City of Charlotte announces winners of city's first Business Analysis Olympiad for data analysts

Event promoted business value and effectiveness of data visualization within City's Key Businesses.

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 5, 2008 -- Julie Burch, assistant city manager of the City of Charlotte, today announced the winners of the City's first Business Analysis Olympiad, which took place on October 31. The event, sponsored by the City's Business Support Services/Information Technology (BSS/IT) division, was designed to foster a community of business intelligence analysts across the City's 14 Key Businesses, demonstrate the ease of use and productivity multiplying effects of Tableau Software and recognize the City's best analytical team.

"Since deploying our visual data analysis solution from Tableau Software, BSS/IT has been able to significantly increase the effectiveness and efficiency of our analytical processes, as well as the quality of our reports produced," said Al Alonso, director of information technology for the City of Charlotte. "Through sponsoring the Olympiad, we have begun to successfully promote Tableau's powerful analytical capabilities to other Key Businesses within the City, created a community of data analysts and enabled our entire workforce to work smarter."

Using visual data analysis solutions from Tableau, 12 two-person teams had several hours to analyze a set of disaster-related data before presenting their findings to a panel of judges, including City of Charlotte Assistant City Manager Julie Burch, University of North Carolina, Charlotte Professor Robert Kosara and Tableau Director of Visual Analysis, Dr. Jock Mackinlay. Teams were judged on the business-decision value of their reports, the quality and format of their data visualizations and their use of Tableau's analytical capabilities.

The winning entries, which can be viewed and downloaded at ad, were:

-- First Place: "Trash Talkers" from Solid Waste Services (Kimberly Jenkins and James Gray, sponsored by Michelle Moore)

-- Second Place: "Research Methods" from the city's Planning department (Ruchi Agarwai and Evan Lowry, sponsored by Steve Patterson)

-- Third Place: "Quality CATS" from the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) (Celia Gray and Shelly McKee, sponsored by Celia Gray)

"We were highly impressed by what we saw from each team given the limited time allowed with Tableau and the data set," said Mackinlay. "Each group fully embraced the technology's analytical capabilities -- including mapping, dashboards, moving visuals, labels, etc. -- in order to quickly and easily uncover trends and find answers to their questions within the data set."

About City of Charlotte

The City of Charlotte provides services to more than 650,000 residents with a focus on Housing & Neighborhood Development, Community Safety, Transportation, Economic Development and the Environment. Visit for more information or call 311 for complete City and County directory assistance. Also watch The Government Channel (Cable 16, Time Warner Cable) for the latest programs on issues effecting Charlotte.

About Tableau Software

Tableau Software, a privately held company based in Seattle, is the leading provider of software applications for fast analytics and visualization. Its award-winning products can be downloaded at and used by anyone, including executives, managers, business analysts, strategic consultants, financial professionals, market researchers, scientists and engineers in nearly every industry. For more information, visit

"Tableau Software," is a registered trademark of Tableau Software. References to other companies and their products use trademarks owned by the respective companies and are for reference purposes only.

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