Inspiration Station

Idea Generating Tools

We want competitors to generate ideas before Challenge Day to maximize the use of Challenge Day. This page is built to start getting an idea for a competition entry. Please explore the following pathways to idea generation!

  1. Let Data be Your Guide
  2. Browse Previous Year Competitor Repositories on GitHub
  3. Consider the Types of Apps that have been built by Teams in the past
  4. Spend some time thinking like a Business Decision Maker
  5. Review Examples of Analytics vs Product
  6. Peruse a List of ideas by Track


Let Data be Your Guide

Look at the Available Data on the Colorado Information Marketplace. Once you find data that seems interesting, do some high level research – read some articles, think about what questions could be answered with the data. Here’s a summary table of datasets used by finalist teams in the competition over the years.

Once you find data that seems interesting, do some high level research – read some articles, think about what questions could be answered with the data. Spend some time browsing the Colorado Information Marketplace (CIM), and consider looking at our Data Connections Tool. Below are summary tables of datasets used by finalist teams in the competition over the years:

Gocode Datasetsused 14 15










Gocode Datasetsused 16 18

BRowse Previous Year Competitor Repositories on GitHub

One of the very best benefits of Go Code Colorado is YOU! The wealth of work that has collectively been built by the competitors over the years is a treasure trove of ideas, projects, code, and all around hard work, and can be found on the GoCodeColorado GitHub page. Use the search bar (“Find a Repository”) to search for previous submissions by keyword. For example, searching “business” returns over 50 repositories!


Consider the Types of Apps that have been built by Teams in the pasT

Previous Year Winners — can provide specific ideas or insight into great ideas and what it takes to win. Please consider all previous winners on the Go Code website. While previous winners provide only examples for the Product Track (for this year’s competition), it is possible these products may still inspire ideas for winning entries in the Analytics Track.  Previous Year Entries –the Data Team has categorized all previous years’ entries into “app themes” based on the product’s goal in helping the Business Decision Maker. These tables provide the count of apps by theme entered into the competition for all previous years (finalists only count for 2014).

Gocode Apptheme 14 15

Gocode Apptheme 16 18
Spend some time thinking like a Business Decision MakeR

Business Decision Maker (BDM) is defined for the competition on the judging criteria page. Doing some further research into what Business Decision Maker does for a company can help with identifying problems they face, especially when combined with consideration of a particular industry. Reaching out and interviewing a BDM in the industry your are seeking to help is doing it even better. Finding data that adds value, of course, is the ultimate. How would the data you found apply to the use case you are considering?


Throughout the years of Go Code Colorado, we have done a lot of work to engage the Business Community in an effort to articulate the problems that need to be solved. The 2014 BDM Workshop and the 2015 BDM Workshop were both in-person half-day workshops that resulted in lots of good storyboarding and brainstorming. In 2016 the Colorado Secretary of State Business Intelligence Center collaborated with the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade to produce the 2016 Business Decision Makers Survey, a combined business survey of over 400 Colorado BDMs. While many insights were gained the first three years, an interesting thing happened when we stopped putting constraints on the challenge statement — a dramatic increase in the variety of data types used and app types built was the result.


Thus, listed here are many of the generic questions that have been asked over the years and are common to many BDMs. but CLEARLY the bigger question is, what questions can YOU discover and uncover that are specific to an industry and can be solved with the help of public data?


  1. What uniquely positions my businesses to stand out from the competition?
  2. What about my business establishes itself in the marketplace?
  3. What about my business makes it sustainable and useful to people?
  4. How does my business generate revenue?
  5. How much money will I need? Where can I get investment?
  6. What skills do I need? Do I have the right people?
  7. How can I continue to recruit skilled people?
  8. Where should I site my business?
  9. How do I source local business partners? How much power do my suppliers have?
  10. Am I measuring the appropriate metrics to my business’ success?
  11. Do I have the right customers?
  12. Am I outsourcing the right tasks?
  13. How do I use my social media channels to sell more?

