Tell a Story with Your Data

Suppose your manager asks you to prove your programs have an impact, using verifiable data points. You know that demonstrating a correlation between interventions and results can influence stakeholders positively. Dashboards and spreadsheets have limitations, but human intervention in data analytics helps reinterpret the data as charts and other visualizations, making them easier to digest. With a bit of preparation, you can preface a boring presentation with a compelling story that makes your audience sit up and listen.

Ensure Integrity

Reporting your organization's results accurately ensures integrity. Data analytics provide the underlying tools required to develop numbers and charts that make sense to your stakeholders. To convey the information and insights, you need to make good decisions about what to show and what actions need to occur as a result.

To transform data into a story, figure out how to share results in a language and format that resonates with your audience. Telling relevant stories involves understanding what your leaders want to hear. Tailoring your narrative just right ensures you can transmit knowledge to create a culture of action.

Interpret Trends

Typically, telling a story with data involves extracting knowledge from the data generated by your business by observing trends. Collecting and delivering data points is not enough, and understanding what the data means requires additional investigation. Graphs, pie charts and diagrams allow you to see data in new ways. Developing skills in interpreting data and explaining it to others succinctly demands you test out assumptions before going in front of a live audience. You don't want to get caught off guard by questions or comments you can't answer.

Validate Accuracy

To validate data accuracy, ensure that all data feeds function properly. Once you convert data to visual components, you can reach insights that result in quantifiable business outcomes for your company. Rows and columns of spreadsheet data alone can't deliver on this promise. However, you can start with cells of validated data.

Summarize Complex Information

One way to help tell a story is by providing users with a summary of their data. Giving your users interesting statistics helps them build their own stories and share them back with you. Data sharing also encourages users to exchange ideas as well.

Instead of sending emails with numbers that stakeholders can't figure out, personalize your message with information to make decisions. This strategy shifts the conversation from just a report to something that has a real impact. To do this effectively, you need accurate data that people are confident is correct, compelling visuals, and a simple explanation; for example, if you can start with usage information and then compare it with others. Then you can highlight exciting points that might make sense to the users.

In conclusion, telling a story with data becomes powerful when it validates a strategic direction or gives stakeholders the confidence to make a high-risk gamble. Making decisions based on conjecture can lead to innovative breakthroughs and run the chance of significant loss. Storytelling keeps your listeners on their toes and paying attention. Even if you can't dive into the details, providing a call to action makes for a clear directive.


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