Tableau conference is always a great time to turbo-charge anything data viz –and this year’s #DataDev hackathon in Las Vegas did not disappoint. Tableau hosted more than 300 hackers and 50 mentors, charged with caffeine, snacks and creative spirits, to experiment with the Tableau Developer Platform APIs, including the newly announced Extensions API pre-release. The developers were encouraged to pitch their ideas and create teams dynamically.

During the hackathon, developers could use any part of the Tableau platform in their hacks, or they could combine multiple parts for exciting mocks. To determine the awards, a panel of Tableau judges selected finalists using the following criteria: creativity, potential impact, design, and usability of the Extensions API pre-release.

Highlights from the event included Tableau’s Chief Development Officer, Andrew Beers coming to engage with teams, and Tableau’s partner leagues showed their enthusiasm by participating (though not eligible for our prize). Also, Craig Bloodworth, Tableau Zenmaster from Informtionlab, presented his awesome hack on extensions and, John Hegele presented his experience all through our alpha releases.

Judges choice awards

The judges awarded Kalyan Renganathan, Aparna Sundar and Aravaind Ganesh the “Machine Award” for augmenting the human worker by automating change Default filter values without republishing workbooks at ServiceNow using the Tableau Extension API.

Jonathan Schmiel won the “Aloha Award” for surfing into the future with TabVR. TabVR lets users filter, explore, and analyze dashboards using a Gear VR headset.  Filters can be applied by gazing at objects in VR. Movement is done by pressing and holding the D-pad on the Gear VR.

All of the finalists had the opportunity to present their demos live during the Hackathon Awards, following Devs On Stage on Tuesday night. The audience helped choose the final winner during Devs on Stage.

The finalists

Text the Viz by Stephen Wagner

Ever wondered what went wrong, or what went right, when you find an outlier on a Tableau Viz? This hack allows people to select marks and send a custom text message to stakeholders. The message will include a screenshot of the dashboard, the data points selected, and a custom message.

TabRoulette, by Anonymous Team

TablRoutlett is a game simulation of Roulette via a Tableau App, was the second finalist. LasVizzes spirits were kept alive with a virtual game where users can learn ways to enhance chances of winning with analytics. The strategies portrayed were appreciated by more advanced players. They used extensions API to build the game in Tableau.

Flight 3D, by Andrew Teasdale

The third finalist developed a hack for the travel lusters. It connects a dashboard to a 3D interactive OpenGL-based visualization using Tableau Extensions API to track flights.

The winner

Using the level of applause and cheering to vote, the audience chose the Best Hack in the Known Universe, during the Hackathon Awards event.

Ben Lower awarded TabRoulette team a grand prize check and the “mmm… hotdog” trophy. In support of #VegasStrong, the team graciously donated the prize money of $1000 and most of the finalist gift vouchers to the community #Data17donates.

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