Using Data to Tell a Story
A using data to tell a story is a way for humans to convey information in a form that is easily understood. We have been using stories to share knowledge and events since the Cro-Magnon era to help us survive, communicate with others and record accounts of our daily lives. The brain has a natural tendency to prefer narratives to pure data. This is because stories provide context, meaning and value that a spreadsheet full of numbers cannot.
Whether you’re a marketer working on generating leads or a data scientist analyzing competitor data for clients, using your data to tell a story is the key to making it impactful. Data storytelling helps put insights into context for your audience and inspire action by your customers or stakeholders.
Data-Driven Narratives: How to Craft Compelling Stories with Data
To make your data-driven story compelling, you need to understand who you are telling the story to and customize your approach accordingly. For example, if you’re communicating with engineers, you may want to go into more detail about the data set and its origins, while executives will appreciate simplified data and clear takeaways.
It’s also important to be as truthful as possible when telling your data story. Don’t manipulate the facts to support a preconceived notion or to create relationships that don’t exist in your data. This is known as cherry-picking and can damage your credibility. You should also be consistent with your visuals, so use the same color scheme, labeling, and conventions across your diagrams.