For modern organisations, there are many distinct challenges involved when dealing with data. Technology and computing systems are making the storing and ‘number-crunching’ of big data more accessible to managers, without necessarily having a technical background in complex mathematics or statistics.
But one of the key issues is how we can communicate our findings to other stakeholders (and keep them interested!).
This is where the value of effective data storytelling becomes clear.
We can examine data for business in 3 separate but interconnected broad phases: Collection, Analysis and Application. Essentially, data storytelling applies the intelligence gained from data collection and analysis for the purpose of communicating to others.
Let’s look at why storytelling is crucial for getting the most value from your data:
Stories are engaging
Storytelling is a universal part of human culture. From an early age, we learn to process abstract concepts through the use of narrative. People tend to engage with a story more as it clearly establishes a scenario, a problem or issue, and a resolution. By having an engaged audience to present to, the message is more likely to resonate and be remembered.
Anyone can understand a well-told story
By framing data within a story, it can alleviate the tendency to focus on specific data points or subsequent statistics. Instead, we rise above the finer details to follow the thread of WHY things are the way they are. Stakeholders at all levels of the organisation can comprehend a well-told story, without relying on being experts in statistical concepts and software programs.
Storytelling gives context
Without context, data lacks insight. Packaging the outcome of your data analysis within a story gives greater meaning and purpose. This gives people a linear timeline of events from which to make comparisons and helps to solidify positive business performance within the macro environment. Context in the form of a story also allows people to draw from their own personal experiences to help relate to what the data is telling them, too.
The simple art of storytelling is one of the most effective ways for any organisation to engage people with various levels of knowledge and experience to get the message across. Next time you are sifting through the data, don’t forget to look for the story in there as well. Or contact us at Sensus Solutions to find out how we can help make sense of it.