FAQ – Data Impact Challenge II

What is the Data Impact Challenge II: Answering health care questions to support decision making?

The Challenge objective is to source relevant information for a set of questions generated by Infoway in conjunction with its supporting organizations and interested Canadians. In doing so, the data will provide actionable evidence to support decision-making, more quickly.

ImagineNation Challenges is asking Canadians to submit questions they want to see answered in the next Data Challenge, vote on those questions and invites authorized users of data sets to seek answers to them. The questions originate from issues identified by Infoway, as well as a Canada-wide search for questions.

There are 3 phases to this Challenge:

Participants can choose to participate in one or more of the phases of the Challenge, as long as they are eligible.

  1. Question Submission
    When: November 18, 3 p.m. ET – November 30, 3 p.m. ET
    All Canadians are invited to submit questions that they are interested in seeing answered about health care in Canada. The selected question(s) will receive a $100 award.
  2. Voting Period
    When: December 3, 3 p.m. ET – December 8, 3 p.m. ET
    Canadians will be asked to vote on the question(s) they wish to see answered in the Challenge.
  3. Answer Submission
    When: December 15, 3 p.m. ET – February 29, 3 p.m. ET
    Any authorized users of Canadian health care data sets are welcome to answer any one, or more, Challenge questions for an opportunity to earn a share in over $95,000 in awards. The Challenge questions will be made available on December 15, 2015 at 3 p.m. ET.

The answer submissions will be evaluated by a panel of data experts and academic judges. The evaluation criteria will be focused on submission quality.

What’s the purpose of the Challenge?

Based on the success of the first Data Impact Challenge, the purpose of the Data Impact Challenge II is to source and provide information for important health care questions that can help inform decision making.

What is different about this Challenge compared to the first Data Impact Challenge?

For the Data Impact Challenge II, we are inviting Canadians to submit health care questions, as well as vote, for the ones they would like to see answered, which could help inform evidence-based decisions. However, the format of the answer submission portion of the Challenge will be similar to the first Data Impact Challenge.

What is Infoway getting out of it?

The Data Impact Challenge II questions are based on important issues identified by Infoway and its supporting organizations. The findings will provide evidence to inform health policy discussions, and encourage future research in these areas.

Why should I participate in this Challenge?

There are various ways to participate. In the question submission and voting portion of this Challenge, individuals are given the opportunity to help get important questions about Canadian health care answered.

By participating in the answer submission portion of the Data Impact Challenge II, you can help provide evidence-based responses and information to key opinion leaders and influencers that could support policy changes. In addition to helping improve the Canadian health care system, your team will be profiled in various outlets including, the ImagineNation Challenges’ website and potentially in media materials, including articles and news releases.

Who can participate?

All Canadians are welcome to participate in the question submission and voting portion of the Challenge. To participate in the answer submission portion, participants must reside in Canada and be authorized users of Canadian health data sets.

While some health data sets are publicly available, most are held by authorized users of data sets, such as a research organization, ministry of health or health care provider organization. Participants must be authorized to the access data sets required to answer one or more of the questions and be authorized to share the findings.

When can I join the Data Impact Challenge?

The open call for submitting questions will begin November 18, 2015 to November 30, 2015 at 3 p.m. ET. The voting period begins December 3, 2015 at 3 p.m. ET until December 8, 2015 at 3 p.m. ET.

We invite all Canadians to participate in the question submission and voting portion of the Challenge.

Teams or individuals who wish to submit their answer(s) can register between November 18, 2015 and February 29, 2016 3 p.m. ET. The Challenge questions will be released on December 15, 2015 3 p.m. ET.

Participants must have authorization to use the data for the purposes of the Challenge, comply with all applicable guidelines and processes related to the data sets being used (e.g. privacy rules, ethics approval), and be authorized to agree to public sharing of the research and findings.

