Announcing the 2024 Table Contest

The 2024 Table Contest starts today. This event celebrates great data display tables made with open-source software. We are excited to see what you share with the community.
2024-04-16
Table contest logo made up of colorful boxes

The contest deadline has been extended from May 31 to Friday, June 14, 2024.

We are excited to announce that the 2024 Table Contest starts today! This is the fourth event, and we are in awe of this community’s talent. We have been blown away by past submissions and can’t wait to see what you do this year.

 

Quick Summary

 

 

Table Contest: 2024 Edition

 

When we started this contest, we felt that tables were a little underappreciated in the data visualization world. However, we were encouraged by what we saw from the data science community: tables could altogether be thoughtfully designed, pleasant to look at, and have great utility! Having a table contest functioned as a celebration of tables as a work of data visualization. We enjoyed seeing the convergence of creativity and good design in the many entries received. Further to that, we wanted to celebrate and showcase the best efforts, and we’ve been thoroughly impressed year after year.

In earlier contests, we focused more on tables made in R; however, Python has become more capable in recent years for the generation of presentable tables (indeed, the winner of the 2022 Table Contest featured a table made with Python). This year, the landscape for tables made in Python has improved significantly, thanks to packages such as Great Tables and itables. So, we encourage submissions made with Python, and to that effect, we’ve improved the entry form to better accommodate such submissions.

This contest aims to highlight the many great ways people transform and present data. Open-source data science works better when more people contribute, and we particularly appreciate this community’s openness and generosity in sharing the code and methods you use to create beautiful, useful tables.

No doubt you’ve felt the love for tables that we have here. They serve as a fantastic means to communicate information, both quantitative and qualitative. We really saw that in the previous three editions of the Table Contest, where all entries were of high quality. The entries used a variety of different ways to generate tables. They were imaginative, and they were very interesting to read.

 

Contest Judging Criteria

 

Broadly, entries will be judged based on utility and beauty. Is your table easy to read and comprehend? Is it a technically impressive, well-documented example? Does it demonstrate novel, useful elements of table design? Is it aesthetically pleasing? We recognize that some tables may excel in one of these categories, with some in another (and some in all). We promise that the evaluation will keep this in mind.

We also realize our judging criteria are subjective. Therefore, we’ve assembled a group of previous winners and maintainers of popular libraries to build tables to help review this year’s submissions. 

We also expect your entry to be well documented, with text to help readers understand your motivation, goals, data sources, process, and code.

 

Special Recognition For Novice Contributors

We have an ‘Experience’ field indicating whether or not you have just gotten started with analytics. We will reserve a set of prizes and special recognition for the best submissions from these individuals or teams.

 

Special Recognition For Industry-Specific Tables

We’ve heard from the community that they’d love to see how others in their own field approach similar work. We’ve, therefore, included an industry/field tag. We will give special recognition to the top submissions in major fields.

 

Special Viral Award

We’re giving special recognition to tables that “went viral” on social platforms. This is the first year we’re doing this, so we’re honestly not sure how to measure how viral one table is compared to another. But we would love to see your work on social platforms, r/dataisbeautiful, and even on video platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and the rest. 

Please post with the tag #tablecontest, and we should be able to pick up the tables you share. 

 

R & Python Tables

 

This year, we are happy to invite tables built with R and Python. We encourage you to create your entry with Quarto. This is a great medium for including your tables along with any accompanying prose. Quarto supports many output types (like HTML and PDF) and owing to that, we believe this is a great environment for mixing your code, documentation, and beautiful table outputs.

Quarto is very flexible about how you create .qmd documents. You can use RStudio, JupyterLab, VS Code, or a standalone notebook. If you’d prefer not to use Quarto, we will accept your notebook so long as it’s rendered in GitHub. 

Shiny Tables – In past years, many tables have been integrated with Shiny applications. These continue to be welcome and should be hosted on shinyapps.io or another server.

 

Requirements

 

To produce your final table, every submission must include all the code, data, and processing steps.

  • Code: A link to the repository that fully reproduces your submission.
  • Documentation: Whether as code comments or via commentary in something like a Quarto doc, be sure to include an explanation of what you are doing, and how your code works. Comments may be minimal, but they should help someone novice with the package(s) you are using understand how your code leads to your final table. 
  • Table: A link to your published table, for example, on your personal website, Quarto Pub, shinyapps.io, etc. 

Submission Types – We are looking for two main types of table submissions:

  • Single Table Example: This may highlight interesting structuring of content, useful and tricky features – for example, enabling interaction – or serve as an example of a common table popular in a specific field. Please document your code for clarity.
  • Tutorial: It’s all about teaching us how to craft an excellent table or understand a package’s features. This may include several tables and narrative.
  • Other: For submissions that do not easily fit into one of the types above. An example here may be a high-level, thoughtful exploration of good table design.

Table Styles – Given that tables have different features and purposes, we’d also like you to categorize the submission table. There are four categories: static-HTML, interactive-HTML, static-print, interactive-webapp (e.g., something made with Shiny). Simply choose the one that best fits your table.

You can submit your entry for the contest by filling out the form at pos.it/table-contest The form will generate a post on the Posit Community forum, which you can then edit further if you like. You may make multiple entries.

The deadline for submissions is June 14, 2024 at midnight anywhere on Earth.

 

Prizes

 

  • Grand Prize – In addition to the prizes below, any number of Posit t-shirts, books, mugs, and other swag (worth up to $200). 
  • Runners Up – In addition to the prizes below, one year of shinyapps.io Basic plan or one year of Posit.Cloud.
  • Honorable Mentions – A sizable helping of hexagon-shaped stickers for Posit packages, plus an accoutrement of table-making package stickers (and other goodies).
  • Viral Prize – Up to the runners-up prize, plus something special.
  • Polars Prize – Special Polars swag box for the top table entry that involves Polars.

 

 

Table Gallery

 

Although we love competitions and contests, the ultimate goal of the table contest is to encourage you to share with others great examples, tutorials, and tips & tricks to make great data display tables. And so, previous entries have been aggregated into the Table Gallery. This community resource collects and shares examples of beautiful data science tables that explore custom styling and interactivity and include reproducible code and narrative. Winners this year will again be invited to be featured in the gallery.

 

Inspiration

 

Looking for inspiration? Besides your own work and the vast quantity of great tables we see shared in publications and social media, consider looking at the table gallery and previous winners for inspiration: Winners of the 2022 Table Contest, Winners of the 2021 Table Contest, Winners of the 2020 RStudio Table Contest.

 

Great Tables at Posit Conf 2024!

 

Want to advance your table-making skills? Join us at posit::conf(2024) where Rich Iannone and Michael Chow will present the workshop, Making Tables with gt and Great Tables! Learn how to create table components, format cell values, styling, and more! Register here.