Nintex and March Madness? Summit 7 Systems “Conquer your Bracket” Contest

To celebrate what most college basketball followers would consider the best time of the year, March Madness, Summit 7 Systems hosted its second annual Conquer Your Bracket contest.

Every year millions of NCAA fans fill out their bracket picks for March Madness, why not create our own “Bracketology” solution utilizing the technology we use every day to get our actual work done.

After last year’s inaugural Nintex InspireX Conference, two of my Summit 7 Systems colleagues came back inspired to do something new and exciting with our use of Nintex, Office 365, PowerBI and SharePoint beyond the typical business focus.

The result?  We created our very own bracketology contest for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament using our existing hybrid-cloud SharePoint environment for the contest we ultimately called “Conquer Your Bracket”.

Because the bracket is so large (68 team tournament), we needed an easier way to enable participants to create a bracket from multiple devices. To mimic the flow of the tournament within a Nintex form, each region was placed on its own tab, enabling the participants to enter their selections for each region – East, Midwest, South, and West, and then their selections for the final-four and championship game.

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of the form was building out cascading choice control fields so that each round’s picks are used to seed subsequent round selections.

bracket march madness

The solution then awards points for correctly predicting each game within a specific round. Finally, in the event of a tie between participants, everyone submits their prediction of the final championship game points total as the tiebreaker.

Our bracket was built using Nintex Forms for SharePoint 2013 with the following components:

  • Anonymous Forms capability with SharePoint 2013 using Nintex Live Forms.
  • Custom client-side (jQuery) code to create an easy-to-use and navigable interface.
  • Nintex Workflow to trigger all emails, communication, and document generation of the printable PDF bracket.
  • Nintex Workflow to conduct scoring, tabulate points, etc.
  • Microsoft Power BI to produce reports and metrics allowing participants to track their results and follow along as games are played.

This definitely isn’t the typical use of these technologies, but it was effective and a fun way to use them while also demonstrating the type of complexity we could solve with these technologies.

We utilized Nintex Forms with Nintex Live because it created a way for non-Summit 7 Systems staff to create and submit their own bracket into our on-premises SharePoint environment. With jQuery we were able to create cascading drop down menus for selecting teams.

Building out Nintex Workflows eliminated the need for us to handle any emails and communications, and also automated the document generation and delivery of a pdf of each participant’s bracket. Nintex Workflow was also used to monitoring the scoring and tabulate points.

The entry for the Conquer Your Bracket contest closed on Thursday, March 16 as the first games of March Madness kicked off.

We’re sharing the leaderboard, powered by Microsoft Power BI and Nintex Workflow on www.conqueryourbracket.com and we’ll announce the winner after the Championship game on April 3.

Interested in learning more about Nintex Forms and how it can help your business process? Read our post on how restaurant firm Mitchell’s & Butlers used Nintex Forms to streamline its processes.

 

Patrick Abel

Patrick is a consultant at Summit 7 Systems with 6+ years of software development within the Microsoft technology stack. Patrick is a problem solver who is passionate about transforming abstract concepts and requirements into functional business systems. Patrick is currently focused on building automated solutions leveraging Nintex, Office 365, and Azure.