The final Iron Viz global qualifier is here!

The third and final 2019 Iron Viz global qualifier contest is officially open! It’s time to find out who will join our other finalists Joshua Smith and Lindsey Poulter to compete live on stage for the Iron Viz Championship at Tableau Conference (#data19) in Las Vegas!

The theme for this qualifier contest is migration. In collaboration with The Associated Press (which now provides an archive of objective, fact-checked and machine-readable data sets about everything from education to economic indicators), we’re challenging you to analyze a specific data set provided by the AP on the admission of refugees to the United States since 2008. Submissions are accepted until September 8th, 2019 (11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time). For more information on prizes, rules, and participation instructions, see the contest page.

What does the data say about human migration?

Millions of people migrate both voluntarily and involuntarily every year, making up the world’s immigrants, emigrants, and refugees. Migration can happen for lots of different reasons. A recent Gallup World Poll survey revealed that 15% of the global population (over 750 million people) would migrate if they could. But migration is also impacted by humanitarian crises like war and famine. The World Economic Forum ranks forced, large-scale human migration as one of the top global risks. It's also at the center of a complex web of other effects such as social instability and failures of regional governance. How have trends changed over time? What insights will you uncover?

You are required to use this data set provided by the AP:

  • City_refugees.csv: According to the State Department, "This data tracks the movement of refugees from various countries around the world to the U.S. for resettlement under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program." The data does not include other types of immigration to the U.S. including through programs like H1-B or H-4. The data is grouped by the city for refugee arrivals to a specific city and state and from a specific origin, showing totals for each year next to each other in different columns, so you can quickly see trends over time. Data is from Oct. 1, 2008 – Sept. 30, 2018, grouped by fiscal year. It also compares 2018 numbers to a five-year average from 2013-2017.

How to download the data:

    • Go to and log in. (If you do not have a account, click ‘sign up now.’).
    • Access the data here.
    • Download City_refugees.csv.

    Optionally, you may use any additional public data set of your choosing to supplement your analysis. For example, you might find it interesting to compare refugees with other types of migrants (e.g. immigrants, emigrants, or asylum seekers), or you might choose to contrast the required data set with your own country’s migration data.

    For this important topic, we also want to remind everyone of Tableau’s Community Code of Conduct and the fact that your data visualizations and insights should be data-based. We treat everyone with respect as we search for understanding in our continued mission to help people see and understand data.

    Meet the judges

    Members of the Tableau community will determine the Top 10 entries. Then, a panel of guest judges will select the finalist who will advance to the Iron Viz Championship at Tableau Conference 2019 in Las Vegas. Vizzes will be scored based on three criteria: Analysis, Design, and Storytelling. Please note, judges are not allowed to provide feedback on entries during the submission period. To ensure fairness, each entry will be scored by more than one judge.

    First-Round Community Judges

    Anya A'Hearn is the Founder and Executive Director of DataBlick LLC. She has been honored as a Tableau Zen Master from 2014-2019, was the 2012 Iron Viz Champion and chairs the San Francisco, Bay Area Tableau User Group. She also helped launch the first Tableau Women + Data events.

    Russell Spangler is a Senior Data Analytics and Business Intelligence Manager for Training and Certifications at Amazon Web Services. He was also an Iron Viz finalist in 2016. Some of Russell's favorite topics to viz about are sushi, tigers, bacon, and hiking.

    Divya Bharathi is a Senior Analytics Consultant, Women in Data Science (WiDS) Ambassador, and a Tableau Social Media Ambassador. She is also Co-leader of both the Bangalore Tableau User Group and Data Plus Women Bangalore.

    Sarah Bartlett is a consultant at Slalom, a Tableau Social Media Ambassador and a Co-leader of the London Tableau User Group. She also founded the #IronQuest challenge and was a 2018 Iron Viz Europe Finalist.

    Fiona Gordon is the Senior Director BI Strategy at JLL and a Tableau Social Media Ambassador. She’s also an Alteryx ACE, Co-leader of the Sydney Tableau User Group, and author of the blog

    Shine Pulikathara is a Visualization Manager at Facebook where he explores the connections between business, technology, and design. He shared a powerful data story "The Weekly News" winning the 2015 Iron Viz Championship and was an Iron Viz Judge in 2016.

