Everybody loves a good story. Be it cave paintings, oral folklore, epics, novels or movies – stories have always been intrinsic to human experience. In conveying novel ideas and inspiring people to take action, narratives have always been used to educate and engage the mind. Studies show that effective storytelling connects to parts of the brain that impact emotion, thereby making intended messages more memorable.

In today’s digital age, storytelling retains its value. With data gradually becoming the pulse of modern-day businesses, there’s a surge of solutions in the form of BI tools, dashboards and spreadsheets. However, enterprises still fail to avail of the opportunities hidden in their data.

So, how can businesses transform their data into a reserve overflowing with possibilities? The answer is simple: adopt effective Data Storytelling practices.

The elements of Data Storytelling

What is Data Storytelling?

Data Storytelling is the means by which information is presented in the form of a fascinating narrative. It combines three necessary areas:

Data Insights: Knowledge derived from statistics and figures providing measurable metrics on a company’s overall business performance is the cornerstone of Data Storytelling.

Narrativization: Stringing the value of the insights into a piece that captures the end user’s attention gives the Data Story a unique dimension. Using language that strikes the perfect balance between factual reporting and captivating storytelling is the trick to successful narrativization.

Visualisation:  It is essential to remember that images are as important as written text. Statistics show that posts with images receive more engagement and higher readership. Vibrant graphics accompanying texts add a pop of colour that makes the story even more appealing.  

Simply put, Data Storytelling is a means in which insights can be effectively demystified to the end user in a manner that they not only understand but also relate to on a personal level. Given that businesses deal with people, it is essential that data is given a shape that entices human senses. Here are a few things to keep in mind while crafting a Data Story:

Know your audience: It is vital that your story is customized to suit the taste of a specific audience. A good practice would be to get someone with minimal technical knowledge from outside the organisation to review your story before it goes live.

Find the right mix: It is a symphony of effective narrativization, lively graphics and appropriate statistics that contributes to successful Data Storytelling. Hence, it is essential to ensure that these elements flow into each other harmoniously to form a tantalizing Data Story.

-Collaborate: For a Data Story to resonate well with the audience, it is essential that inputs are garnered from the right sources. Therefore, interdepartmental collaborations are key. While analytic minds may not be the best storytellers, they can feed the right insights to support the narratives fashioned carefully by marketers and designers.

Through the aforementioned points, it is evident that Data Storytelling is crucial to success in any business. If you would like any further tips or advice on this topic, feel free to reach out to us or drop us an email at David.fitzpatrick@clearstrategy.ie