Visualization contests around the corner

The best way to learn how to visualize data is to grab a dataset and see what you can do with it. You can read as many tips and tricks as you want, but you’re not going to get any better until you actually try. Contests are a fun way to do this.


So here are a handful of visualization contests to get your hands dirty. Hey you might even win a couple of thousand dollars. Not that money matters to you, because as well all know, learning is your reward.

Hacking Education — A contest for developers and data crunchers. has inspired $80 million in giving from 400,000 donors, helping 165,000 teachers at 43,000 schools, and the donation site has opened up this data. Can do you do something with it? Deadline: June 30, 2011.

Data In Sight — A hands-on competition in San Francisco’s SoMa district with surprise data sources. Some talks, lunch, dinner, and a 24-hour hackathon. Event date: June 24, 2011 (better to register your team early).

Tableau Interactive Viz Contest — This one is coming up the quickest, but is the most straightforward. Plus, you get a t-shirt just for entering. Grab some business, finance, or real estate data and go to town with Tableau Public. Deadline: June 3, 2011.

Know of any other data/visualization contests coming up? Let us know in the comments.


  • The Open Data Challenge has a visualisation section: Deadline 5th June 2011.

  • Thanks for posting Nathan! Also note the Tableau Contest winner will win a free trip to Las Vegas, a free copy of Tableau Desktop, and the chance at $2000. Not so bad for what could be a couple hours of vizzing.

    Besides, as you point out, its fun just to try.

  • Thanks for the mention, Nathan!
    Come join us in late June for what promises to be an interactive, inspiring and in-sight-ful weekend with exciting data sets, swag and prizes (incl. Adobe’s latest and finest!) – and plenty of geeks and viz wizards to network with!

  • Gerard St. Croix May 26, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Powerline will throw a cool 100kUSD at someone “who[ever] can most effectively and creatively dramatize the significance of the federal debt crisis”. Not only is the money right, I feel a particular enjoyment posting it here, since I figured out all by myself how that will rub our esteemed host. Forgive me, N. I just find all US partisan sniping to be almost endearing in it’s sincerity.

    Anyway, more info and rules here ( ). I’m tempted to send in PPoint that shows how America outpaces Greece in terms of debt.