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  • Mikhail Khan, Marketing

The Road to Victory – Extentia’s Einstein Analytics Hackathon Adventure

Those of you who know Extentia, also know that we absolutely love hackathons and all the excitement, drama, and heart-stopping moments that come with it. Our internal hackathon competition X24 has brought us countless thrills, insights, and unforgettable moments that represent the perseverance as well as the tenacious, innovative spirit of our teams. Participating and winning the “Best Topical App” at the 2020 Salesforce ISV Einstein Analytics Hackathon was just what we needed to bring that thrill back into our lives this season.

Held in the last week of September, the 2020 Salesforce ISV Einstein Analytics Hackathon pitted teams against each other in a race against time to build a state-of-the-art downloadable Einstein Analytics AppExchange application. Extentia’s team, consisting of some of the brightest minds from our pioneering Salesforce Practice, spent weeks strategizing and planning their approach to conceptualize what they believed to be the best possible use case and solution.

The team's one-of-a-kind AnlyTx App aimed to allow users to display the impact of COVID-19 – utilizing datasets directly from the World Health Organization combined with data from within Salesforce’s Sales and Service Clouds. It featured custom objects to store COVID-19 summary statistics, reusable dashboards built on Salesforce standard objects, and an installation package that allowed everything to be set up easily and quickly. The application covered two separate use cases and displayed two distinct dashboards – the impact of COVID-19 on Sales Opportunities and the impact of COVID-19 on Service Opportunities.

Future potential additions for the application include combining it with other Salesforce standard objects like Campaigns, Leads, and using it in tandem with the Health Cloud to gain insights into what aspects changed in Health Cloud Orgs as a result of COVID-19.

At the outset of the competition, it was important for us that our package be easily installable on subscriber Orgs and allow for advanced techniques like automation (install/user create/permission assign) and that all of this worked efficiently. We also wanted to ensure that we delivered high-quality documentation for our code to allow others to reuse it in their implementations, and build on the core functionality.

On the first day, there was a surprise twist – the team were required to create the application in the yet-to-be-released Winter 21 Org, with which no one had experience. This was to make Salesforce partners aware of what was possible now, and would be possible in new releases. While we did uncover a few bugs and reported them , the Hackathon Office Hours team was able to help us navigate these challenges and implement the workarounds required.

As the competition went on our team grew from strength to strength, making good use of the experience they’d gained from our real-world Einstein implementations. The first two days were primarily focused on laying the roundwork for their solution and forming a solid base from which to build their Einstein Analytics application. It involved everything from creating and reparenting over 65,000 COVID-19 records, developing a scratch Org utilizing the Winter 21 Pre-Release to creating test users, and assigning required permission sets. It also included creating over 1500 Accounts, 1500 opportunities, and 1500 Case Records to display data on the dashboards.

Finally, as the clock ticked down at the end of the third and final day our team put the finishing touches on their Einstein Analytics application and presented it to an external panel of judges via a pre-recorded video.

After a few nerve-wracking hours of deliberation, the judges reached their verdict. The Extentia Team had won the “Best Topical App” for their innovative solution! Other winners included Brillio for “Best End-to-End App”, DocuHack for “Best Embedded App” and FinancialForce for “Best Technical Showcase App” – all excellent solutions, from world-class companies. Thrilling!

While we’re still working remotely, we daresay the collective roar of celebration once we heard the announcement could be heard across many parts of the city!

To be able to win a hackathon, during a pandemic, pitted against world-class competition, evaluated by a splendid Salesforce panel of judges… the experience was thrilling, the win exhilarating. We’re very proud of our participating team and believe that this victory typifies the exemplary work ethic and nuance that our Salesforce Practice puts into every endeavour.

We’re looking forward to the next series of hackathons but until then, feel free to reach out to us for more information about Einstein Analytics and our efforts across the Salesforce ecosystem. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to “Do More”, “Be More” and grab every chance to “Win More”!

Read other Extentia Blog posts here!

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