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Top hacks from Cloud BI Hackathon 2022

Last December, we, the Looker team, hosted our annual Cloud BI Hackathon for our developer community to collaborate, learn, and inspire each other. Nearly 300 participants from over 80 countries joined our 43 hour long virtual hackathon. Our participants hacked away with our developer features, data modeling, and data visualizations to create more than 30 applications, tools, and data experiences with Looker and Looker Studio. Let’s look at the winning projects and some great honorable mentions. In every case we were able to, we’ve added links to GitHub repositories to enable you to reproduce these hacks.

Best Hack winner

Data Studio Labs – “Google Sheets What-If” Community Connector by Harsha W. and Vindiw W.

The Best Hack winner enables your Looker Studio report to not only read from but write to a Google Sheet. You can create a sheet with various different calculations, change the sheet’s inputs from within your Looker Studio report, and immediately see the results. This creative Looker Studio Community Connector implementation empowers report viewers to perform What-If Analysis straight from within Looker Studio. Try out the connector and check out the GitHub repository for more details on how to use it.

Nearly Best Hack winners

Roast My Looker Instance by Josh T. and Dylan A.

This chatbot examines your Looker instance and snarkily reports on issues like abandoned dashboards, inactive users, and slow Explores. This hack is a fun way to use data fetched from the Looker API. Check out the GitHub repository for more details.

Bytecode Dashboard Version Masters by Michael C., Brent C., Rebecca T., and Michelle M.

This hack allows you to version control your dashboards with a convenient UI all within Looker. You can edit existing user-defined dashboards, keep a history of changes made, and revert the dashboard changes. This app uses the Looker extension framework and Looker’s Embed SDK, showing the technical possibilities when you combine multiple Looker developer features. Check out the GitHub repository for more details.

Honorable mentions

GoX.ai – Looker Studio Forecasting by Sakthi V., Paul E., and Aravinda S.

This custom-built visualization predicts values from its data source and enables forecasting directly in Looker Studio. Users can change the forecasting method and configure method parameters right from within Looker Studio’s report editor and visualize the forecasted results instantly. This hack demonstrates Looker Studio Community Visualization’s extensibility and flexibility. Check out the GitHub repository for more details.

Data Lineage and Metadata Search in Looker Studio by Luis P.

This Looker Studio report makes it easy for you to search for keywords in your entire SQL code and trace the lineage of your data as it feeds from one table into another. This hack creatively turns a static Looker Studio report into a troubleshooting tool for data developers.

Looker-loos by Grant S., Josh F, and Jeremy C.

This Looker dashboard defines a workflow to comprehensively view the health of your company with innovative custom filters that provide multiple period over period comparisons (like year over year or month over month), the measure, and the type of delta. This hack creatively uses complex LookML to enhance Looker dashboard’s functionality. Check out the GitHub repository for more details.

linked-dashboards by Markus B. and Ana N.

This hack provides a convenient UI that enhances navigation by grouping related dashboards in folders and synchronizes filters between the grouped dashboards. The hack is built with the Looker extensions framework and Looker Embed SDK, and serves as a useful tool for data analysts.

Wrap up

Since 2018, we have hosted our hackathon annually and we strive to improve each hackathon to create a safe space to collaborate, learn, and inspire each other. The event is not only a great opportunity for our developer community to learn about Looker and Looker Studio, but also for us to learn from our talented participants. For example, using our participants’ feedback, we are working on documentation and community outreach improvements to further enable our developer community. 

At Cloud BI Hackathon 2022, our developer community proved once again how talented, creative, and collaborative they are. We saw how our developer features like Looker Studio Community Visualizations, Looker’s Embed SDK, and Looker API enable our developer community to build powerful, useful — and sometimes entertaining — tools and data experiences. 

We hope these hackathon projects inspire you to build something fun and new. Check out our linked documentation throughout this post to get started. We’ll see you at the next hackathon later this year!

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