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We’re awarding £20,000 of prizes in our first Visualisation Challenge – here’s why


Around 80% of the information we take in is by eye. According to studies, there’s a good chance that you are a visual learner – an estimated two thirds of us are.

But what do these facts have to do with our work at 360Giving? Well, it turns out that infographics aren’t just pretty ways of displaying data; they also help us to evaluate and use data more effectively.

Researchers Emre Soyer and Robin Hogarth asked three groups of economists the same question concerning a dataset. The first group was given the data and some statistical analysis of it. The second group got the data, the statistical analysis and a graph. The third group was only given the graph. 72% of the first group got the answer wrong, as did 61% of the second group. Just 3% of the third group were wrong.

We’re proud to have developed the 360Giving dataset to the size it is today, encompassing over 280,000 grants worth £24bn. However, our purpose isn’t to collect data for its own sake. 360Giving’s mission is to support decision making and learning across the charitable giving sector. This can only be achieved if our data is used in the right ways. Like the economists above, we want to answer important questions.

That’s why we’re inviting anyone with an interest in design, analytics or data journalism to turn the 360Giving dataset into original visualisations in our first ever Visualisation Challenge. We are asking participants to address the two questions below, selected from suggestions crowdsourced from our 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?

This is far from a vanity project. We decided to launch the Challenge today to coincide with World Design Day as our way of recognising the pivotal role design and creativity play in unlocking the value in open data. Our hope is that the insights we find in your work will help funders to maximise their impact on the many great charitable causes they support.

The importance of this competition is also reflected in the total available prize fund of £20,000. A panel of expert judges will award prizes of between £2,000 and £6,000 to the top three entries. And, depending on the volume and quality of the submissions received, we also intend to make an award of between £100 and £500 to each entry that meets the submission criteria – so we can reward as many people as possible for their efforts.  

The Challenge website is live and ready to receive your entries. It includes everything you need to know in order to submit an entry, as well as some FAQs

We’re really excited to see what you come up with!


Please help us spread the word on social media using the Challenge hashtag #diggingthedata. You can find us on Twitter @360Giving