    Gabriela Bouret is a Data Analyst at major Argentinian newspaper La Nación and a Tableau Public Ambassador. She was also a Woman in Data Science (WiDS) Ambassador in 2018.

    Second-Round Guest Judges

    Alberto Lucas López began his career in journalism at El Correo of Bilbao newspaper. In 2016 he joined the National Geographic magazine as Senior Graphics Editor. His work has been recognized with more than 100 SND, WAN-IFRA, IIBA, DJA Global Editors Network, ÑH, and Laus awards, among others. During the last World Infographic Summit MALOFIEJ, he was awarded the Human Rights Award and the Best of Show Award. He was recently promoted to Senior Artist - New Narratives within the National Geographic art department.

    Paul Bradshaw runs the MA in Data Journalism at Birmingham City University, publishes the Online Journalism Blog and is the author of a number of books and book chapters about data journalism, including Finding Stories in Spreadsheets and Scraping for Journalists. An award-winning data journalist, Paul also works with the BBC England data unit based in Birmingham and advises and delivers training to a number of media organizations.

    Dr. Nikola Sander is a quantitative population geographer interested in the patterns and processes of human behavior in space and time. Her research focuses on quantifying, understanding and visualizing migration and mobility. She grew up in Germany, received a Ph.D. in Australia, a post-doc in Vienna, held a position as an assistant professor at the Department of Demography at the University of Groningen, and is currently Research Director for Migration & Mobility at Germany's Federal Institute for Population Research.

    Sonja Kuijpers runs STUDIO TERP, a one-woman information graphics studio. With an education in Public Space design and a former career in landscape architecture, Sonja has fundamental experience in analysis and visualization. In 2013 she founded her own studio and started creating infographics and data visualizations for clients. In her free time, Sonja also creates her own independent data viz and data art projects.

    Why participate in Iron Viz?

    No matter your skill level, Iron Viz is an opportunity to push yourself, learn something new, and engage with an incredible community. The finalist of this contest will also receive:

    • Free registration for the Tableau Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada
    • Hotel accommodations for three nights in Las Vegas
    • One round trip plane ticket to Tableau Conference in Las Vegas

    Our winner will advance to compete against the other two finalists on stage at Tableau Conference in Las Vegas!

    How to enter the contest

    Ready to join the ultimate data competition? Learn how:

    You don't need to "know everything first" before participating in Iron Viz. One of the best and fastest ways to elevate your data skills, even as a newcomer, is by challenging yourself. Win or learn—you can’t lose.

    NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom Or The United States who are validly registered users of Tableau Public, who have validly registered in the Contest, and who are at least the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence at the time of entry. Three “Contest Periods”, from 4/8/2019 at 12:01 a.m. PT to 5/5/2019 at 11:59 p.m. PT; 6/20/2019 at 12:01 a.m. PT to 7/21/2019 at 11:59 p.m. PT; and 8/9/2019 at 12:01 a.m. PT to 9/8/2019 at 11:59 p.m. PT. To enter, during a Contest Period: (a) visit and register as a contestant in the Contest; (b) properly download the Tableau Public software and connect to any publicly available data set; (c) produce and publish a Tableau Public data visualization; and (d) provide the URL of the visualization to Sponsor at Three winners will be scored based on the following judging criteria (a) Design of Submission, (b) storytelling of Submission, and (c) Submission’s analysis of the Data Set within 14 days after each Contest Period. Winners will each receive (a) one conference registration to the 2019 Tableau Customer Conference Las Vegas (ARV:$1,895 USD); (b) double occupancy hotel accommodations for four nights (ARV: $1,012 USD); (c) one round trip plane ticket to Las Vegas, Nevada (ARV: $2,246); and (d) qualification to participate in the finals. Odds of winning depend on number and quality of eligible entries. Contest subject to Official Rules. Details and restrictions apply, so visit for Official Rules. Sponsor: Tableau Software, Inc.