Storytelling With Data

storytelling with data

Throughout human history, the most effective way to share information has been through stories. They provide a framework for interpreting data and leveraging insights for better business

Incorporating a narrative in your data story increases its memorability, persuasiveness, and engagement. It also provides a framework for sharing the data in a way that will resonate with your audience. It’s important to be clear on who you are telling the story to, as this will determine how much detail you include and what type of language you use. For example, the same story told to a marketing team to communicate performance results will not be the same one presented to a sales leadership group.

The Psychology of Data Storytelling: How to Engage Your Audience

To build an engaging story, start with the data points that matter most to your audience. You can then structure your presentation around these, following a traditional narrative arc: an introduction (Exposition), rising action (Episode), and climax (Resolution).

Focus on highlighting data points that are Big, Useful, or Surprising. These will resonate with your audience as they are likely to be the most relevant and meaningful to them. It’s also helpful to consider what you might find out about your audience as well. For instance, if you discover that one group of customers spends more than others, you could glean insights into how your customer segmentation is working or what campaigns might be driving these differences.

Finally, ensure your data story aligns with the truth. You’ll quickly lose credibility if you get caught massaging data to fit your narrative.

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