In our previous blog, we discussed how businesses should embrace Data Storytelling as a regular practice. The necessary aspects of a Data Story may be appropriate insights, narration and visuals. However, to create a story that uses data to strike a chord with the intended audience goes beyond just its anatomy.

Data Storytelling is a complex craft, whereby the narrative and visuals should be able to complement the insights effectively without undermining its emotive appeal. It is key to understand the difference between telling and showing your audience the importance of data. Here are some pointers on how a compelling Data Story can be fashioned:

Humanize your Insights: It is essential to always keep in mind that the end users of your story are people. Though data insights are central to Data Storytelling, the story itself shouldn’t be about numbers. Studies have proven time and again that emotions impact one’s logical decisions. Hence, having a strong narrative that is dotted with data at appropriate points is far more impactful than a data-dense story with little personal affect.

It is vital for your Data Story to resonate with your audience on multiple levels.

Address Real World Issues: The advantage of using data in a narrative is that it gives you an opportunity to substantiate it with tangible proof. Hence, by presenting a narrative that speaks about a real issue that is relevant to your audience and supporting that with empirical evidence, you’d be broaching a subject that is likely to pique their interest.

Offer Solutions to Problems: People are drawn to content that adds value to their lives. Having a story with an impactful narrative that focuses on problems alone may not elicit the necessary response. However, backing that up with further insights that provide solutions to the said issues goes a long way in presenting your audience with material that they’d find both engaging and worthwhile.

Instil a Sense of Community: People have the inherent need to feel connected to a larger community. Managing to achieve that through your Data Story with appropriate statistics alluding to groups like the target audience is a wonderful way to attract readers and have the necessary impact. This would also encourage readers to share the story within their peer groups, thereby increasing the chances of your audience expanding.

Verify your Data: While all the aforementioned points are essential to keep in mind while crafting your Data Story, it is also equally important to remember that factual accuracy shouldn’t take a back seat when personalising the narrative. Verifying your data and ensuring that it is relevant to the narrative is vital. Accurate data goes a long way in establishing your credibility in your field and is therefore integral to Data Storytelling.

It is thereby apparent that humanisation of Data Storytelling is essential for it to gain visibility. 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.