I-COM Data Creativity Awards


What are the Data Creativity Awards?

The Data Creativity Awards competition covers entries that show evidence of the creative leveraging of value from data that is instrumental to delivering business value. Whatever the nature of the project, entrants must be able to show the magic of a highly creative and innovative approach and that they achieved demonstrably strong results, such as financial, thought leadership or other stated criteria.

Who can enter?

The I-COM Data Creativity Awards are ideal for marketers, agencies, media owners, data services or research providers and trade associations involved in Digital Marketing. Projects that meet one of the category definitions can be entered by any company, either individually or as a collaboration of companies from the stakeholder groups as described here.

Why should I enter?

Reasons to enter the I-COM Data Creativity Awards:

  • Have your work evaluated by a distinguished jury using a bespoke system that focuses, in detail, on your work
  • Have your work recognised at a global event in front of the elite in smart data marketing
  • Benchmark your work against competitors
  • Develop business opportunities and expand your networks
  • Receive international press coverage on important trade publications
  • Inspire the community
  • Challenge and reward your team
  • Drive business transformation

What is the eligibility period?

December 1st, 2015 - present.

How much does it cost to enter?

Member Pricing
Per entry EUR 400,-
Per additional category EUR 300,-

Non-Member Pricing
Per entry EUR 520,-
Per additional category EUR 350,-

Note: You can submit the same entry into multiple categories and there is no limit on allowed categories, as long as your project meets the criteria for each category.

If you are an I-COM Member, you are entitled to a special discounted entry fee price and can conveniently pay with credit card on this payment link.
*Prestige Members: Contact us at dca@i-com.org to receive an additional 10% discount and payment instructions.

Otherwise, you can conveniently pay with your credit card here: Non-Member entry fee payment link.

For both Members and Non-Members, if your company billing details are based in either Estonia or Singapore, please email us at dca@i-com.org to obtain the payment link.

Disclaimer: Kindly note that there will be an additional 3rd party charge for the credit card processing.

What is the deadline for payment?

The entry fee must be paid within 5 business days after submitting your entry.

I-COM issues invoices upon request. For requests kindly email us at dca@i-com.org with the company name, address and contact person's details. We can provide invoices in USD exceptionally. As receiving transfers in currencies other than EUR result in Bank fees from our bank, you will receive an invoice in the EUR equivalent.

Disclaimer: Kindly note that there will be an additional 3rd party charge for the credit card processing.

What is the entry deadline?

Deadline for entries is February 28th, 2019. Late entries may be considered on a case-by-case basis, email us at dca@i-com.org

Is there a deadline extension?

Yes, if you need additional time, in exceptional circumstances you can ask for an extension. Kindly complete the Intention to Enter form to request it.

Can we have more than one Data Creativity Awards entry?

Yes, you can send us entries from more than one project.

Can I enter the same work into more than one category?

You may submit your entry into multiple categories as long as the work meets the criteria of each category.

What material do I need to upload?

It is not a requirement, nevertheless, you may send supporting material to back up your case. It can consist of testimonials, research, performance analysis, collateral, screen grabs, pictures etc.

Entrants may send up to 3 files of supporting material of no more than 4 pages each. Attached files must be no more than 2MB each, documents must be in .pdf or .doc (word) format.

You may also attach video links of up to a maximum of 5 min long on the entry form. You can also send it after submitting your entry to the email dca@i-com.org.

For Data Visualisation Entrants:
It is required as part of the entry in this category to include visuals (images, video) to illustrate the value of your work.

Can I edit my entry after it has been submitted?

Yes, you can send us your changes to the email dca@i-com.org and we will update the information on the system. All changes must be received by February 15th, 2019 and entries cannot be updated after judging has started.

I lost my entry, was it saved?

We recommend you to look at the Entry form first, then spend time offline composing your answers in a word-processing program, keeping a copy for your record. Once you start to enter the information online, the submission can not be saved for later review or completion. Please click here to download a blank entry form you can use to work offline. You can also take a look at sample entries from 2018, 2017 and 2016.

What is your policy on confidential information?

The information you insert will be used only for the purposes of the competition. Whilst it will be made clear to the judges that the judging process is confidential, entrants may wish to express results in percentage terms rather than by providing the actual figures. If there are parts of your entry that are confidential and cannot be later published, you can state this on the entry form.

