The Kosovo Ministry of Public Administration (MPA) // Agency for Information Society (AIS) in partnership with the leading civil society actor, Innovation Centre Kosovo (ICK) and supported by Open Data Kosovo (ODK), is hosting the first government open data visualization challenge!
The challenge aims to educate and inspire the general public to generate new perspectives on the usability of data and data-driven decisions, with emphasis on government open data as it empowers a broad group of citizens to push the boundaries of open government.
We invite all curious citizens to transform open and raw government data that originates from the work of Kosovo central government institutions, into interpretable outcomes using modern and creative visualization techniques. The contestant can use three modern means of achieving presenting this visualization, mainly by:
The results of this effort seek to raise broader awareness regarding the usability of data towards the promotion of institutional transparency, accountability, and public engagement, taking a step closer in transforming public service delivery and promoting economic growth. Furthermore, this challenge shall not only bring the community of developers and public institutions together to visualize available data, but it will also help address the mentality by which we view the impact of data.
The challenge will have a special emphasis on the health sector data, as one of the largest contributors of open data-sets to the portal, as well as civil servants data, environment data, labor, and social welfare data, data originating from the National Statistics Agency, etc. All this data has been opened under open data criteria by Kosovo line ministries and Agencies.
The Ministry of Public Administration and the Agency for Information Society are leading with the Open Data Initiative in Kosovo. To learn more about the Kosovo Open Data Initiative, please visit this.
Everyone shall team up and will have 26 hours (starting at 11:00 am on Saturday and finishing at 14:00 on Sunday) to interpret real social problems and design solution proposals using open data from the dictated sources pertaining to one of the three categories: 1. The infographic challenge, 2. The blog challenge or 3. The open data video/animation challenge (please check the details below, under The Three Challenges).
Participants will gain access to a selection of open data sets from the National Open Data Portal and associated sources to work with on their preferred platform using their preferred data analysis and visualisation tools. Participants are encouraged to collaborate with a diverse team. Any format is welcome, as long as it adheres to the criteria of the challenge. At the end of 26 hours, participants are required to present and discuss their findings to a preselected jury in a pitching fashion.
There will be:
Expert mentors will be available in intervals thought the two-days and will work with the teams closely to emphasize the importance of high-quality presentation of the ideas. The expert mentors will provide support to help the teams with different technical issues as well as to strengthen their propositions.
Competitors are encouraged to keep their presentations to last no longer than ten minutes, with 5 minutes allocated for Q&A.
The judges will have an hour to make a decision, followed by the announcement of the winners and the closing remarks. The three (3) best teams will be selected for each category and will be awarded cash prizes with an overall value of EUR 2,500 through a voting by the selected jury, following an open debate on how each of the tools helps foster exchanges between communities in practical and concrete ways.
All of the challenges require the competitors to tell a data-driven story that reveals how we can use existing open data to highlight and solve a problem in our society that would ultimately result in one or more of the following: increased institutional transparency, economic growth, empowered innovation, public participation in decision making, improved public service delivery, elevated academic research, etc.
The goal of each challenge is to explore and communicate interesting findings pertaining to the available open government data. Each team or individual can compete using one of the formats/categories:
1. The Open Data Infographic
Create intelligent infographics based on your analysis and findings using the specified open data. Questions to answer with your product: Can your infographic describe a problem or a solution, in your society, or both? How is it innovative? What can it help us understand from government data and how can we use it to solve something?
What is the infographic?
An infographic is a collection of imagery, charts, and minimal text that gives an easy-to-understand overview of a topic. Infographics use striking, engaging visuals to communicate information quickly and clearly.
Tell an informative and data-driven story that reveals the existence of an issue in Kosovo, either not explored before or very faintly touched upon. Preference is given to candidates who demonstrate potential solutions to these issues. These solutions should be informed by the data manipulations that are ultimately visualised.
Blog/article criteria: Should contain a minimum of 2 visualizations which are discussed in the text. The length of the text should be 300-600 words. Contestants can use either one of the three official languages in Kosovo.
3. Video or animation using Open Data
Create innovative multimedia visualising experience using government open data. You can use any tools to prepare the clip as long as it contains data visualisations. The length of the clip should be between 30 and 90 seconds. Competitors are free to choose whether their video will contain a voice over or not. Both text and audio are accepted as a narrative for discussing the visualisations.