Review Examples of Analytics vs Product Entries

1 – Business and Lifestyle Locator. As an app (Product Track), all Colorado cities are categorized and ranked on select indicators, and the BDM (app user) specifies what lifestyle choices are most important to them/their business. The result from the app is a list of cities that are likely to be most ideal for business relocation based on what was entered into the interface. This is a product, because the app does not attempt to decide which city provided the match most ideal, but instead shows a list of matches in decreasing likelihood that allow the user to make their decision. It also allows varied input from the user to test out various preferences, such that there is no single ‘question and answer’ but instead an interface that allows the user to make and change multiple selections to see a variety of results based on those selections. To be an Analytics Track entry, there would need to be a definitive story told about what types of businesses are statistically better fit for given cities based on defined parameters.

2 Construction Industry Annual Revenue Prediction. This analysis (Analytics Track) predicts how many homes will be built by a specific company based on past performance and other publicly available business datasets. The construction owner uses the analysis to get prediction of sales based on past performances that translate into direct numbers on how many people to hire and materials to acquire. This is an analysis because the output was a specific number with a confidence rating, giving a construction company’s business decision maker the insight they need to better manage their resources, without any exploration or native input from the construction company’s business decision maker. For this to be a Product, the app would need to support an interface that allowed BDMs to estimate sales in different regions based on overall trends.

3Brewery Location Optimizer – This location identifier is a great example of how a theme could be used as either a product or an analysis, depending on how its built or designed to tell the story. The product version combines census data of 20-30 yr old people along with locations of restaurants/breweries existing from liquor licenses to produce a coefficient of better or worse locations for a new brewery to invest in a new business. If this were an analysis, the same map would be used to tell a definitive story about how a brewery of a particular type aiming at a specific demographic, environment and location could find just the right spot.


Peruse a List of ideas by Track


  • Go Code Colorado 2017 IdeaBuzz
  • State data on bike-lane usage for consumer app
  • State data on propane prices for energy efficiency sales
  • State business formation data for a consumer-facing web extension
  • State aquaculture data for craft beer hops + algae concept
  • State highway sign data for advertising venture
  • State traffic information for targeted I-70 offers by cities or businesses
  • State licensure information for professional services validation application
  • State business registration information for marketing to new ventures
  • Allow farmers to digitize their inventory and connect with nearby markets before driving
  • An app that improves small business access/exposure to municipal and state RFPs
  • Ideal business location locator app
  • City to city comparison dashboards for an industry of choice
  • Colorado business tool connector
  • Brand quality identifier app to better understand and uniquely position their businesses to stand out from the competition
  • Unique investor app helps businesses choose the right strategic partners for funding or acquisition, narrow down investment options based on business type or revenue, Evaluate investment packages discover beneficial supplier relationships, and understand historical trends and key exits
  • An app that streamlines the available resources at Colorado universities
  • An app that helps source partners in their industry or supporting industries will help grow the Colorado economy and build interdependence.
  • Build a solution that creates business opportunity by helping address the problem of congested transportation corridors.
  • Build a solution that helps Colorado businesses maximize their ability to provide tourists with a great experience.
  • Build a solution that helps Colorado businesses understand how they fit into their market.


  • How do insurance maps align to other area plans, or flood plains?
  • What are the most common types of businesses in Colorado by region, wage and other indicators?
  • What taxes are associated with what areas, and can a business owner learn from annexation patterns in a particular city?
  • How do development trends impact the available green infrastructure of the city, and what metrics can be derived from datasets like the tree inventory to measure quality of life?
  • What industries/businesses contribute most significantly to greenhouse gas emissions, and is there a sustainable way to connect businesses with credits for cutting emissions?
  • Is there a locational pattern to the quality of restaurant inspections that could be mitigated by a secondary service?
  • What can we learn from LIDAR data of localities?
  • How can businesses increase their employees interaction with local outdoor recreation (nearby nature)?
  • How do different sectors impact waste management, and is there a way to disrupt the current trash flows to make a profit?
  • What interactions exist between open spaces and business spaces?
  • What does zoning look like across a city, and can specific business types be fit with optimal locations based on use and potential land owner credits?