What is addendum?

If you are submitting an entry for more than one category, you need to add an addendum addressing the specific Data Creativity Elements for the additional category.

Please find below some tips given by our jury members regarding the addendum for the additional category:

  • It would be helpful for you to address each specific criterion or element specified for the additional category. Tip would be for each response to an element to be as succinct as possible. A call-out to your solution's clever feature as proof point would help the judges in understanding how that particular element was satisfied.
  • You need to remember that the jury will be reviewing a vast array of submissions. So the best advice we could give would be to ensure as best as you can that your submission against the criteria stands out.
  • It could take the form of a written response to each element. However, a more effective method would be to provide both a description as well as proof points and/or visualisations to further explain why this particular approach shows more ingenuity or better results than the competition on the criteria.
As an example, please refer to the sample entry from 2016 submitted in 2 categories: Primary Category - General and Additional Category - Video, with addendum for the additional category, on page 8.

When does the judging take place?

Between January and February the Jury will evaluate your entry during the online first round of judging.
The jury will establish the Official Selection finalists.

The Official Selection finalists will present on May 14th, 2019 at the I-COM Global Summit in Malaga, Spain, and the judges will be giving scores for the 2nd Round based upon the presentations. The category winners will be announced at the special Gala Dinner ceremony on the same day.

How are Data Creativity Awards entries evaluated?

We can promise entrants that the I-COM Data Creativity Jury will take time to scrutinize and evaluate in detail every single entry, and they will reward excellence in data creativity. This is accomplished by using a bespoke system where each judge only looks at a restricted number of entries. This way all companies entering the competition will receive the consideration and recognition they deserve by our esteemed members of the Jury.
Data Creativity Awards entries go through an online first round of judging before the Summit, where judges evaluate them and establish the Official Selection nominees. If an entry is nominated by the I-COM Data Creativity Awards jury as part of the Official Selection, at least one team member or a qualified representative from each shortlisted company will be invited to register to attend the Summit to participate in the second round of judging, presenting live on stage. The jury will establish the winners, who will be announced at a special Gala Awards dinner.

What is the judging criteria?

  • 50% of the scoring is based on the actual project results
  • 50% on the extent to which innovative and creative approaches with Data were adopted in achieving those results
Since the 4th edition, in 2016, the I-COM Data Creativity Awards Board implemented the following additional scoring process, to provide unbiased scores:
  • I-COM Data Creativity Awards entrants are each scored against an absolute standard (rather than ranking relative to entries received).
  • The scoring process combines: 1) multiple judges’ scores and 2) the scores of entrants by only a subset of all Judges.
  • As I-COM Committees have grown the variation in the ranges among the judges’ scores has understandably increased.
  • A normalisation process has been introduced to ensure that the Award results are not biased by the “luck of the draw” with any particular group of Judges.
  • Mean Distance Projection preserves each Judge’s scoring distribution, while normalising the range of scores across all Judges.

Is there a Sample Entry that I can look at?

Yes. Please take a look at sample entry from 2018 of the Attribution category winner, sample entry from 2017 of the Programmatic category winner and sample entry from 2016 of the Video category winner. Kindly note that your Entry needs to be as detailed as possible for the 1st round of judging. And as a reference for the 2nd round of live judging, you may also find it helpful to look at the finalists presentation videos on our YouTube channel.

Are there any tips from the Jury what makes a successful entry?

Selected members of our Jury have given the below list of guidelines of things they look out for when marking entries:

  • The main points are projected quickly and simply

It’s important to take into account that judges need to go through many cases in a very short period of time. Tell a simple story that's quick to understand and is backed up with compelling evidence - less is often more. The use of visuals is also good as it makes it faster to get an overview of the case.

Introducing your Project
  • A clear and crisp introduction

When thinking about your project, ask yourself the following questions and use the answers to help you fill out the Core Entry section of the Form.

  • How was this solution new and innovative?
  • Which business need did we set out to solve?
  • How did we do it?
  • Which business results did it provide?
  • The scale of the challenge

It is helpful to know the level of difficulty for the challenge that needs to be creatively solved, normally within the context of the market that it is solving the challenge. For example, trying to do an advertising attribution study and impact on sales in a developing market where the data is very sparse would be a greater challenge than doing so in a mature market where the data exists. Judges need to understand where the baseline challenges for the entry are in order to effectively judge it.

