About the Challenge (and the Rules)

Enter the UChicago Data Visualization Challenge!

Our lives run on data. Whether geolocation from our phones, browsing histories from our online activity, or purchase information from our credit cards, we can't escape the prominent role data--of all kinds--plays in our everyday lives. It helps us make decisions, understand trends, and anticipate future events.

The UChicago Data Visualization Challenege is being launched in recognition of the growing importance of making data accessible to the broader public. We are starting small to better understand both how data is currently being visualized by UChicago students, as well as how they're thinking about communicating raw data not yet available in visual form. 

Deadline: May 26, 2014, 11:59 PM

Submit work and proposals through our Submission page.

Submission Requirements

  • You must be a current UChicago undergrad or graduate student
  • The data your visualization or proposal for visualization must use social science data

Submission Categories

There's two ways to win: submit finished work or submit a proposal for a great visualization.

Category 1: Finished work

Entrant can submit one or more pieces of finished work, providing:

  • an image file of the visualization, suitable for the contest gallery 
  • a document containing both a brief description of visualization process and short biography for each member of the visualization team 

Category 2: Visualization proposal

An entrant who already has a data set (his or her own, or publicly available data) can submit a proposal on a possible visualization. The entrant provides: 

  • an overview of all the data involved. if the data is derived from the entrants research activities, information about the research project. 
  • samples of data. if it’s research data, a sanitized set of the data 
  • what the data shows or might show, the relevant attributes in the data 
  • which audiences would be interested in a data visualization 
  • once the visualization exists, ways to host and disseminate the visualization 
  • examples of similar visualizations 

Judging Criteria

Judges will be drawn from partner organizations. The submissions will be judged based on: 

  • ability of the visualization to generate insights 
  • ability of the visualization to tell a story that reaches broad audiences 
  • aesthetics and design 
  • technical merit 
  • novelty 


  • Best finished work: One $500 Amazon gift certificate 
  • Best visualization proposal: One $500 Amazon gift certificate

Use of Submissions

  • Your visualizations and proposal descriptions may be used on our website for publicity purposes.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I enter more than once?  You can submit one entry for each category.

What about my molecular biology/public health/literary datasets? Stay tuned for upcoming challenges; we're starting small, but haven't forgotten you.

Can I submit an entry as a team?  Sure thing!