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Year in Review Contest: Jan. 3-Jan. 31

Headshot of article author Lukasz Pawlowski

What a rich and incredible year we’ve just wrapped up. Worldwide, 2017 was filled with change, discovery, exploration and challenge, much of which was captured in data. Starting today, the Microsoft Data Journalism Program and Power BI teams are excited to announce that we’re accepting your submissions to the Power BI “2017 Year in Review” Data Story Contest. Show us your best Power BI work as you share a story, illustrated through data, of something fascinating that occurred in 2017.


The grand prize winner of this contest will walk away with a powerful new Microsoft Surface Pro*.


The guidelines are simple: we want to see the most interesting interactive visualizations you can produce to tell a story about something that happened in 2017. Take advantage of your Power BI skills, and use a publicly shareable dataset, to tell an engaging and timely story. Be creative: the topic might be anything, serious or silly, about business, health, sports, politics, safety or science, or maybe even music, movies, pop culture or food trends. Whatever you like. If it took place or reached a tipping point in 2017, it’s fair game.


Our expert panel of judges will score entries on how interesting the story is, the insights you uncover, clarity of design, composition and interactive function, and the integrity of your data.


The “Year in review” Data Stories Contest Overview:

  • January 3, 2018 (today) – The contest is open, and we’re accepting entries.
  • The general rules –
    • Build a visualization from a dataset you can share publicly.
    • Enter the contest by publishing your visualization in the Data Stories Gallery.
    • Along with your visualization, provide a description of the story it tells, as well as the Power BI source file (.PBIX) and original dataset you used to create your report.
    • Additional details are available in the official rules, attached to the community blog post.
  • January 31, 2018 – Entry submission closes.
    • Submit your entry by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on January 31, 2018. No late entries will be accepted.


Content entries will be judged by a three-judge panel:

  • Amir Netz, Microsoft Technical Fellow
  • Troy Thibodeaux, The Associated Press Data Journalism Team Editor, and
  • Lukasz Pawlowski, Data Journalism Program Product Lead


We love seeing your creative side! So, we will be looking for entries that show off how you can blend data and analytics with some of the compelling features Power BI has to help you tell stories, for example:

  • Use custom visuals
  • Use bookmarks to gain narrative flow
  • Use Power BI’s publish to web feature to post your visual on an external website where you tell your story (include a link to your external site in your Data Stories Gallery submission)
  • Use the new data connector in Power BI Desktop to pull data from, a site you may find to be a great source for your public data set!


We’ll select a single grand prize winner from the reports submitted. Please note that all submissions will be used by Microsoft for research and to improve our products and services. Additionally, they may be amplified or published more broadly, either by Microsoft or in the media.


The grand prize will be an awesome new Microsoft Surface Pro to help you kick off your 2018 computing right.


We’re tremendously excited to see what you submit. Good luck!






*terms and conditions apply; additional details are available in the official rules (PDF), attached to the community blog post