Data Storytelling: ability to tell stories with data for better decision making


It’s a common challenge: as the comparison variables increase, the more difficult it becomes to communicate so much data. The ease of access to data and the exponential increase in the amount of information available create obstacles in analyzing and making business decisions. The reduced cost of storage and high computational power are also factors that increased the complexity in delivering data to analysts. Furthermore, the gap in academic training stands out, with little emphasis on how to tell stories involving numerical data.

To help with these challenges, we invite you to watch our webinar, where we explore valuable tips and information for good Data Storytelling.

In the process of exploratory data analysis, it is crucial to resist the temptation to overload the presentation with complex details. While exploration involves a significant investment of time in analyzing, mining, and combining data, the true value lies in the answers generated by that analysis. Focusing on fundamental questions related to business data is essential. The presentation should be seen as a vehicle to communicate essential findings, highlighting an explanatory approach. Instead of inundating the audience with raw data, the focus is on presenting analytical results that answer initial questions, thereby simplifying communication and emphasizing crucial information.

Visual objects
When approaching data visualization, it is crucial to consider the variety of graphs available and how they interact with our visual system. Unlike tables, which connect to the verbal system, graphs provide faster reading, being an effective alternative for communicating information. Among the various tools available, such as Power BI, Tableau and Office itself, the options are vast. Additionally, development libraries such as Chart JS, High Charts, Age Grid and Apex Charts offer elegant solutions for web platforms and dashboards, providing a visually appealing range.
For inspiration, we suggest exploring websites dedicated to data presentation, where you can find creative ways to represent challenging data sets. These sources are valuable for stimulating ideas and enhancing the visual presentation of data.

Cognitive Load
When approaching data visualization, it is essential to consider cognitive load, that is, the mental effort that the audience invests in understanding the information presented. The limit of this load highlights the importance of maintaining simplicity in the presentation, avoiding overloading the screen with complex elements that could cause visual and mental fatigue.
The careful organization of objects, taking advantage of proximity to indicate groups and similarity to direct attention, helps in quickly understanding the content. Techniques such as changing line colors and using enclosures and shadows are also effective strategies for highlighting specific information and guiding the user’s eye when reading horizontally or vertically.

How to tell a good story
Telling a good story when presenting data is essential to maintain the audience’s interest. Using techniques from cinema and theater, for example, it is possible to create an engaging narrative that not only conveys facts, but also excites and holds attention. The approach must follow a clear narrative structure, with a beginning, middle and end, involving the audience from the context to the call to action.
Creativity plays a crucial role in this process, connecting the art of storytelling with data accuracy. The narrative structure should be the central focus of communication, connecting all parts of the presentation and ensuring a cohesive experience for the audience. Adapting the order and using affective attributes, such as a sense of urgency, are additional strategies to improve the narrative. Narrative integration is essential, especially in reports and dashboards, where explanation and connection between data are fundamental for an effective presentation.

In short, to have good Data Storytelling it is essential to consider different ways of carrying it out. Here are the key points to remember:

  • Importance of clarity in the presentation topic, the appropriate choice of method considering the presentation format and understanding of the target audience, adapting the level of detail as necessary.
  • Need to state the story clearly, planning the data flow and creating a storyboard to guide the visual choice.
  • Eliminating cognitive load is crucial by avoiding visual excess, such as unnecessary borders and boxes, and opting for soft color palettes.
  • Telling a good story, with a beginning, middle and end, is vital, as is offering different perspectives on information when necessary.
  • Always centralizing the narrative as the link that connects all parts of the communication is essential for a cohesive and impactful presentation

If you want to download the material that we have seen in the webinar, click here LINK

If you want to know more about this topic, contact us LINK

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