Winners of Business Intelligence Network’s 2006 Data Visualization Competition Announced

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Winning entries use effective visualizations of data to solve real business problems.

The Business Intelligence Network is pleased to announce the results of its 2006 Data Visualization Competition. The competition was conducted from May 9 through July 14, 2006.

Organized and judged by Stephen Few, data visualization expert and author, the competition required contestants to submit visual representations of data to solve the business problems identified in the scenario descriptions Few provided. Contestants were able to submit a solution for any or all of the five different scenarios provided. From the 68 entries received, one comprehensive winner was selected, as well as one winner for each individual scenario.

Data visualization extends our ability to make sense of and communicate business information. It provides the means to fulfill the promise of business intelligence (BI), but only if BI software vendors develop the tools and businesspeople develop the skills needed to apply it effectively. The winners of the Business Intelligence Network’s 2006 Data Visualization Competition show us what data visualization can achieve when it’s done right. I hope this competition and the follow-up articles that will feature the winners will help to expand the reach of effective data visualization beyond the domain of a few to ‘business as usual’ for many,” says Few.

All submissions were received and cataloged by the Business Intelligence Network. Any information that could have identified the submitter was removed before the solutions were distributed for judging. Stephen Few reviewed and judged all submissions, and he selected the winners based on the effectiveness of their solutions.

The winners of the 2006 Data Visualization Competition are:

  • Comprehensive Winner – all five scenarios

Contestants who submitted a solution for all five scenarios were eligible for this award. The 2006 winner is:

Xan Gregg


  • Scenario 1 (expense budget performance)

Contestants were required to develop a visualization that depicted expense budget performance during the current year across 12 departments. The 2006 winner is:

Dylan Cotter


  • Scenario 2 – monthly account activities

Contestants were required to design a visualization that could be used by bank customers to track their checking account activities during a single month. The 2006 winner is:

Xan Gregg


  • Scenario 3 – real estate sales-related variables

Contestants were required to create a visualization that would allow real estate agents to view several characteristics of house sales in a given month to better understand the current housing market. The 2006 winner is:

Dr. Jock Mackinlay

Tableau Software

  • Scenario 4 – dashboard design

Contestants were required to create the visual design for a dashboard for commercial airline executives. The 2006 winner is:

Andreas Flockermann

BonaVista Systems

  • Scenario 5 (Tie) – elective business case

Contestants were able to submit any data visualization that they believed displayed quantitative business data in a manner that effectively supports people in their efforts to understand the data in meaningful ways.    

Dr. Jock Mackinlay

Tableau Software

Xan Gregg


The winning solutions will be featured in upcoming issues of the data visualization edition of the Business Intelligence Newsletter as well as in the “Articles” section of Stephen Few’s Expert Channel on

About The Business Intelligence Network™

The Business Intelligence Network delivers industry-based content hosted by domain experts and industry leaders. The network includes horizontal technology coverage from the most respected thought leaders in business intelligence, performance management, data warehousing and data quality, serving these communities with unparalleled industry coverage and resources. For more information, visit the Web site at


Kym Wootton


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