360Giving launches £20k open data visualisation competition

Source of charitable/philanthropic funding data turns to crowd power to spot funding trends and gaps.

Chloe Green | 1st May 18
Image shows artistic visualisation of open data on a large screen

A new competition is offering cash prizes of up to £6,000 for original and creative uses of open data covering £24 billion-worth of charitable grants made in the UK.

The global Digging the Data Data Visualisation Challenge from 360Giving is inviting anyone with an interest in design, data analytics or data journalism to submit their original data visualisations using 360Giving’s grant data. A total prize fund of £20,000 has been made available for qualifying entries.

The Challenge has been launched to coincide with World Design Day in recognition of the pivotal role design and creativity play in unlocking the value in open data. 360Giving’s online data platform, which is free for anyone to use, provides information on over 280,000 grants made to more than 170,000 recipients from funders such as the Big Lottery Fund, Comic Relief, and the Wellcome Trust.

360Giving was founded in 2015 when Indigo Trust founder and philanthropist Fran Perrin discovered that she could not easily find the information she needed to inform her own grant-making decisions. The charity is funded by the Big Lottery Fund, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, and the Indigo Trust.

“Visualisations can be beautiful to look at but that’s far from their main source of value,” said Perrin. “The full potential of any dataset can only be unlocked when the data is put into meaningful context. That’s the goal of this Challenge. By opening up our wealth of grant-making data to some of the world’s most inquisitive and creative minds, we hope that they will help funders to maximise their impact on the many great charitable causes they support.”

Competition entrants are asked to address two questions selected from suggestions crowdsourced from 360Giving’s user community:

‘1. Thematic trends: who has funded what over the years?’
‘2. User-led organisations: who funds them, in what thematic area, how much funding do they receive, and what are their organisational structures?’

Entries will be judged by an expert panel led by co-founder Will Perrin, 360Giving and Good Things Foundation trustee. It will consider how well applicants answer the two questions, how innovative are their visualisations, and their ability to incorporate aesthetics and creativity.

Prizes of between £2,000 and £6,000 will be awarded to the top three entries. There will also be public vote to choose the recipient of the ‘people’s choice’ award, and further cash prizes are on offer for notable entries that do not make the judges’ top three.

Submissions must be made to the Digging the Data website by 15th July:  Winners will be announced by mid-September 2018.

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