COVID-19 Data Challenge: Flattening the Curve

The submission period for the COVID-19 Challenge has closed. Winners were announced on Tuesday, May 12th. The impressive work of the winners of this challenge is displayed here.

Challenge Details and Registration

Play a role in the response by creating a COVID-19 focused data visualization or analytic tool. The submissions for each track are judged separately, and prizes will be awarded for each track. The "Register Here!" button below will navigate you to the CGDV registration form, get signed up and get started!

The Pandemic Data Room

The Pandemic Data Room (PDR) is a comprehensive global COVID-19 data repository created by a consortium of partners and led by QED Group to improve understanding of the impact of physical distancing policies on social behavior, disease rates, hospital utilization, and local/national economies. Although these issues were the initial focus for data collection, the Pandemic Data Room is a dynamic source, and will be continuously updated based on suggestions from users, and the growing base of open source data around COVID-19 and other issues. Access The PDR

Contribute Research Questions and Analysis Ideas to the Pandemic Data Room

In order to ensure that the Pandemic Data Room best reflects questions being asked among the global health and international development communities, we have created a portal for people to pose questions on COVID-19 they are looking to get answered. This question portal will be available to Data Challenge participants and can also be used to generate ideas for the creation of compelling visualization and analysis tools. Please visit the portal here

What is a Data Challenge?

A Data Challenge is an open event in which participants create a visualization or analysis tool focused on a common theme. The intention is to challenge analysts to create insightful, compelling and relevant products that can be shared with decision-makers.

Find Out More About Our Previous Challenge at George Washington University

Who can participate?

This event is open to everyone. There is a student track and a professional track and submissions from each track will be judged separately.

What’s required?

A computer or laptop with your favorite tools installed. You can use whatever tools you like! (Excel, Adobe, Python, R, JavaScript, Tableau, Plotly, etc.)

Why should I participate?

In addition to the chance to earn prizes you’ll be able to develop a visualization or analysis tool that showcases a fresh perspective on data, opens up new feedback loops, informs policy, and improves program implementation for the public good!


The Challenge will open April 13th with submissions due May 3rd. Winners will be announced May 12th.


All work will be done remotely. Data will be made available in Pandemic Data Room beginning April 13th.

Full Rules

To see the full Challenge rules click here


We are seeking dynamic data visualizations or analysis tools that are information-oriented outputs (examples of past submissions can be found here ) that can answer topical questions with data and be useful in terms of informing policy.  Note that we are not looking for phone apps or computer programs.


We are bringing together data scientists, economists, global health experts, and others to crowdsource data analysis and create visualizations or analysis tools that clearly communicate findings. This rich COVID-19 resource will also be available to researchers, international public health specialists, public policy analysts, and experts worldwide. The Data Challenge will crowdsource academic and professional talent in data science, public health policy, economics, and related fields. Tracking behavioral issues on a global basis and analyzing reliable data is critical.

Register & Submit

Register an account on CGDV, and submit your work before 11:59 PM EST May 3, 2020.

How To Upload Your Visual to CGDV?

Final Round Judges

Andy Cotgreave

Technical Evangelist, Senior Director at Tableau Software

Jeff Colyer

CEO, Management and Advisory, Virtus Consultants

Ron Klain

EVP / General Counsel, Revolution

Susan Gregurick

Head of Data Science, National Institutes of Health

Alexis Bonnell

Chief Innovation Officer, U.S. Agency for International Development & Acting Director of the Office of Engagement and Communication U.S. Global Development Lab

Gordon Weynand

Director of Planning, Performance & Systems in the Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources, U.S. Department of State

Juli Klemm

Acting Chief, Cancer Informatics Branch Center for Biomedical Informatics & Information Technology (CBIIT), National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Elaine Johanson

Director, Office of Health Informatics (Acting), FDA

Tom Woteki

Director, Data Analytics and Applied Statistics Master’s Program, Virginia Tech

Vivian Ranson

Acting Lead, Self-Reliance Metrics Team, Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning (PPL) at USAID

Judging Criteria

  • Insight from the Data

    How useful is the visualization/analysis tool in helping to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, or in identifying a novel perspective of it? Is this visualization/analysis tool helpful to decision-makers?

  • Quality of Data Analysis/Tool

    How well does the visualization/analysis tool portray the data in an accurate, truthful, and analytically sound manner? Does it make valuable and valid use of the data?

  • Design and Layout

    How effectively does the visualization/analysis tool communicate the data through appropriate and compelling visuals? Is the visualization/analysis tool both perceptible and appealing?

  • Data Storytelling

    How clearly is the overall message delivered? Does the visualization/analysis tool offer a cohesive story or set of insights?

*Opinions from USAID staff for the Data Challenge are made in a personal capacity and do not represent the formal endorsement of USAID or the USG.

Incentives offered for submitting additional COVID-19 data sources to the Pandemic Data Room
First Place : $2,000
Second Place : $1,500 Third Place : $1,000 Honorable mentions : $100

Add a Research Question/Review Research Questions


Winners will be announced on May 12th.

Check out past Challenge submissions!

Experts’ Thoughts on Dealing with COVID-19 Data

We encourage you to recognize both the limitations of the data and your ability to draw conclusions from this data. The importance of this COVID-19 means that any visuals created may be displayed in other contexts, and we ask you not to overreach in any conclusions you attempt to draw. See below for a list of articles around this topic.

Organizers and Sponsors