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Storytelling with Data!

Updated: Jan 20, 2019

Data visualization exists, in large part, to help create a compelling narrative. How to take a deep, storytelling-based approach to data visualization.

Data has long been used to tell stories of a sort in organizations. But over the past couple years, data storytelling has emerged more overtly as a formal process and, in some companies, a business intelligence and analytics job category. Telling stories with data typically goes hand in hand with data visualization — charts and other forms of info-graphics are common components of data stories aimed at explaining the findings of BI and analytics applications to business executives.

But that connection also leads to a potential pitfall for data storytellers: overwhelming execs with flashy visualizations that are hard to decipher. And there’s more to crafting an engaging data story than just creating some data visualizations and putting them together in a dashboard or report. Effective data storytelling also requires an accompanying narrative that clarifies what’s being shown in visualizations and provides context on why the information is relevant to an organization’s business strategies and operations.

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