Why would you tell a story with Data?

Why would you tell a story with Data?

What facts and stats are to the ears, stories are to the hearts.

Data Storytelling gives voice to your data. It is a way to express and communicate what data says in an efficient way. Storytelling creates a visual impact on the people. Data Storytelling creates magic on human’s brain.

If you want people to make the right decisions with data, you have to get in their head in a way they understand

-Miro Kazakoff Lecturer, MIT Sloan Tweet

As per Gartner, data storytelling will be the most widespread means of consuming analytics by 2025.

Why is data storytelling important?

Storytelling is an integral part of humanity. Stories play a vibrant role from the entertainment we consume to the experiences we share with others. Analysis of the most popular 500 TED Talk presentations found that stories made up at least 65% of their content.

Storytelling has proven to be a powerful delivery way for sharing insights and ideas with others. It is persuasive and engaging. Data Storytelling establishes the emotional connection with data and emotions plays an important role in helping our brains to understand things better. When we package up all the data insights with a story, we build the bridge for the data to influence the emotional side of the Brain. Humans remember the story and forget the statistics.

Data Storytelling merges three fields:

  1. Data Science: The field of science that extracts knowledge and insight from data, making it readily available.
  2. Visualizations: A way to transform data into visually appealing form like charts, graphs etc.
  3. Narrative: A narrative is a key to convey insights, with visualizations and data being important proof points. It is basically a way to give voice to your data.

Facts simply show data; whereas, a story’s narrative provides context, which provides better understanding and drives valuable insights.

Power of Data Storytelling

In today’s data-driven economy, data storytelling holds the critical “last step” of communication that conveys your insights into something that will inspire change and create value.

The art of storytelling has been used for communication for a long time. This art was completely ignored in data driven operations as it was considered a waste of time. However, over time, data storytelling has proved that, if data is not presented in the form of stories, most of the data ends up useless. Even if we have transformed insights from data and nobody can understand those insights. It is of no use. Which is why in most companies nowadays, the first step to analyzing data is storyboarding. To create this board, questions like ‘why are we analyzing this data’ and ‘what decisions do we hope to make with this data’ are asked. The aim is to start small because most of the time, data has the power to create visual and intricate stories that do not need complex correlations to make sense of it.

7 tips to construct a good Data Story

  1. Kick off with a question – Set up your story keeping in mind your audience.
  2. End the story with an insight – If the audience cannot learn something about data, there is no use of the story.
  3. Try to narrate a compelling story -Take the audience with you on your journey. Do not focus only on numbers, focus on Story.
  4. Explain story with Visuals and narrate story with words -People understand metrics, trends, and patterns with visuals rather than only words.
  5. Be authentic – Do not sugarcoat the negatives, try to be clear and honest for clarity.
  6. Be concise and clear – Do not stretch too much. Be clear and try to convey what you want to.
  7. Provide context -show metrics comparison overtime. Statistics and numbers are of no use without any context.

3 ways data storytelling can impact the business

    Turn Metrics into actionable insights – Data storytelling helps us to analyze the key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with the business goals and transforms quantitative data into result-driven narratives.
  1. Turn Metrics into actionable insights – Data storytelling helps us to analyze the key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with the business goals and transforms quantitative data into result-driven narratives.
  2. Improve Process with Plotting: Data stories have a definite structure with a well-constructed beginning, middle, and end. Data storytelling tools and templates
    Have well defined themes and formats which changes the visualization based on the input data and helps to narrate a story in the most effective way. Organizations can use predefined templates considering the primary aim of the data driven storytelling.
  3. Effective Communication and Engagement: It is very important for the organizations to maintain an engaging conversation with their clients and stakeholders for a longer time. To engage stakeholders and clients it is not just presenting the data, but we need to convey what data is speaking in a way that they understand. This way, they can better demonstrate the value of their services and build a lasting relationship with their clients and stakeholders.

Your organization must have a lot of raw data that can be transformed and used to generate insights, make useful business decisions. It is very important to communicate the insights. Data storytelling is the best tool to convey data insights with narrative. It adds emotions that can help audience to understand and engage with your statistics and data.

Comments are closed.