telling a story with data is an essential skill for marketers and growth teams to develop. It can help them convert insights into action, and make their data more palatable to audiences who might not otherwise be interested in or capable of digesting a lot of marketing numbers.
A data story is a narrative that combines context, key data points and visuals to communicate a message to a specific audience. It can be used to highlight a specific trend or pattern in your data, or to explain complex concepts to an audience. It can also be used to drive home a solution or decision for your audience, using the data as evidence for what should be done or not done.
The Art of Data Storytelling: How to Craft Compelling Narratives from Numbers
When telling a story with your data, it’s important to be objective and not manipulate the results to fit your desired outcome or narrative. There have been many documented cases of businesses presenting data in ways that are misleading and can mislead their audience.
To avoid these traps, it’s best to start with a general overview and then dive into the details of your data points in the middle. This can be helped by adding text, images and other visual components to the story so your audience is able to understand what you mean. For example, you might use a symbol at the end of a line graph or add an additional axis to indicate something your audience might not see.