Responsible for maintaining the integrity and welfare of all horse racing in the UK, the British Horseracing Authority enforces the highest standards of quality and professionalism in all its activities. This includes managing the rating of all horses that run in races across Britain, as well as numerous major races around the world – a process known as handicapping.
And when they wanted to develop a user-focused application that enabled handicappers to access and input a range of detailed information, instantly, they came to Box UK.
We provided the handicappers with an intuitive, yet comprehensive software interface that brings all handicapping data entered from across the country into one easy-to-use, up-to-date system. As a result, only the most accurate and current ratings are applied to each race – helping ensure consistency and uphold the high regulatory standards of the industry.
We think the impressive results we secured for BHA proved that they backed the right horse. Make sure you do too.
If you’ve ever followed horse racing, you’ll know that the handicap process is designed to give every horse a fair chance of winning – making it more likely that they’ll finish in straight line. Before every handicap race, each horse is rated based on their past form, and given a certain weight to carry depending on its ability. The better the horse, the heavier the weight. The handicappers who monitor all races up and down the country plug all data into a complex race-day application so that these handicaps can be set. And BHA wanted to be sure that their system could handle current challenges and future demands.
The software we were building would play a critically-important function in a complex and highly-specialised industry. So we knew we had to have a clear, shared understanding of what was required before we set out. An in-depth QuickStart phase – where Box UK business analysts worked closely with BHA stakeholders to capture requirements – gave us the information we needed. It also helped the team become experts in the field of horse racing – expertise that they applied throughout the project to make sure the finished software did everything BHA, and the handicappers, needed it to.
Obviously the key to handicapping is ensuring that the entire process is consistent, fair and accurate, so that the entire process is beyond reproach. Our User Experience (UX) consultants worked to standardise the data input process, consolidating all activity and making it quicker and simpler for handicappers to do their job.
At the same time, work was undertaken in the back-end of the system to optimise the data itself. We set about understanding, filtering and normalising the existing data set, before integrating an API that connects this to BHA’s transactional database – bringing all information together into a single system that updates in real-time.
The new software has made a huge impact on the way handicapping in horseracing is organised, monitored and controlled – helping safeguard the processes that underpin this £3.5bn industry.