In every event and business, there is a story to tell. There are different ways to represent each story to reach the targeted audience. How do you plan to tell your story? This blog will enlighten you on making your story understandable by using data storytelling with the following subtopics:
- Definition of data storytelling
- Why data storytelling?
- What are the elements of data storytelling?
- What makes better data storytelling?
- How to create a great data storytelling
- Benefits of data storytelling in business
- How Bold BI helps in data storytelling
Definition of data storytelling
Data storytelling is a way of passing information to a specific audience through a narrative and visualization. This helps a diverse audience to understand the data as represented through the story.
Why data storytelling?
Data storytelling gives you effective data representation for easier and simpler knowledge transfer to your audience. Using the data storytelling method gets your point across to everyone, regardless of their data literacy. Organizing your results into a cohesive story for presentation is the best way to make an impact.
Data storytelling easily engages the audience. The human brain is built to take in stories and understand what’s important in them from the way they’re told. Instead of focusing on details immediately, your audience will wait for the story to conclude before becoming critical. Stories are also more likely to be emotionally engaging. If the story is told well, those listening will want to know how it ends.
Studies show that your audience is far more likely to remember details when presented in story format. The data is given context, the emotional connection activates more of their brains, and the visuals help further to build a long-time picture in their minds. If you want to make an impression, using narrative to explain the data you’re presenting will make it memorable.
What are the elements of data storytelling?
Data storytelling has three key elements: data, visuals, and narrative. These three elements combine and work together in storytelling.
Data is your basis, the plot and substance of your story. Human brains are not wired to comprehend data grids, even when they have been well prepared, though. So you need a way to present your data that’s understandable to your audience.
Visualization makes data look impressive and interesting in graphs, charts, and other visual elements. More importantly, visualizing data like this shows your audience the patterns and outliers in your data that would be completely lost if presented in just a grid. This insight is invaluable.
What really engages the audience to whom you’re presenting is going to be the narrative. Humans are not wired to comprehend data grids, but we are very much wired to comprehend stories. An organized narrative explaining why the data looks the way it does in your visuals, where your insight came from, and how you have drawn your conclusions will give context to them and stick with your audience far better than data or visuals alone.
What makes better data storytelling?
How do you make a data story effective? Here are some of the key points to consider to make a great data story.
Be up to date
Ensure the story you’re presenting to your audience is about up-to-date data. Stories being easy to remember can come back and bite you if your story has the wrong details. Your corrections will be harder to remember.
The story you tell should be relevant with respect to the audience and the data itself. Ensure you know your audience to help create a constructive tale that will help them understand the situation.
Use a clear narrative
Stories require beginnings, middles, and ends. They need settings, characters, conflict, and resolution. Make sure you have these components and a logical path through your story that includes them. Going off on tangents will confuse your audience.
Use your visuals
In data storytelling, using photos, graphs, or charts is important for quick understanding of the data you’re narrating. Include these visuals when planning the story and don’t clutter the visuals with too much not included in your narrative. The point is to help the people to whom you’re presenting understand the story better, and there for the point you’re trying to make better, not just overload them with pretty graphs.
How to create a great data storytelling
Know your audience
Your audience will dictate your focus, tone, and the time you have to speak. Keeping your audience in mind helps you prepare and plan accordingly. If you are presenting to customers, examine your data to know who they are and where their interests lie.
Identify your story
Examine your data thoroughly with the help of your visualizations so that you can clearly construct its story. Pick out the story elements: the beginning, middle, and end; the conflict and resolution; the characters and setting, if there are any.
Focus on the context
Be highly conversant on your topic and its data to build your confidence for handling any question. Concentrate on putting the conclusions of your data analysis into context. This makes the analysis meaningful and helpful to the audience.
Using visuals makes the information clearer. People can better understand your data when presented in graphics. Be sure to incorporate your charts and any other visuals into your story properly.
Benefits of Data Storytelling in Business
Data storytelling improves your understanding of your data and lets you effectively communicate that understanding. Let me take you through the key gains attained by using data storytelling in your presentations and overall communications strategies. It includes:
- Encourages your audience to use data
- Improves communication
- Improves business branding and marketing
Encourages your audience to use data
Data storytelling presents the data in a manner that attracts the audience and encourages them to use the data to solve and overcome their challenges. In the familiar form of a story, all those numbers and statistics become less intimidating. Visuals like graphs might give meaning to the numbers, but the story told to give them context will especially help those not accustomed to reading such graphs. This method of data sharing encourages your audience to see the data in a relatable light.
