How to Tell a Data Story

how to tell a data story

A common pitfall is presenting how to tell a data story to a business audience without context. Hard numbers displayed in Google spreadsheets or visually challenged charts going in all directions are not meaningful for anyone to understand unless a narrative is wrapped around them. The result is a hit-or-miss presentation that has the potential to be a missed opportunity for the organization to make informed decisions. Data storytelling enables you to present your information and analytics in a way that is easily understood by your audience regardless of their level of industry or subject expertise.

The first step is identifying your objectives and goals. This will help you determine the approach and perspective to take when preparing for your data story. It will also help you craft a plotline that is aligned with your data story goals.

From Raw Data to Compelling Narrative: A Guide to Data Storytelling

Once your objective has been defined, you can begin to find meaning in the data and insights that will allow you to create a compelling plotline for your data story. This is a process that requires both hard and soft skills to complete. For example, you may be able to identify correlations between your key datasets or notice a spike or dip in activity around a specific date that was not explained by other data points.

There are several methods that you can use to tell a data story including dashboards, infographics, reports, and presentations. Whether you are delivering a data story in person or online, it is important to select methods that will reach your business audiences at the frequency that they require to be most impactful.