Each year, Blueprint hosts the Innovation Cup, an opportunity for employees from all over the company to collaborate in new ways to create the Next Big Thing. This year, we upped the stakes by adding our inaugural X Challenge, a competition with the goal of empowering our employees to experiment and explore new ideas and solutions through technology.
The central problem presented in this year’s X Challenge was one of data organization, access and utilization. Organizations often maintain and curate data in siloes, making it very difficult to synthesize and understand it holistically.
The focus of this challenge was to demonstrate the value of self-service business intelligence powered by Blueprint’s virtualized data estate solution, Conduit. Each entry utilized sales data available in Conduit’s data catalog to create dashboards in either Power BI or Tableau, which would serve as a standard by which organizations could evaluate and forecast their sales performance.
Power BI Winner - Zoe Douglas
Blueprint’s Power BI expert and Business Intelligence Engineering Development Manager Zoe Douglas (read more about her here) masterfully demonstrated how to connect and visualize sales data in Power BI using Conduit’s data catalog.
From the judges: “Zoe removed many of the pain points associated with visualization navigation. She also included hover states that allow users to drill down, which really exemplifies the Power of the Possible. Her entry provided insights that would’ve been invisible in the raw data, such as sales by commute distance. Being able to toggle between physical and calendar year financials was also well done and appreciated.”
Tableau Winner - Lingjin Xiang
Business Intelligence Engineer Lingjin Xiang connected and visualized the sales data in Tableau.
From the judges: “The navigation flow from sales performance to reseller analysis and then into forecasting tells a linear story that draws the user in. The forecasting was really robust, providing an opportunity to analyze the recency, frequency and monetary value of each customer in a way that was just excellent.”
Honorable Mention - Preeti Benedict
Data Engineer Preeti Benedict (read more about her here) chose to demonstrate application development with a Power BI visualization, integrating C# and Slack using Conduit.
From the judges: “As metrics hit certain thresholds, it would trigger conversations inside of Slack immediately, linking back to the Power BI dashboard, which was absolutely amazing.”