Data Storytelling: the numbers have the floor!

Data Storytelling is the ability to use data to tell stories and personalise data at the expense of the audience. It is a relatively new concept, based on DataViz or Data Visualisation. The objective is to go further, in terms of ease of understanding and pedagogy.


When the relevant data is in an ergonomic, colourful and obvious format, everything becomes easier. The brain captures 80% of information through images. DataViz is the art of presenting numbers in a creative and interesting way, where Excel spreadsheets have failed. Data visualisation is based on communicating raw numbers and information by converting them into a visual object such as curves, maps, dots or bars. It uses simple concepts that refer to the human tendency to organise visual elements into groups. This makes it easier to distinguish shapes through colour schemes and other visual processes. With data visualisation, understanding data storytelling for the audience is easier.

The language of stories

Storytelling is the most human activity, it is even an art. In the business world, this has led to storytelling, which is mostly used for communication services. However, it is most useful when it comes to data analysis presentations. Combining analytical and communication skills becomes important in order to make the analysis understood. From managers to employees, everyone wants to understand the analysis presented to them. Dataviz allows for the formatting and visualization of this data. However, to understand the data, it must be explained and told. The difficulty lies in translating quantitative mathematical analysis into a tangible story that is easy to understand.

How can this be done?

There are three types of techniques for successful data storytelling, including structuring the presentation, knowing the audience and directing the stories. Structuring the presentation helps to define the starting point and the goal, structuring the basic context, the current context and the expected context. However, all storytelling technologies are useless if the audience at the exhibition is not known and understood. Tailoring the story to the audience is necessary to highlight the important elements. However, presenting a long speech, full of details and descriptive elements is detrimental to the presentation. The main idea of the presentation should be easily understood and conveyed from the beginning.

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