Communication is key to improve the effectiveness of a business. Data storytelling promotes good communication in the data presentation process. Stories are a framework that everyone understands, so using one leads your audience to benefit more from the information shared. They can understand and relate to it better, and so can participate in discussion about it better, improving overall communication among teams and the expression of ideas.
Improves business branding and marketing
Data storytelling is not just presenting data to your co-workers through a story. Sometimes, it’s using data to find the story you need to connect with your customers. Companies collect massive amounts of data on their customers, from their browsing habits to their demographics. They also have access to market information telling them where their target demographics’ interests are moving. Marketing departments can use this information to create relatable, emotion-evoking advertising that moulds your brand image. Potential customers are more likely to respond to ads personalized to them.
How Bold BI Helps in Data Storytelling
Bold BI brings data visualization to data storytelling. It helps you present the data in a form that lets your audience see for themselves the trends and outliers you’re talking about, information difficult to convey with just data grids.
Some of the key features of Bold BI’s embedded analytics:
Create stunning dashboards with chart, card, map, and other widgets with no IT skill needed using Bold BI’s powerful, easy-to-use designer. Your visualized data will be more attractive and self-explanatory to your audience and everyone in your company can utilize embedded analytics with little training.
With Bold BI, every aspect of deployment and routine management such as provisioning tenants; managing users, groups, and permissions; and scheduling reports can be fully automated through a rich API layer. You can set up your dashboards to be updated regularly as data changes, so your visuals are always accurate.
With Bold BI, you can display results from predictive models produced using other machine learning environments. Additionally, you can use built-in methods available for forecasting to identify business risks and understand trends. This is like ending your story with a preview of the possible next chapter. What is likely to happen next in the story if various decisions are made?
For any analytics deployment to be successful, you should be able to connect to all kinds of business data. Bold BI was designed with the latest best practices and makes it easy to connect to data in relational and SQL databases, data warehouses, REST API services, big data systems, and local files. A complete and accurate story requires a complete and accurate basis.
Designed for embedding
Data storytelling example in Bold BI
Sharing your data in a way your audience is accustomed to processing information helps them understand you more easily. Bold BI helps organize your data into a simpler form that can be interpreted by a wider audience. Using dashboards with data storytelling gives your tale visuals for the presentation process. Take a look at some example dashboards and imagine how they can aid in presenting the story of the data within them. I will take you through 4 different departments with an example:
School Performance Dashboard
Bold BI’s school performance dashboard example helps you monitor important KPIs related to details about faculty, grades, the retention rate of students and faculties, faculty-to-student ratio, student enrolment details, and more. When storytelling about education, you can represent your data in a dashboard as shown for your audience to have a visual of your story.
Check out more of our interactive dashboards for education.
Property Management Dashboard
Bold BI’s Property Management Dashboard helps a property owner or manager view their properties’ revenue details, such as net income, total expense, and loss due to vacancy. They can also view monthly reports for the amount they spent managing the properties. The occupancy and tenant turnover metrics are used to learn about business progress. By examining tenant satisfaction details, they can upgrade their business appropriately. All of this is part of the story of these properties.
Check out more of our interactive dashboards for property management.
Podio project management
Bold BI’s Podio Project Management Dashboard example helps monitor and manage project tasks using various metrics and KPIs like completion time, task cycle time, and overdue tasks. The metrics help dashboard users to determine the progress of each project by comparing complete and incomplete tasks against due dates and overall project progress.
Check out more of our interactive dashboards for information technology.
HR Employee Attendance Details Dashboard
Bold BI’s HR Employee Attendance Details Dashboard example helps HR administrators to monitor each employee’s attendance details and create reports easily. This dashboard showcases the metrics that illustrate the story of a company’s employment successes and possible mistakes.
Check out more of our interactive dashboards for an HR department.
I hope you now have a good idea of what data storytelling is and know where to begin your own.
Bold BI helps you visualize your data to see all your important metrics and KPIs in real-time. You can integrate Bold BI dashboards into your applications written in ASP.NET Core, ASP.NET MVC, ASP.NET, and Ruby on Rails. To learn more about embedding dashboards into your applications, refer to this blog and our documentation. You can create a dashboard any way you like with Bold BI’s 35+ widgets and 130+ supported data sources.
Get started with Bold BI by signing up for a free 15-day trial and creating more interactive business intelligence dashboards. You can contact us by submitting questions through the Bold BI website or, if you already have an account, you can log in to submit your support question.