“Welcome to the most exciting event in the world of competitive vizzing! This…is Iron Viz.”
Sporting sequined gown and dinner jacket, Tableau hosts Jewel Loree and Louis Archer opened the 2017 Iron Viz competition with the Las Vegas glam it deserved.
Months of competition led to this moment, after the contestants, Joshua Milligan, Tristan Guillevin, and Jacob Olsufka, earned their spots by winning feeder contests throughout 2017.
The packed house of eager, expectant vizzers cheered in anticipation as they awaited this years’ challenge—battle housing data.
Contestants were tasked with creating a compelling data story using Zillow housing data, which Chris Toomey, Senior Data Engineer at Zillow deemed “the most detailed and accurate picture of the U.S. housing market from past to present, with millions of rows of data, lots of detail, and lots of metrics across time and geography.”
Judge and 2016 Iron Viz champion, Curtis Harris, expressed his nervous empathy for the contestants, offering them some helpful advice: create a dashboard that the audience can immediately understand.
Joining Curtis on the judging panel were three Tableau experts, including Chief Marketing Officer, Elissa Fink, VP of Research and Design, Dr. Jock Mackinlay, and Sr. Director in Product Development, Ellie Fields. Judges evaluate contestants based on three criteria: best data visualization practices, visual design, and strength of story. Additional points are awarded based on the audiences’ Twitter votes.
Accompanied by sous vizzers for moral support, advice, brow mopping, and a little bit of friendly taunting, the three contestants had 20 minutes to show off their prowess.
Three vizzes began to take shape as the clocked ticked from 20:00 minutes down to zero.