Slalom dreams big with 24-hour Tableau hackathon

James Young Headshot_cropped

James Young

Slalom came out in a big way for Dreamforce ‘13, joining the throngs of 130,000+ cloud enthusiasts and industry leaders for an epic week of inspiration, collaboration, networking, and innovation.

I was wowed by what our strategic partners had on tap for the event. Tableau had an incredible showing, complete with an interactive booth, daily Tableau talks, a Speakeasy lounge, and expert-led sessions on everything from dynamic data storytelling to embedding live dashboards into Salesforce. The Tableau crew’s passion for changing the way we see and understand data is nothing if not contagious.

Tableau’s representation at Dreamforce got me thinking about how our team could promote and highlight the latest features and functionality of Tableau 8.1—and show off our team’s data visualization skills while we were at it.

Coders, start your clocks

That’s when the lightbulb went off: what if our team quickly built interactive, real-time Tableau dashboards that captured all the latest conversations around Dreamforce in the social sphere? With one day of Dreamforce left, the clock was ticking. I put out the call.

The challenge: Build a Tableau dashboard that showcases the latest conversations around Dreamforce—a real-time analysis of who’s talking, what they’re talking about, where they’re talking, and more

The deadline: Just 24 hours

The prize: Bragging rights and a bottle of Napa Valley’s finest

And without further ado, the entries:

Daniel Montgomery, Slalom Chicago

This dashboard allows users to find out the different topics people are tweeting about based on what language they’re speaking, providing insight into the diverse group of attendees and their interests.

Read more on Daniel’s blog.

Daniel Montgomery dashboard

Peter Gilks, Slalom New York:

I designed my dashboard to highlight the many discussions happening around DreamForce on Twitter and identify the main contributors. It’s fully interactive, so you can pinpoint the times when lot of tweets were emerging and discover the most active participants and their most popular tweets.

Peter Gilks dashboard

Read more on Peter’s blog.

Erika Bakse, Slalom San Francisco

This gives us a quick look at what’s been tweeted over time and see top hashtags, RTs, users, and their respective reach. It’s also interactive, allowing you to easily drill down on particular hashtags, users, times, etc.

Erika Bakse dashboard

John Mathis, Slalom San Francisco

My Dreamforce social listening dashboard gives users an at-a-glance view of the major trends and key conversation influencers at Dreamforce. To address the popularity of the official hashtags, I looked at a logarithmic view of the top hashtags and utilized a bubble chart showing the tweet count (size) and retweet percentage (color). The influencers section identifies the top tweeters and indicates how popular their tweets were (identified via retweet). Check out the TwitPic tab for a fun view of the many photos captured at the event!

John Mathis dashboard

Agnes Mrowka, Slalom San Francisco

By looking at my dashboard, you can get a sense of the impact Dreamforce had on social media. It provides insight into the most popular topics around the event, shows how tweets are distributed geographically, and captures tweeting intensity (i.e., peaks in social conversation). Moreover, you can see how the most active users were involved by looking at the distribution of their behavior over the hours of their activity.

Agnes Mrowka dashboard

And the award goes to…

I was floored by what our team produced in such a short amount of time. In less than a day, we were able to build five unique, insightful dashboards that highlighted all the excitement around Dreamforce—a true testament to our team’s expertise and Tableau’s best-in-class platform.

Tune in to the Slalom blog next week to find out which of these amazing Tableau dashboards took home top honors. In the interim, check out the Tableau team’s insights about the social conversations at Dreamforce.

3 Responses to Slalom dreams big with 24-hour Tableau hackathon

  1. In less than 24 hours, nicely done. Perhaps next year a more formal hack-a-thon ?

    One observation: in these visualizations, I’m seeing a lot of high volume “top level data”. For example: SF, DF13, Dream Force, Green Day, etc.

    Even while the total volume of tweets is lower, the vis to enable individual or company level insights will be valuable. A speaker needs to know: who is tweeting about my presentation ? A company: who is tweeting about our product, booth, or service ?

    So, the dashboard which delves into lower volume / higher value tweets is the “killer app,” in my mind (to use a term from the 90’s :).

    Congratulations, guys. This was very much in the spirit of DreamForce, and the visualizations are very nicely done!

  2. datagymnast says:

    Hi Keith –

    Thanks for the response! We are definitely considering and excited about a formal hack-a-thon next year – whether that be Slalom-organized or other. We had a great time participating at the recent Facebook VizCup ( and would welcome another such opportunity.

    Agree with you that getting to finer grain sentiments about a product, service, etc. would be interesting and is actually a frequent topic of discussion for us internally as well. An interesting topic for today given Apple’s announced acquisition of Topsy:

    Best of luck in your “vizzing”.


  3. Pingback: One on one with Slalom’s Tableau hackathon winner, Erika Bakse | The Slalom Blog

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