Welcome to the Day of Data visualization challenge!
Published Oct 17 2020 12:00 AM 9,473 Views

Here is an opportunity to showcase your visualization skills to the rest of the community by answering one or more of our space-themed challenges!

The challenge will run from October 17th (World Spreadsheet Day) to November 2nd (the 20th anniversary of humans living and working aboard the International Space Station). Visit the Day of Data discussion space on Tech Community to participate – we look forward to seeing you there!


What is the challenge?

Bill Jelen, “MrExcel,” has analyzed a space data set – of all crewed missions, spacewalks, space vehicles, mission by crew, and space travelers – and crafted three questions to test your skills. In addition, there will also be an option of a “wildcard,” where you can surprise us with an idea for a visualization beyond the three questions! We will announce one top entry for each category after the challenge concludes.

 Explore this data set at aka.ms/Rocket-DataSet. For all these questions, please only use the provided data to create your visualization.

  1. Show the number of astronauts who have launched on each launch vehicle in the dataset. Your visualization should include at least the top three spacecraft that carried humans to space. Bonus: which spacecraft was most prevalent for crewed missions in each decade from 1960's to 2020's?
  2. Show the nationalities of astronauts who have visited the International Space Station. By country, show the total number of human-days on the ISS for each country. This only includes time spent at the ISS, not other space stations such as Skylab or Mir. Simplifying assumption: Assume the space travelers arrive at the ISS on the day after they launch.
  3. Show the distribution of human-days in space by decade. This includes all crewed spaceflights and stays at the Moon or any space station including Mir, Skylab, and the ISS. Optionally, add interesting Filters such as gender, launch site, astronaut nationality. Consider a way to show the 20 years of continuous space presence. 
  4. Wildcard! Show us an interesting or surprising insight!


How do I enter?

Entries should be submitted by creating a new post in the Day of Data discussion space on Tech Community. To create a new post, create or sign into a profile on Tech Community and choose “Start a New Discussion.” In your post, please include the following:

  • Question that you chose to answer
  • Screenshot of your visualization
  • Link to your Excel workbook
  • [For the wildcard question only] A short description of the insight found and why it is interesting to you

If you would like to answer multiple questions, please do! Please create a new post for each question you would like to answer.


How is it judged?

We will choose the winning visualization for each answer through a combination of judging panel and popular vote. Five judges (a combination of Excel MVPs, Excel product team members, and NASA employees) will sit on a panel, with a sixth seat reserved for public vote received by your post.

Every vote counts! To vote on a visualization, simply “like” it. You may vote for as many visualizations as you wish to. Voting will be open from the start of the challenge (October 17th) to one week after the end of the challenge (November 9th).


What do I win?

First and foremost, you win bragging rights and get lots of community love! We are so proud to have you as a part of the Excel community, and look forward to seeing all the visualizations that you come up with. The winners will also get a shout out from Microsoft on social media and amplification of their visualizations.

And finally, we will have none other than Charles Simonyi announcing the winners. Mr. Simonyi is the father of Excel and Word, building the original “applications” group at Microsoft more than 35 years ago. He is also the fifth space tourist, having traveled to the International Space Station on two separate occasions in 2007 and 2009. Last but not least, he is the creator of Hungarian notation – he is “The Hungarian.” We are grateful to Mr. Simonyi for creating Excel, and so honored to have him recognize the winners and their visualizations.


Where can I find more information?

For official terms and conditions, as well as more details about judging, please review the Terms and Conditions.



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‎Jan 13 2022 12:35 PM
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