Parties ineligible to participate include: directors, officers, employees and agents of Canada Health Infoway and their immediate family members, as well as all persons with whom they reside, and directors, officers, employees and agents of the Federal Government, or any or its departments, agencies or crown organizations. To see a full list of ineligible parties, view the Challenge rules and /or contact innovation@infoway-inforoute.ca.

How do I register for the initiative?

Teams or individuals who wish to submit a question and/or vote in the Challenge must register on the ImagineNation website.

For those who would like to participate in answering the Challenge questions can have a team leader sign up online beginning November 18, 2015 and invite team members to join by filling in the form. The Challenge questions will be released on December 15, 2015 3 p.m. ET. As soon as the work is completed, teams should enter their answer(s) to the Challenge website, using the Answer Submission Template. At the close of the Challenge, the submissions will be scored by our judges.

Do I need to register?

Yes, registration is required to submit a question, vote or submit an answer.

What will you do with my information?

Canada Health Infoway respects your privacy. For details, please consult our Privacy Policy. When you register you have the option to sign up to receive periodic information from Infoway.

Can our team publish our findings?

Yes. Generating and making available high-quality analyses is a main purpose of the Challenge, so we encourage you to publish and disseminate your work. We will also post submitted entries on the Challenge website and look for other ways to get the word out

How many questions do I have to answer in the answer submission portion? How many questions can be answered in the Challenge?

Participants can choose to answer as many questions as they wish, but must submit separate results for each question answered using the Answer Submission Template. Teams are eligible to receive more than one award.

Where do I get access to data sets?

Infoway does not provide access to any data sets. Teams must be authorized to access and use the data sets appropriate to answer one of the Challenge questions. Team members are responsible for ensuring that their submissions comply with the rules of the Challenge.

In the answer submission portion, what criteria will be used by judges to assess the results?

A panel of judges will be recruited through Infoway and supporting organizations to assess each submission. The submissions will be scored against the criteria below, and the specifications for the question being answered described in the ‘Data Impact Challenge Question Set.’

Judges will review and rate independently, and all judging scores will be averaged.

Scoring criteria:

Quality of submission


  • Data quality – 40%
    • To what extent do the data sources and analysis provide a credible and meaningful answer to the question as stated?
  • Representativeness – 40%
    • To what extent does the submission provide an answer which could be relevant in a population-wide, pan- Canadian context?
  • Innovation – 20%
    • To what extent is the analysis described in the submission innovative (e.g. leveraging underutilized data sources, streamlining processes, combining data sets, more deeply informing the underlying policy/practice issue)?

How are the recipients selected?

A panel of judges, made of data experts and academics, are recruited through Infoway and supporting organizations will judge each submission. The submissions will be scored against the criteria, and the specifications for the question being answered described in the ‘Data Impact Challenge Question Set.’

How will the materials submitted for the Challenge and results be used and shared?

All materials submitted will be publicly shared through the ImagineNation Challenges website and other communication channels.  All participants will need to confirm compliance with the requirement for public release of materials in their submission.

How do I know if I’m allowed to use data for this Challenge and what are the requirements related to Privacy & Security?

Each authorized users of data sets’ organization will have their own processes and requirements for appropriate use of its data assets. These may include internal approvals; ethics review board approval or other processes.  In submitting the research, and later the results, participants will need to attest that they are in compliance with all processes and requirements associated with the data sets they use. Neither the protocol nor the results should include data which is not appropriate for public dissemination. For more information, read the rules.

If my team receives an award, who does the award go to?

When individuals/teams register, they will indicate the recipient person or organization for any awards. Further distribution of any award is the responsibility of the recipient.

To whom should we direct questions about the Data Impact Challenge?

Questions about the Challenge can be directed innovation@infoway-inforoute.ca.

I’m having problems with the site, who should I contact?

If you are having problems with the site, or have any other questions, please contact innovation@infoway-inforoute.ca or phone: 1-888-733-6462 / (416) 979-4606.

When will we know about the awards’ recipients?

The receipent of the chosen question(s) will be notified after the voting period ends before or on December 15, 2015. The awards’ recipients of the answer submissions will be announced in Spring 2016.