LONDON, June 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Postgrad.com launch a competition with David McCandless, data-journalist and information designer, to create new and compelling visual insights into the state of universities in the UK.
Following recent revelations on the limited diversity of many UK higher education student bodies, Postgrad.com is launching a competition with data visualisation expert David McCandless on 19th May to design compelling visualisations of the newly available data on this controversial topic.
Entrants will be using a variety of data collected by David, UCAS and other publically available sources, to uncover new findings. Analysing and visualising topics such as ethnic minority representation and success rates to the typical financial background of university students in the UK.
More and more insights are being revealed on the state of higher education following the requests made under the Freedom of Information Act by Labour MP David Lammy. That request revealed Oxford's social profile is 89% upper and middle class, while the Cambridge student body is 87.6% drawn from the top three socio-economic groups. The average for universities in Britain is 66%.
Data visualisation is increasingly used to build solid fact-based arguments through simplified visual forms of communication. Now that datasets are more prevalent than ever, it offers new and compelling ways to analyse and interpret the newly available data sets as well as relating this information digestible manner to the average person.
The competition came about when David McCandless tweeted that he had collated some data around higher education in UK, but not had time to visualise it. Postgrad.com responded, offering to create a competition to challenge designers to visualise the data. The competition launched on 19th May, closes on 20th June, and the results will be revealed on 4th July. The prizes on offer include an iPad 2 to the winner, and signed copies of "Information is Beautiful" by David McCandless will be awarded to the top three entries.
The shortlist of entries will be judged on design, effective visualisation, and storytelling by industry experts. The panel includes BBC's Russell Smith, Rob Bowen (Art Director at .net Magazine), David McCandless, Andy Kirk of VisualisingData.com, Chris Bennett of 97th Floor and Elissa Fink from Tableau.
Andy Kirk, founder and creative lead for Visualising Data Ltd , further explained that, "Data visualisations importance as a subject stems from the significant challenges we face in the modern day, attempting to handle, make sense of and communicate insights from the vast quantities of data we create and consume. It is a science focused on understanding and exploiting the way our eyes and brains process information most efficiently"
Elissa Fink, of Tableau Software, explained that, "Data visualisation lets people see and understand massive volumes of data at one time and that it allows for someone to rapidly ask and answer their own questions one right after another keeping up with the speed of thought."
Chris Bennett, Owner, 97th Floor, commented, "Data visualisation is building solid arguments through means of simplifying the message, taking indigestible information and making it digestible."
Notes to editors:
- Launched 19th May2011
- The competition closes at 11pm GMT on Monday 20th June 2011.
- Results announced on 4th July 2011
- The piece will be judged on design, effective visualisation, and storytelling.
- Image entries can be static, interactive or video, and entrants can combine Oxford data with other data they choose, provided the sources are reliable and cited.
- Visualisations can include text and should be presented in the way in which they would choose to deliver the content to an audience.
- The competition will be hosted on the Postgrad.com site, but entrants can also post their entries on their own site and submit a link or attach a jpeg to an email.
For more information about David McCandless visit:http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/
Postgrad.com was launched in 1995 in response to demands from UK institutions and global students. Their focus is to provide a single portal for students looking for information on postgraduate-related courses in the UK. The comprehensive database allows students to search for their ideal course and the up-to-date editorial offers bespoke advice on all aspects of a student's decision making.
For more information please contact:
PR Consultant, Distilled Ltd.