed us to develop a cohort of skilled personnel within KBR Advisory Consulting who can act as a nucleus for what will be a key part of our future as well as increasing our awareness of what is possible,” said Ben Sawford, Vice President, KBR Advisory Consulting. “The Hackathon was a great way of drawing together everything that had been learned in the previous weeks. We look forward to building on the skills we have learned for the benefit of KBR Advisory Consulting as well as the wider global business.”