For some, crafting a data story example may seem like an unnecessary, time-consuming effort. They might believe that the insights or facts revealed by the data should stand on their own as long as they’re reported in a clear manner.
But for those who want to be successful in influencing others, they must understand the value of a well-crafted narrative. They must be able to use the right tools and techniques to make data stories that can convey key trends, connect organizational dots, and drive action.
The first step in creating a data story is to identify the audience for it. This will help determine the level of technical complexity and how the data should be presented. It will also help narrow the scope of the data analysis so that only the most relevant insights are communicated.
From Numbers to Narrative: Crafting Compelling Data Stories
Once the audience has been identified, it’s important to identify the topics that will be the focus of the data story. For example, a sales team would love to hear about how one of their gifted salesmen snatched a business contract from a competitor using a single well-chosen data point during an elevator pitch. A finance team, on the other hand, is likely to be more interested in hearing about predictable outcomes from efficiently executed processes and contracts.
It’s also important to avoid cherry-picking data or presenting misleading relationships such as spurious correlations. A data story should always be rooted in business reality and provide valuable insight to the audience.