Importance of Effective Data Storytelling

Every day, businesses depend on their thousands of data in decision making, and why not? With the correct data, you can have a real and concrete basis for your decisions.

However, making decisions while handling hundreds to thousands of figures is not the right way to understand data. Instead, it’s better to rely on effective data storytelling.

But, why is it better? Lucky for you, we will answer that question in this article.

What is Data Storytelling?

You can understand thousands of data and figures in many ways if you work hard and look at them enough during data analysis. However, such is not the most effective nor efficient way of understanding data, and it’s even less effective when you have to present your data to shareholders and investors.

These people may not have the time and the technical knowledge to understand raw data, making the presentation too complicated. So you can avoid wasting insightful and useful information, you need to present the data in a way that’s easy to understand.

It’s where data storytelling, or the process of presenting data so most people can understand, comes in. But, how exactly do you do this? You can do it by using other forms of presenting data other than printing figures on a table.

It includes using graphs, charts, and data storytelling dashboards. When you use these things, you don’t only present the raw data, but it’s also easier to understand as the presentation itself tells the story through graphical storytelling.

A prime example of data storytelling advantages is Francis Anscombe’s quartet created in 1973, where he presented four different data sets with identical values. However, when presented through graphical methods, the data tells a different story as while the data are almost similar, the graphs reveal that the various data sets have different patterns.

With data storytelling, you and the shareholders can understand data in a better fashion, and that increases your chance of making correct, data-driven impactful business decisions.

Elements of Data Storytelling

Data storytelling has only one purpose, and it’s making data analysis and business decision-making easier. To ensure effective data storytelling, you have to take care of these data storytelling elements:

  • The plot – When you’re telling a story, you need to know its plot. In a business sense, you need to know what the stakeholders want and which questions need answers, and more. When you know these things, it will be easier for you to lay down the story and tie all ends as the story progresses.
  • Setting – You need to know the company’s circumstances to set the story. What are the company’s recent successes and defeats? Is the company focusing on short-term or big-picture goals? Answering these questions is vital to set the story well and provide the data the company needs.
  • The audience – Like with every presentation, you need to take note of who your audience is. With this, you can understand which data the audience needs to know about and the ones they don’t.
  • Sum it up – As you present valuable information to your audience, you can’t avoid some of them forgetting some or not understanding a few parts of the story, which is why you need to summarise everything at the end of the meeting.

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Conclusion

When done right, data storytelling can help companies make strides in profits and achieving business goals. If you want to know what is storytelling with data, highly experienced data experts are more than capable of helping out.