Data storytelling has become a part of businesses and its role has become increasingly significant. This is brought about by the fact that storytelling is a very effective tool to communicate information and is easily and efficiently captured by the stakeholders and decision-makers in the organisation.
Since this is an integral part of decision-making, it is imperative that your story is expressed in a most timely and insightful way. Here are a few strategies that you can use in storytelling through data.
- Choose only relevant data.
Data storytelling can be confusing if you tackle every piece of information in the data available to you. Based on the needs of your audience, you must be able to identify the data that you need to focus and stick only to what is relevant during your presentation. With the large volume of data analysis that you can get each day, it will be very confusing for your audience to absorb and accommodate everything at once and will have a hard time filtering what is truly essential.
- Your data must be credible.
When filtering your data, make sure it is collected from a reputable source. You are putting not only your reputation on the line, but also the decisions that may come out of the date that you presented in your story. Take note that your audience will be basking in the information that you provided, and this should be objective and precise. Avoid using opinions, yours and that of others, during your presentation and focus on facts. This also eliminates ambiguity, giving everyone the confidence in using your data for creating decisions and strategies.
- You must be objective and transparent.
As mentioned, avoid using opinions in your presentation. In data storytelling, you must present your data in an unbiased manner. When taking this approach, select your data objectively and don’t use discrete values. Be consistent and transparent. If there are missing or out-of-range values, show them. Your audience deserves to know the truth about what’s happening in the organisation to come up with a sound business solution or strategy. If somehow your presentation is manipulated, it may cause inconsistencies in the future, backfire on you and diminish your credibility.
- Present a clear narration and use the data visualisation.
In order to get the right message across, your storytelling has to be clear and concise. You don’t need to use special languages, acronyms, or flowery words just to impress your audience. The key is to get them right on target especially when you reach the climax of the story. Using correct visuals helps you achieve this goal too. By using data visualisation, your audience can see a better picture of your story and understand them more, reaching your goal effectively. Always remember that the objective of data storytelling is to get your audience to agree on your insights, and compel them to make the right decisions for the organisation based on your presentation. Do not confuse them by bombarding them with so many inputs and visuals that will prompt them to ask more questions and eventually deviate them from your focal point.
There may be other strategies that you can find that will help you become truly effective in data storytelling. The key ingredients that you must always remember are to be clear, focused, objective, and transparent, and you’ll do just fine.