Data Visualization Contest


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Update: The Challenge has Ended. See the winners here.


The Challenge

Every day, thousands of teens face family conflicts, bullying, and abuse, leading teens to depression, self-harm or even thoughts of suicide. For the first time, data on the volume, velocity and variety of teen crisis is available. This could lead to smarter research, policies, and community efforts to prevent these crises from happening.

We need your help. Using data from Crisis Text Line, the largest text-messaging service for teens in crisis, create a prototype or data visualization that will make it easier for U.S. citizens, academic researchers and policy makers to understand the crises American teens face.

Our jury will be awarding $2,000, including $1,000 for the top submission. Winning entries will be featured on this website and may be used in CTL’s public data visualizations over the next several years.

Early Deadline: April 27, 2014 by midnight EST
Final Deadline: May 2, 2014 by 5pm EST

How to enter

  1. Register below and receive important updates via email.
  2. Download the dataset. (see “Get the Data” section below)
  3. Send your final Application to


1st Place


The individual or team with the highest overall score will receive a cash award of $1,000.

2nd Place


The individual or team with the second-highest overall score will receive a cash award of $500.

Early Entries


Three individuals or teams that submit no later than 11:59pm EST on April 27, 2014, will be selected to receive feedback after the end of the contest from the professional panel of judges. One individual or team will also be selected to receive a cash award of $500.

All Entries

All participants will have an opportunity to present their work to CTL and a panel of judges, all of whom bring deep expertise from technology, healthcare, and business. Participants’ work may be displayed on the CTL website and partner organizations.

View full rules


The Contest is open to individuals and teams whose members are at least 18 years old.


A range of media will be accepted: graphic images, sketches, video, or interactive web apps. All submissions meeting a minimum standard of quality will be displayed on this site. Interactive projects must be hosted by their creators, although finalists will also be hosted on this site if possible.

Any team should appoint one individual (the “Participant”) to act on behalf of the team. Any Participant may submit multiple times, both as a member of a team and as an individual, and may submit both before and after the Early Deadline.

Participants must submit all information below (collectively, the “Application”):

  1. the name of the Application.
  2. a text description of the Application and its features, not to exceed 100 words.
  3. one or more still, high-res images (screenshot) or a video that represent one or more data visualizations that leverage Crisis Text Line’s dataset. See more details below in the section, “Example Visualizations”
  4. Participant name(s).
  5. a list of data sets (if the original data set was modified) and/or APIs used in the Application.
  6. OPTIONAL: a website URL where the Application can be accessed.

All parts of an Application must be submitted at the same time to All Applications must be received by no later than 5:00pm EST on May 2, 2014.



Adam Nash David Hornik Deep Nishar
President & CEO, Wealthfront Investor, August Capital SVP, Products & User Experience, LinkedIn
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Gina Bianchini Mark Linsey
Founder & CEO, Mightybell VP Engineering, Homejoy

Judging Criteria


Get the Data

Access the data as a Google Fusion Table or a Google Spreadsheet.

The dataset provided is a sample of the data set CTL will display publicly. This sample contains 16,517 rows of data across 25 variables, which fall into three simple categories: (1) location (area code, state), (2) date / time, and (3) issues raised (e.g., bullying, depression). Specific variables include:


Example Visualizations

CTL wants to find creative and useful ways to display the issues teens face, comparing issues over time and by region. Ultimately, these will be interactive, public visualizations updated regularly with the latest data. Yours don’t need to be, but that’s where we’re headed. You may choose to submit more than one image for each type of data you visualize, in order to show functionality.

In particular, CTL is looking for innovative content, such as:

Your designs can be made in a data visualization program like Excel or Tableau, design programs like Photoshop, or even hand-drawn sketches.

Check out these example visualizations of the CTL data. Use these as a baseline, or take things in your own direction. We love creativity!

Ideas for Visualizations

  1. Volume Over Time. Compare volume over time by issue.
  2. Regional Volume. Compare issue volume by state, area code or metro area.
  3. Related Issues. list showing top 10 related issues
  4. Top 10 List: e.g., show top issues for a given region, or top regions for an issue.
  5. Top vs. Rising: what issues are most common recently, vs. all-time?


Questions? Email Bob at