In a city where deep dish pizza and hot dogs reign supreme, Chicago also serves up generous servings of innovation. And innovation is exactly what the Tableau Developer Platform team found during the second stop of the 2019 #DataDev Hackathon series.

The hackathon series has a deceptively simple goal: in 24 hours, hack Tableau and bring an innovative idea to life. In Chicago, teams created hacks that were anything but simple, ranging from an extension to enable users to set personalized alerts on their dashboards from a pop-up, to a solution that assists marketing teams with their Twitter strategy. All the hacks were next-level stuff, but in the end, the winning hack was built by Motorola Solutions.

Interactive, voice-driven solution goes beyond traditional BI

Motorola beat teams from University of Chicago, the Chicago Police Department, and digital agency Conversant Media-who worked on hacks for nearly eight hours before demos began.

The hack has a maximum team size of four, so the Motorola group was able to field two teams.

The winning team included Benjamin Goodman, Tableau platform lead; Clara Wu, data relationship manager; Erica Li, business data engineer; and Shailesh Patel, Global Data Analyst. The team built a voice command driven solution that delivers custom-filtered reports to the requestor's email on demand. This also included a monitoring dashboard to track requests, their performance on the Tableau Server, capture fulfillment status, and establish the most requested unfulfilled phrases for future development.

According to Benjamin, “We whiteboarded a lot of ideas. We wanted to see what we could accomplish and bring back to Motorola. It was built on top of a reoccurring theme. Over the past six years, demanding customers (sales and execs who want to be informed but don’t necessarily understand the BI tools) and the increasing number of IOT uses. So, we thought why not use that to build something that could potentially be a cool solution for us. Then, the week before the hack, an article came out on a google assist for your car so wanted to bring that type of functionality (AI and voice-command) to our hack. Some of our chatbot efforts also fed into this. Asking info from chatbot comes back in a text format so we wanted to bring something more informative and analytical.”

Erica comments, “Yeah, we wanted to encourage users to go beyond the traditional BI reporting, something more interactive.” But it wasn’t all work and no play for the Motorola team, their Business Data Engineer Erica Li saw Flex, the Tableau Developer Program mascot and found a kindred spirit. “I saw and loved the T-Rex and knew it was going to be a good event!” she said. The team used the event and T-Rex props to take some great team photos.

Team photo from the hackathon

Members of the Motorola teams that competed against each other at the DataDev Hack

The hack was held at Tableau partner Narrative Science’s offices and started off with a networking Happy Hour where Tableau Developer Evangelist Keshia Rose provided an API walk through and discussed examples of hacks attendees could build during the event. Hack teams were not only competing for a trophy and bragging rights, but also free passes to this year’s Tableau Conference in Las Vegas.

Ula Kotarba travelled from Poland to learn, hack and innovate

The hack now heads to Austin, Texas on May 2-3. Is your organization ready to get hacking? Register here for a chance to hack and win tickets to TC19.

Explore our series page to find more places to hack your heart out:

  • June 2019: New York
  • July 2019: Palo Alto
  • August 2019: Virtual
  • September 2019: London
  • November 2019: Las Vegas - Tableau Conference

Subscribe to our blog