Catalist - Capital One Gift the Code Hackathon Winner, Toronto Cat Rescue

SEP 2019 ||| Skills: Python Flask, AWS ||| URL: Catalist

The TCR is a virtual network of foster homes for cats, and intakes from many shelters and other places around Toronto. Their challenge was that they have information coming in via email from many sources to many different people, which then has to be aggregated by hand into Smartsheets.

Once in the Smartsheet, intake coordinators would look through the cats needing rescue, and accept them into the system by assigning them to a volunteer/foster home. Once accepted, the data was copied out of Smartsheets and into a Google Sheet.

This system often resulted in data relating to cats being lots in the system, data entered incorrectly into one of the above products, and data being lost by people accidentally deleting cells, rows, columns, etc. from Google Sheets. Our solution was to provide an intuitive interface backed by Google Sheets, which would let Shelters enter information directly, and would let coordinators view and modify information easily without ever having to open the Sheet. We chose to use Google Sheets as the backend because the charity was already used to using this product, and because their data was already structured in this way we could point the app at the existing sheet and not need any initial data input.

In the event that our application died, or data was inputted incorrectly in some way, the data was still accessible via Google Sheets (therefore not requiring SQL skills to modify the database) with an intuitive UX design. We implemented the solution using Python and Flask, hosted on an AWS instance.