  • A rationale or hypothesis

It helps if the entry provides a rationale or hypothesis for what the project expected to achieve. This provides a good framework to understand why a particular approach was taken.

The Methodology
  • Creativity and innovation

A top tip is to research other markets to see if your idea really is innovative, or if it has been done before. Judges will focus on what’s truly ‘creative’ e.g. what’s new, unusual and unexpected in the use of data in providing a solution. This may mean new ways of connecting or collecting data, or just using existing data in an innovative way. Too often, the presentations focus on solutions that have been around for many years, and whilst that might be a good application of data, they are not creative uses.

  • Use of own technology

Judges like to see when submissions include examples of where the analytics work and the building of the technology is done by the applicant, as opposed to using someone else’s platform. They do not like entries where they feel it is ‘just an agency doing its job’ (i.e. building a lookalike audience and then buying them), or when agencies take credit for other people’s analytics or technology.

  • Geographic diversity

Judges appreciate it’s harder to do some things in some geographics than others, so appropriate credit would be applied to broader targeting.

  • Applicable beyond the participation of the Awards

Judges can favour proof of concept (POC) entries that can be further turned into a product or a business process. Entries are more likely to win awards if there is a methodology, process, design and application that others can learn from and apply within their own business. Some entries, whilst definitely creative, are unlikely to ever be done again. Judges are not looking for novelty, but for solid entrants to turn into case studies which can be elevated to the wider business market so everyone can get smarter and better at their jobs.

Business Results
  • Articulation of the impact of the problem solving

Judges find the general challenge with most of the cases is that the results are not clear enough or are not actually business results. Coming up with a methodology, demonstrating mathematical calculations and showing increased conversion rates, CTR or CTA is good, but there should be something more related to how the business benefited from this, e.g. revenue, savings, efficiency, clarity, optimization. Show how the results were used, what they allowed the business to do that it could not do before, what will happen going forward and the impact of that effort on the business.

  • A truthful submission

Some judges commented that the most disliked submissions are those which feel ‘fluffy’. They would rather see proof of failure than illusions of success, with an honest description of any problems, challenges, flaws or areas for improvement.

Do I have to present at the Summit?

Yes, if your entry gets shortlisted as part of the Official Selection, you need to present on stage at the Summit on the Awards day on May 14th, 2019, to participate in the live 2nd round of judging. The jury will establish the winners based on the presentations, who will be announced at a special Gala Awards dinner on the same day.

When do the awards take place?

The Awards take place on Tuesday, May 14th, 2019, during the I-COM Global Summit in Malaga, Spain. Winners are announced in the evening on the same day during the Gala Awards dinner.

Do we need to pay an additional fee aside from the entry fee we paid already?

Yes, if your entry has been chosen as one of the Official Selection finalists you need to attend the Global Summit 2019 and you have to pay a discounted Summit Access fee of EUR 2000.-

The Summit Access fee includes your participation during the second part of the competition, as well as giving you access to the two-day Global Summit conference, including meals at lunch & dinner and free WiFi throughout the conference area.

Our entry has been nominated as part of the Official Selection finalists. Can I take my client with me to present during the Global Summit?

Yes, every official selection finalist can have 2 representatives per entry. Registration link will be provided shortly.

Our sister company from the US is attending the Global Summit, can our representative present our entry as one of the Official Selection finalists on the Global Summit?

No, this is only possible if the presenter is directly involved in the project.

Can one entry win in two categories?

To increase your chances of being shortlisted during the first round of judging, you can submit your entry to compete in as many categories as you want, as long as your work meets the judging criteria for the categories you are entering. If your entry is being shortlisted, you will need to choose in which category you would like to compete during the second round. Hence, your entry can win in the category of your choice, and it could also win the Overall Winner Award or the Emerging Market Region Award, if your case is based in one of those countries.

Will my work be published at or after the competition?

Yes. Only if you agree to it, we will be publishing your deck on our Global Summit newsfeed. Additionally, we will be publishing your live presentation on our YouTube channel and on our website.