“Better Biking in Boston”

The Challenge:

How can we make biking safer and more enjoyable in Boston? Use your imagination to weave data and images to create visualizations that will: 

  • Show where incident hotspots are,
  • Provide guidance for cyclists and policy makers,
  • Suggest how cyclists can enjoy biking more.


  • Finalists will be announced on Sept. 27 
  • Results will be announced on Oct. 2 at the DATA Forum

Rules & Requirements:

The challenge runs from Sept. 11-24

  • The Solution must use Tableau visualization techniques;
  • Maximum team size of four participants, and teams must be made up exclusively of Northeastern University students; 
  • The competition is open to both undergraduate and graduate students;
  • Finalists will present at the inaugural DATA Forum, which will be held at Raytheon Amphitheater on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Lunch will be provided, and a company networking event will be held at 4:30 p.m.; 
  • Presentation at the Oct. 2 Forum event is required to receive an award.

Submission Instructions:

Final submissions must include:

  • A link to the Tableau public file,
  • A link to a 90-second presentation YouTube video,
  • A link or attachment to a one-page biography of team members.


Finalists will present at the inaugural DATA Forum on Oct. 2, 2019, at 11:55 a.m. at Raytheon Amphitheater. (All challenge entrants are welcome to register for the forum). One person from each team will give a three-minute presentation of their visualization solution. Audience members will consist of analytics professionals from companies, as well as data science and analytics students from Northeastern University.

Judging Criteria:

Teams will be judged by the City of Boston on these criteria. 

  • Solution Addressed: The uniqueness and usefulness of the solution addressed.
  • Creativity: How creatively and uniquely the problem is visualized by the team.
  • Usefulness: How does the visualization made help to solve/tackle/identify/do something unique for the community.
  • Learning: Did the team stretch themselves? Did they try to learn something new?
  • Originality: All work must be done by the team and not copied from other sources. This is validated using the code submitted.


Each participant will receive a “Certificate of Participation” from the DATA Initiative at Northeastern University.

  • First place: $500
  • Second place: $250
  • Third place: $100

Getting Started:

Data source suggestions (feel free to use any data you wish beyond these):

BPD reports:  

Vision Zero:
https://data.boston.gov/dataset/vision-zero-fatality-records https://data.boston.gov/dataset/vision-zero-crash-records

Boston existing bike network: 

Traffic counts:


Tableau Software:
Request a free license: www.tableau.com/students

Have questions? Email Varun at jagadeesh.v@husky.neu.edu.