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Visualization contest: Expenditure shares across the various counties in Utah


Each county within a state in the US maintains strict accounting standards with regards to cash inflows and outflows namely revenue and expenses. There are various funds institutionalized to serve this purpose for various categories such as education, energy, environment, health and human services, housing and community development etc. The governmental fund concept means that:

  • The fund is an independent fiscal and accounting entity
  • The fund consists of a self-balancing group of accounts


Objective of this contest is to build an interactive visualization to come up with findings to help governments in Utah better manage revenues and expenses across counties and organizations {org1}. This exercise should help in identifying opportunities of improvement and best practices across counties and organizations. Data provided has transactions on revenue and expenses generated by counties and organizations (within counties).

Solvers are expected to visualize the data along the following dimensions:

  • Type 1: Within Counties (for different organizations, funds {fund2} or categories {cat3} within counties over time) [Please refer to defitions of org, fund, cat in Glossary section below or in the data dictionary]
  • Type 2: Between Counties (for the same organization, funds or categories over time)
  • Type 3: Relationships or patterns observed between and within counties or organizations


The data given for this contest encompasses both revenue generated and expenses incurred by various counties in the State of Utah. The data is comprehensive for all of Utah's governments for the 29 counties for roughly 5 years, i.e. 2009 to 2013. Data is provided at a transactional level and every transaction has the following information –

  • County associated with the revenue or expense
  • Organization associated with revenue or expense
  • Funds that the Organization received (revenue) or used for expenditure (expense)
  • Source of funds received (revenue) or how funds were spent (expense)

Deliverable Expectations

Each solver is required to submit two deliverables –

  1. An interactive visualization (for definition - please see the glossary section below) is the primary deliverable.
  2. In addition, you are required to submit a PDF report. Note that this PDF report is an illustration of how your interactive visualization can be used to identify interesting findings. Solvers are required to give a minimum of 3 examples for each of Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3 visualizations. These examples should be actual findings that you made using the visualization you built. Each example should contain the following –
    • Snapshot of visuals
    • Findings
    • Steps required to identify the findings from the interactive visualization


5 prizes of USD 500 each will be rewarded based on evaluation.

In addition, one grand prize of USD 2000 is up for grabs. This will be given to the submission which is able to ‘wow’ the client and exceeds client’s expectations. Particularly, submissions that are able to identify relationships or patterns that serve as insights from the visual will be given preference. The client will determine if any submission is eligible to receive the grand award.

Click here for registration and details

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Tags: analytics, charts, crowdsourcing, government, interactive, utah, visualization


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