Professional News

Institutional Research and Information Technology Services Hosts Iron Viz 2017

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 1, 2017) — In July, the University of Kentucky Institutional Research and Advanced Analytics (IRAA) team hosted the first Iron Viz competition. Iron Viz is a data visualization competition utilizing Tableau and modeled after "Iron Chef," a television show on the Food Network.

Contestants were randomly placed into teams and given 45 minutes to produce a single dashboard utilizing a fictitious data set. Randomized teams balanced the Tableau experience levels of attendees and encouraged interaction and peer-to-peer learning.

Throughout the 45-minute competition, Alex Dixon, advanced analytics data analyst, assisted teams by sharing tips and tricks. Once time expired, each team presented their dashboard explaining one lesson learned, one dashboard feature and one insight they gained.

The winning team was comprised of Baron Wolf (Office of the Vice President for Research), ReaAnne Pearson (Office of Strategic Planning), Shelby Albers (Institutional Research) and Kathy Tharp (Advanced Analytics).

“The Iron Viz competition was a fun way to showcase the various skills of University of Kentucky staff who have been working with Tableau. Each group approached the dataset from a different perspective and showed a great deal of creativity. Collaboration with other Tableau users sparks creativity. Being on the winning team was just a small part of what made the event enjoyable,” said Baron Wolf, decision support analyst.  

IRAA is a collaborative effort between the Office of the Provost's Office of Institutional Research and the Office of the EVPFA (Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration) Information Technology Services’ Advanced Analytics team. Together, these teams collaborate and support strategic decisions and initiatives at the university. To learn more about IRAA, the services they provide and how they can help you, visit or contact the team here

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue