Whenever you hear the great Dick Vitale say it’s “Awesome Baby,” you know it’s that time of year – we get to spring forward (for those states that recognize DLST), begin to break out the shorts, plan spring breaks, and like a springtime version of the holiday season, we get to fulfill the annual dream of trying to fill out our “brackets.”
We love technology, but even more we love to innovate using it. Blend innovation and our desire to build our own Bracketology solution and as Emeril Lagasse says “Bam!” – the idea and challenge was born. Like many great ideas, it all started with just a “What If”…but that “What If” received some much needed fire. We asked ourselves, where else can you go to create your own online bracket – ESPN, Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports, Yahoo Sports, the list is exhaustive and includes the likes of pretty large companies with MUCH bigger budgets – but we wanted to do something too.
Just over 2 weeks ago Matt Whitehorn and myself were privileged to have spoken at Nintex’s Inaugural InspireX conference. We left the conference inspired and driven. With our own penchant for challenges, we knew what we wanted to do. The goal was to incorporate as many related technologies as possible and shift our use of Nintex, Office 365, PowerBI, and SharePoint beyond just a “business focus” – creating the ultimate of all use cases. Plus, we wanted to do something really fun with a Hybrid SharePoint environment.
The constrictions we placed on our team:
- Build and deploy the solution in 2.5 weeks (in addition to their full time and familial responsibilities)
- Solution requires the use of PowerBI, On-premises SharePoint, and Office 365
- Use Nintex for all forms and workflows for the solution
Following our own methodology, our team established our requirements up front. We knew that our solution, at a high level needed to accomplish the following:
- Anonymous Forms – provide a way to for non-Summit 7 Systems staff to create brackets, and enable them to enter their submissions into our On-premise SharePoint Site.
- Metrics and Performance – people need to see not just see their score, but to also enjoy the data about the whole Bracketology experience.
- Printable PDF – the ability to take the data in from an Anonymous Form into SharePoint, convert the data into a document that is printable, provide a PDF version of the submitted bracket, and then be able to send that back to the user.
- Social integration – people build a bracket, provide feedback, and ultimately share it back out, so we want some customization.
There was a lot of time spent looking at the multiple perspectives and user scenarios, so we kept our expectations pretty realistic. Without giving away too much of the “family recipe”, our overall design approach was this:
- Use Nintex Forms with Nintex Live for Anonymous Forms Capability.
- Implement our own jQuery code to handle some of the form complexities for form submission.
- Use Nintex Workflows to handle all emails, communications, and document conversions.
- Use Nintex Workflows to handle all scoring, tabulations, calculations, etc.
- Use PowerBI to produce all of our reporting and metrics.
We are very excited and passionate about what we have accomplished in such a small amount of time. To celebrate, we have decided to make our Bracketology contest available to EVERYONE. There are even prizes for the winners ($300 Amazon gift card anyone?). Check out our Bracketology rules & regulations below, get signed up, and good luck at Conquering Your Bracket!
And if anyone ever wants to know how quickly Nintex, Office 365, and PowerBI can be used to accomplish an objective in such a short amount of time, we can say “well, we just built a full Bracketology solution in 2.5 weeks” and it was “Awesome Baby.”
Here’s how it works…
Click the button below, provide your user information, and fill out your bracket – it’s that simple. We will take care of the rest.
- Use a valid email address & create your username
- You’ll get a .PDF version of the bracket so you can let your team know you have Conquered the Bracket
- Track your rank with Microsoft Power BI
- You’ll receive a link via email and be able to check out all sorts of analysis of the selections… and also see how close you are to some prizes.
Did someone say prizes? The three top scoring brackets will win:
- 1st Prize: $300.00 Amazon Gift Card
- 2nd Prize: $100.00 Amazon Gift Card
- 3rd Prize: $50.00 Amazon Gift Card
See official rules and regulations below.
(Stats will be updated as games conclude.)