The data used for the challenge should strictly originate from the following sources:
The main data source (must be used in the challenge for submissions to be eligible):
Kosovo National Open Data Portal (https://opendata.rks-gov.net/)
Secondary and optional sources (can be used in addition):
Kosovo Agency for Statistics http://askdata.rks-gov.net/PXWeb/pxweb/sq/askdata/
Kosovo Customs – Open Data and Statistics https://dogana.rks-gov.net/en/per-doganen/statistikat-dhe-arritjet/
The top 3 eligible submissions will be rewarded the following:
- Best Infographic - €1,000 cash prize
- Best Blog/Article - €500 cash prize
- Best Video/ Video Animation - €1,000 cash prize
The data visualization challenge is open to all individuals aged at least 18 years, who are interested in interpreting and visualizing data. Participants are encouraged to apply and then team up to create different forms of visualised data which will be legible and interactive for the users.
In order to be part of the data visualisation challenge, participants need to fulfil the criteria listed below:
Meet our Mentors!
A carefully selected team of mentors will help the teams solve the real-world challenges and guide them on the way to the best solutions and possibly winning the challenge.
Meet the judges
Experts in data analytics, multimedia storytelling, programming, open government and journalism, the judges will use their knowledge, along with the assessment criteria, to select the contest winners.
Whether it’s an interactive web app, a graphic image, a video or another form of visualisation, we are looking for responses to these questions that excite and appeal. The judges will test not only how well the work suits the medium (infographic, interactive, data visualization and more) but also how well it illuminates the topic and offers insight to a problem or its solution.
Some aspects that will influence the selection criteria:
The Open Data Visualisation Challenge aims at developing innovative capacity and supporting projects that use open data to a) combat negative phenomenon in the society; b) highlight existing under-utilized resources, c) propose solutions to current social issues. Participants should demonstrate how their visualisations help to increase the efficiency and transparency of the government structures.
Using Open Data
An important selection criterion will be the efficient and innovative use of open data from the specified sources.
Visualizations will be judged by their accuracy, novelty, creativity and innovative thinking.
Extra points will be earned by visualization projects that depict specific opportunities for growth and development of a service and the possibility of its scaling to the whole country.
Projects will be evaluated also based on the quality of the presentation. The presentations should be clear, coherent, fun, and interactive.
09:00 Doors open, teams check-in and register
09:30 Welcome Notes
10:00 Data Visualization Information Session/Presentation of the Kosovo National Open Data Portal
11:15 Teams begin working – ‘hacking’ (mentoring available)
12:30 Lunch Break
13:30 Teams continue working (mentoring available)
20:00 Official wrap up of the day (teams can choose to stay and work)
09:00 Breakfast, teams check-in
09:30 Welcome back and briefing
09:45 Start wrapping up the hacking and begin preparing the presentations (mentoring available)
12:30 Lunch Break
13:30 Teams wrap-up the preparation of presentations
15:00 Team presentations/pitches (each team up to 10 minutes)
17:00 Judging deliberation
18:00 Announcing the winners and the Awards Ceremony
18:30 Concluding the challenge and dinner
Endrit Pllashniku is a Data Analyst and Visualization Specialist who leverages statistical modeling, data visualization, and advanced business acumen to create impactful tools for critical business decision-making. Endrit is the executive director of RIINVEST Consulting and leads lectures in Statistics and graduate-level Business Intelligence. He is the founder of kosovodata.com, an initiative that aims to unravel the complex fabric of open data and provide beautiful, easily comparable, catchy, and engaging visual stories ready to be pursued by students, media and academia. Endrit is a lifelong learner dedicated to utilizing new and emerging data science techniques to produce comprehensive, industry-specific solutions. He is passionate about data-driven storytelling to advance organizational objectives and ignite business development projects from concept to execution.
Endrit obtained a B.Sc. in Economics and Public Policy with high honors from Rochester Institute of Technology, and completed his junior year at George Mason University as an Open Society Foundations scholar. He was awarded the KAEF scholarship to complete his M.A. in Economics with a focus in Development from Vanderbilt University GPED where he graduated in May 2015. He is currently approaching the completion of Data Science Certificate Program at Harvard University.
Enisa is a professional with more than 10 years of work experience in economic research and project management. She is passionate about data analytics, development & policy making. Currently she focuses her work on topics related to economic development in Kosovo. Her education is in economics and statistics from the University of Bologna, Berlin School of Economics and Law (BSEL), and RIT Kosovo. In January 2019 she successfully completed a one year graduate certificate program in Data Science from Harvard University, Extension School. Enisa brings a diverse work experience. She is employed as an Advanced Researcher at Riinvest Institute, Pristina and Lecturer at Riinvest College. Among her earlier professional positions she held a Market Research Specialist position at IPKO Telecommunication in Kosovo and worked as a graduate research assistant for the Macroeconomics Department at BSEL.
