The Bank of England has announced the winner of its first data visualisation competition.
The competition, launched as part of the Bank's One Bank Research Agenda, asked competitors to create a novel or insightful visual representation of Bank data sets that were made publicly available for the first time.
The winning entry from Cath Sleeman, showed an interactive web based visualisation of "Recessions and Recoveries". This visualisation explored how the UK's most recent recession, and subsequent recovery, compared to recessions in other countries and to previous recessions in the UK.
She was awarded a £5,000 prize.
All the shortlisted entries can be seen on the Bank's website.
The announcement was made as part of a finalists' day at which shortlisted entrants presented their visualisation to a panel including Chief Economist, Andy Haldane; Chairman of the NATO Research Task Group on visual analytics, Margaret Varga; Artist and author of Data Soliloquies, Martin Callanan; and Advanced Analytics Analyst, Lyndsey Pereira-Brereton.
Deputy Governor, Ben Broadbent, announced the winner. He said:
"The calibre of entrants to this competition has been extremely high. The original and creative use of our data – which we've made available to the public for the first time – has been inspiring as well as illuminating. I'd like to congratulate all those who entered the competition.
We launched this competition as a way of opening the Bank up to the broader research community. The high quality of the submissions received demonstrates the exciting new possibilities in the field of data visualisation.
Congratulations to Cath Sleeman on the outstanding use of our three centuries of macroeconomic data. It provided a fascinating perspective on the pattern of economic cycles in the UK and other countries."
Cath Sleeman said:
"I entered the Bank's data visualisation competition because I really enjoy analysing and visualising new and interesting data sets.
My entry aims to contextualise the UK's recent recession, by comparing it to recessions in other countries and to past recessions in the UK. I was surprised by the way in which the recent recession resembles a recession that took place one hundred years earlier, in 1908. The 1908 recession triggered a similar sized fall in GDP and was also accompanied by a weak recovery in productivity.
I am extremely grateful to the Bank for running the competition. It was great to meet the other finalists and to learn more about the Bank's Advanced Analytics unit."