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Lumira Viz Jam!

     As a budding Computer Science Engineer, I was really excited when my Prof told me that we would be going to SAP Labs, Bangalore for some kind of  a hackathon at their office. It was only when I reached there, that I came to know it was a Lumira Vizualization Hackathon! Heck! I didn’t even know there existed a SAP product called Lumira! But what followed for the next 10 hours was simply an amazing experience.

     The day started off with a brief introduction about Lumira along with a simple demo. The challenge given to us was pretty straight forward, use any of the datasets available to create some visualizations and compose a nice little story out of them. So, we booted up our machines (SAP were quite generous to offer their ThinkPads to those of us who didn’t have laptops), installed Lumira and were set to go!

     As we started, we realized that the tricky part of this challenge would be to choose a proper dataset. We played around with many ideas and went through a lot of datasets so as to find something which would impress the judges. From the Premier League to Hollywood to Formula1 we thought about many areas until we finally hit the jackpot! We found a comprehensive dataset maintained by the World Bank about everything concerning India in the past 50 years. This data was a gold mine! It had every detail about several topics like agriculture, imports/exports, population, education, industries, economy, research etc. right from the year 1961 to 2010. Once we found this data we were clear about our story – we were going to showcase our entire country to the judges in a 5 min presentation!

     Although we took a lot of time to get our data, it didn’t matter because Lumira allowed us to create the visualizations within a matter of minutes. We quickly moved on to the Compose tab and started working on the story boards. We created a total of 5 story boards starting with Agriculture and ending with Computers and the Internet. We were pretty confident about the flow of our story and as it turned out, the judges loved it as well! We beat some tough competition from teams of other universities and ended up being declared the Winners!! Suddenly, we were celebrities! Everyone was congratulating us, we were interacting with some of the best minds at SAP and even got invited to lunch with Executive VP, Mr. Michael Reh!

     All in all, it was a memorable day at SAP for me and my teammates. We wouldn’t have been able to complete this challenge without the patient help and guidance of the many Lumira experts present at the venue. Many thanks to them and also to SAP Labs for providing such a wonderful opportunity. This is going straight into my CV!  😀        

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