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Revealing the bigger picture


For the first time, those concerned about social issues are able to easily gain insights into who gives grants for different aspects of our lives and in our places.
In response to a unique competition run by 360Giving and funded by the Big Lottery, designers, analysts and data journalists from around the world have been creating new ways to reveal how 24 billion pounds worth of grants have been used.
The 360Giving open dataset, encompassing over 290,000 grants, has been developed to help grantmakers, fund seekers and policy makers make better decisions.
Philanthropist and 360Giving trustee Will Perrin, explains: “We have a staggering amount of data published to the 360 Standard. In a busy world people need a quick and accessible way to grasp what it says. 80% of the information that people take in is visual, so we challenged the global creative community to come up with ways to unlock the value in this open data through visualisations. And we are amazed at the variety and quality of results”.
The winners are announced at an awards ceremony in Shoreditch, London, today (21 September 2018). The overall winner of the competition is Xavi Gimenez, a data visualisation engineer from Barcelona. Xavi used a type of natural language processing to discover the funders of hidden themes from a wealth of documents and structured data available via 360Giving’s GrantNav platform about grants made since 1998.
Congratulating Xavi Gimenez for his winning visualisation, Will Perrin, who chaired the judging panel, summed up their verdict: “Xavi’s beautiful visualisation allows you to leap right into large complex datasets and understand what’s been funded. Underneath the interactive graphics lies some excellent coding and Xavi’s talent demonstrates the power of open grants data.”
On hearing that he had won the top prize, Xavi said: “I had a lot of fun with the dataset, playing with the topics and visualising the data. It was definitely a fruitful exercise. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate 360Giving for this initiative: the creation of a data standard for the grantmaking sector, the quality of the data and the trust generated in it.”
For his creativity, Xavi has been awarded a cash prize of £6,000.
All four winners of the Visualisation Challenge will be announced on Friday September 21st at 4.30pm.
At the ceremony Mr Perrin will congratulate and award cash prizes for the following entries: The remaining 28 entries are awarded between £100 and £500 each for their work.
A total of 92 funders are sharing their data to the open standard developed by 360Giving. Particularly now that the data is visualised in unlimited ways – grantmaking can be seen in the round: who is funding who, what for and how much. This is important for funders so they can make more informed data-led decisions; grant seekers can reduce wasted time and effort trying to find out who funds their area of work; and policy makers and citizens can get more clarity on the issues they care about.
Another of the judges, Lucy Bernholz, who is Senior Research Scholar at Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, Director of the Digital Civil Society Lab and author, said, “From forests of grantmakers to emoji-based trend analysis, the 360Giving data visualisation challenge reveals a creative public interest in even the most basic financial data on philanthropy. Applicants tried many things from topic modeling to scissors and paste to communicate the size, reach, age and interests of grantmakers in the UK. A great start – I hope this visualisation challenge successfully provokes more questions, more data and more engagement with the information.”