An American novelist Tim O’Brien once said storytelling is an essential human activity. It applies to everything else, including data. Data visualization represents an enormous potential shift as a dynamic form of persuasion. During data review, it helps the analyst communicate complex ideas and accelerate the decision-making process, for instance, to stakeholders. A story will ensure the data can persuade, engage while remaining memorable. If you tell stories with data, it helps your audience comprehend what they previously could not.
Data is purely a collection of numbers until it’s changed into a story. Dashboards and reports at a glance without supporting narrative is overwhelming for the user. To unlock the power of the dashboard, it needs great insight to deliver the actual value. Data visualization makes use of statistics and data in creative ways to depict patterns or prove a theory that assists in determines decisions in an organization.
Data visualization is influencing the successes of many businesses around the world. Data visualization is not a new idea to journalism where media houses use visuals to clarify news for the viewer, for example, weather forecasting. But on storytelling with data, this is an immense revolution – one that encourages the viewer to think outside the normal scope of the news. Many media users view this as a step in the right direction. When you tell stories with data, you try to inspire change or action.
Most data analysts struggle to present their data in an informative but engaging manner. Distillation of data is a cardinal skill in presenting data effectively. Several tools and software like Tableau helps in visually creating the artistic type of data. No matter how good the story looks, a viewer can sniff out any inconsistencies.
ordinarily, most data stories contain plot points. Identify elements in the plot that resonate with your audience. A narrative without a scheme is like a startup without a business plan. The tale needs to be captivating to the audience. What’s more, the narrative structure determines if there is a story to tell.
in plays or novels, authors spend time creating detailed content of a story. When you tell stories with data, you develop context by creating a rich framework in which your findings are best understood. The analysis needs to recognize who their audience isis and what do they need to know.
more often than not, analysts attempt to explain their findings during a presentation, but a successful narrative should have a clear start, middle section, and an end. Did you know your brain always tune to linear storytelling? And so tell stories with data using linear data format. Instead, start by reviewing the problem to the listener then develop a mid-section with detailed descriptions of your findings. In the end, tell the audience what the uncoverings portend for the future.
relate the data presented to the audience’s personal story. A narrative needs to create an emotional connection to the listeners and devoid of biases. It is not a trivial matter to manta objectivity.
Think through how your data relates to your audience. For example, if you are presenting on the purchasing trends of the millennial, you can frame the data to comprise 20-30-year-olds rather than the older generation to make the arrangement impactful. Is your audience an executive, a novice, managerial, or a generalist?
can be a difficult undertaking, but vital indeed. It is not all about decorating your findings but doing a lot of editing will improve the visualization. Simple visuals can have a considerable impact on your customers or stakeholders. Using data visualization to tell your story can assist in driving your organization to success in the digital space and keep you ahead of the competition. All in all, data visualization is telling stories people could not tell twenty years ago.