July 04, 2018
Machine learning, blockchain, automation: A look inside AAAM
By: Tarryn Innes

I studied aeronautical engineering at Uni so when I first joined the Accenture Analytics for Application Management (AAAM), I felt pretty intimidated thinking everybody would have a computer science or software engineering background.

But I soon realised you don’t need a specific degree and Accenture welcomes people from all backgrounds.

AAAM is about innovation and exploration – solving complex business problems using the latest technology. The technologies we use are often new to everyone, and I quickly learned that to be successful within the AAAM team, you can’t be afraid to experiment and use new technologies.

I’ve also worked as a mentor at the graduate AAAM bootcamps and find them to be a great reflection of the type of work we do here at AAAM.

Here are a few examples of the type of problems we solve, value we deliver and technology we use.

Typical AAAM projects:
One example project which was given at a bootcamp was to develop a video feed to help with airport security. So if you’re in an airport, this video feed would connect you to your bag and if you left your bag unattended it would detect that you are more than a set distance away from your luggage. This would then send a security message to the security team.

Another example of an AAAM project was to use the theory of blockchain to host a vote. The task was to create a poll, similar to the polls you would create on Facebook, using the ethereum blockchain. I was a mentor at a Bootcamp for this project and when I was initially given the problem the week before I had to Google "What is blockchain?". I wasn't even sure about the foundation of the technology. But that is what makes it super interesting, we're giving guidance as mentors to grads but also learning just as much at the same time.

A third example was a project I worked on to create a tool to read resumes so that HR can extract information fast. Instead of someone in the HR office reading hundreds of resumes, the project was to automate the process and develop a program to do it. During this project we found that there were certain holes in our logic which needed to be fixed. If someone had laid out their resume in an unfamiliar way our program couldn’t pick it up correctly.

During the Bootcamp we got the team to develop a program to connect someone’s Linkedin account with their resume. If there were holes missing in their resume we could use their Linkedin profiles to extract certain fields such as where they studied etc.

It’s a steep learning curve.

A lot of the tasks that come out of AAAM are about saving time and making processes more efficient.

Machine learning comes up in most projects and it’s about using a computer to predict something you’re unsure of based on information it already has. For example, in the HR project I mentioned we were building a candidate profile based on someone’s resume. Instead of someone spending days reading resumes they can pass it through a tool that could do it in 20 minutes

Automation is all about creating efficiencies. It describes how our team creates different products and programs to replace mundane activities.

One example of how this works is in the post office. Using automation, a computer could read the address label of a package and quickly sort the next steps of the delivery process - whether it’s going on an airplane, a boat etc. This would save someone having to physically take each label and fill out a corresponding form and then package it out. Instead, a computer takes a picture of it and uses image recognition to automatically fill out the form by itself. You save a lot of time.

Tips to get involved with the AAAM team
AAAM is a fun and growing team. My advice to anyone thinking about joining AAAM would be to go to a Bootcamp to see if you enjoy the atmosphere and the types of projects we work on. Accenture also hires a lot of people out of the Bootcamps.

When I started with Accenture I was given the useful advice to experiment with new technologies in my spare time or through the many online courses Accenture offers.

Lastly I would recommend to get involved and don’t be afraid to ask questions because we work in teams and if you don’t have the answers, there will be somebody who has. You’re not expected to solve each problem by yourself.

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