Ardian has more than 20 years of experience in programming and software development with excellent knowledge of C, C++, Visual C++, C#, VB.Net, Visual Basic, Python, as well as Java and InfoBasic. His skills also cover database design and programming using Clipper, Oracle, Microsoft SQL 2000, Access, Universe and Globus, MS SQL. Ardian is a graduate of University of Prishtina, with a bachelor’s in Informatics and Telecommunications, and of King’s College London having achieved a MSc with merit in Advanced Computing. Throughout his career he has worked for high-profile companies including PTK Telecom, Procredit Bank, Raiffeisen Bank, Bernard Brunhes International and Inca Digital Printers. He has been a lecturer at the University of Prishtina in the areas of programming, image processing, computer graphics and information security, as well as lecturing “Data Analysis and Visualisation” at Cacttus Education.
Dita Dobranja is an economist focused on labor market economics, gender economics, and international trade. She has completed her Master’s degree in International Economics at the American University in Washington DC with the thesis “Firm Export Status Impact on Gender Earnings Differential” as a recipient of the USAID Transformational Leadership Scholarship in Kosovo. Prior to that, through a Japanese government scholarship, Dita spent an academic year in Japan as research student on trade policies at Waseda University in Tokyo. Her Bachelor’s degree is in Economics and Statistics from RIT Kosova where she graduated as valedictorian of her class.
Dita has published policy and academic research, mainly focused on Kosovo’s economy and labor market. Currently, Dita works as an Advanced Researcher at Riinvest Institute and as Lecturer at Riinvest College, where she teaches classes related to economics and entrepreneurship. She is also editor of feminist economics and author on the Exploring Economics platform.
Dita is a contributing author on the s’bunker platform, where she writes on issues concerning the economic empowerment of women and international economics. She is passionate about data and data analysis, both narrative and visual. In addition to economic data, Dita spends time analyzing various sports data as well.
Deniz has close to a decade of professional experience creating brands and digital solutions worldwide. His professional achievements and core skills in the areas of leadership, brand & identities, art direction, user experience, interface and interaction have been refined and developed to a higher business level. Currently his work is focused on: Brand & Design Systems, Atomic Design, Human Interface & Interaction Design.
Creating honest, intelligent and austere projects of design is his go-to approach towards every new challenge.
“Grasping the essence of the idea and removing the unnecessary - minimalism has subconsciously become my innate style, maybe because it frees me from the modern hysteria to own more, live faster and loose touch with what really matters.” — Deniz Tortoshi
Eldita Tarani is a human behavior scientist who is very passionate about data analysis, especially interpreting and transforming data into informed decisions and interpretable outcomes. As a recently returned Fulbright scholar, Eldita joined efforts on creating the Junior Geeks platform and became a managing partner of Tripika. She consults for the private sector and government projects pertaining to open data and data analysis, designing data capacity building programs, strategies, and organizing datathons. Currently, she acts as a consultant for the project “Support to the Implementation of Public Administration Reform”, supporting the Ministry of Public Administration to advance the Open Data Initiative in Kosovo. Exposed to research training in the heart of Silicon Valley, her scientific and artistic efforts have been geared towards ideating social responsible projects, products and services. She is enthusiastic about educating and coaching youth on the importance and best practices of interdisciplinary scientific and usability research as well as helping young talents recognize their affinities for STEM careers and academic endeavors.
Erris is a designer with extensive experience in multimedia, marketing, and print. He has worked on a number of high-profile projects globally, for a range of businesses. Erris has a track record of creating innovative, engaging and successful marketing strategies and campaigns.
Jeta is an illustrator and graphic designer. She has finished her studies in the Faculty of Arts in the University of Prishtina, graphic design department.
Laura is an entrepreneur in the field of Information Technology. She has worked in various international companies including the World Bank, Vodafone Global, Asseco SEE, as well as for the Agency for Information Society in the Ministry of Public Administration. She has experience in the field of Software Development, Cyber Security and Design of Infrastructure Architecture.
Fatos is a graduate of Computer Science and Engineering and currently working as Senior Administrator of Software Systems at the Agency for Information Society. He has over 10 years of experience in the field of software and web applications.
She is a third year student of Computer Engineering in the University of Prishtina.
She was Website Manager in the University of Prishtina International Student Conference 2018.
Recently she was one of the winner of Tech4Policy, where the winners had to develop a digital solution for three municipalities.
She’s 21 years old and she is a third year student of Computer Engineering in the University of Pristina.
Recently she has won the Tech4Policy project, where the winners get to work on a real project developing an online platform.
© ICK — Innovation Centre Kosovo