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Data Storytelling: Combining Art and Science

This article became written by means of Jenny Haskins, search engine marketing Strategist at NP DIgital


You don’t always want words to tell a tale – in fact, every so often numbers work just as well. But how can you efficiently create a starting, middle, and end with numbers? And of path, through “numbers” I sincerely mean “facts,” because we are digital entrepreneurs in any case.


Data storytelling is an intrinsic a part of various marketing services, specially in case you work in an organization putting. If this stability of art and technological know-how is accomplished properly, you’ll engage stakeholders in communication, maintain your audience’s attention, and perhaps even hold them on the edge in their seats.

Key Takeaways
Data storytelling engages, clarifies, persuades, contextualizes, enhances memorability, and humanizes facts, main to higher understanding and choice-making.
Over ninety% of the mind contains visible content.
There are 4 non-linear steps for effective information storytelling: collection, evaluation, visualization, and narrative improvement.
Data storytelling, when accomplished properly, could make complex figures on hand to a spread of audiences.
Embrace flexibility in the storytelling procedure, if you want to lead to more compelling and properly-rounded narratives.
What is Data Storytelling?
Data storytelling combines visuals with compelling narrative. It’s the exercise of accumulating, analyzing, visualizing, and conveying information in an enticing and persuasive way. The goal is to drive selection-making and inspire action based totally on insights; made less complicated via a memorable, relatable narrative.
Image Source: domo.Com


Why is it Important?
Instead of asking why records storytelling is essential, ask yourself: What’s the factor of an amazing tale? To entertain and/or convey a message, you would possibly solution. The same is going for facts storytelling.
Or, imagine an extended-predicted film was just launched. How do you want to stroll faraway from the theater? Excited, giddy, thought-provoked, stimulated. The identical goes for information storytelling.


Our clients are similar to us: human. Rather than watching a stakeholder’s eyes glaze over at some point of your presentation, strive to wow them with the numbers you worked so hard to prepare. As human beings, our brains are attracted to stories for numerous psychological motives. There are survival and sociological additives like information sharing, dating constructing, and even the release of oxytocin inside the brain that lead to deeper connection, emotional resonance, and statistics retention.

And the numbers don’t lie: A important bank created a credit card that targeted Millennials by means of evoking emotion with storytelling. Use by this age organization grew by way of 70% and new debts elevated by means of 40%.


Furthermore, it’s important to word that more than 90% of our brain is made up of visible content. Therefore, developing a tale in the back of statistics visualization facilitates keep it in the brain (memorization).


TL;DR: Data storytelling is important simply as it allows with clarity and know-how, engagement at some point of your presentation, choice-making, memorability, and alignment.


The Science of Data Storytelling
Any expert with a activity rooted in numbers is aware of the significance of accuracy, transparency, and accountability. As an search engine marketing, this holds proper. I always acquire and test important information (performance for site visitors, leads, key phrases rating) twice before even considering crafting a story.
Science (the numbers/information) drives the primary two steps of statistics storytelling:


This is the initial phase in which relevant data is amassed from numerous assets. My go-to statistics sources are (of course) Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Ahrefs, SEMrush, amongst others – frequently searching at natural traffic, keywords ranking, conversions, SERPs, and extra.

Once the information is accrued, it needs to be analyzed to pick out developments, styles, and insights. This often involves the use of statistical strategies and facts visualization tools to make feel of the statistics. For instance, to better apprehend metrics pulled from Google Analytics, I’ll create a Looker Studio dashboard, which creates automated visuals on your priority KPIs all through a selected time frame.


With technology, the whole lot needs to be actual. However, while blending art with whatever, “precise” isn’t exactly entirely viable. Once facts is gathered and analyzed, it’s time to get innovative.


The Art of Data Storytelling
At this factor, we’ve the position of storytelling in human conversation and its energy in conveying complex facts. With information storytelling, this is in which the artwork of it comes in. There’s creativity, flexibility, and private contact involved in crafting a tale and its five elements (person, putting, plot, warfare, and determination). But how can we merge the art behind the ones factors with the science in the back of our facts?


We pass to the ultimate two steps in statistics storytelling:


Data visualization plays a critical role in records storytelling. Charts, graphs, screenshots, and other visible aids are used to illustrate key factors and make the statistics extra accessible and comprehensible to the target market.

Narrative Development
This is where the magic takes place. Instead of honestly providing raw facts, the insights gleaned from the evaluation are crafted into a story. This narrative should have a clean structure with a starting, center, and cease, and have to intention to talk a selected message or concept.


Completing this ultimate step helps us apprehend our tale factors.


An instance primarily based on my function: The person is the purchaser’s business, placing is their internet site, plot is performance, conflict is regions of possibility (content updates, technical fixes, short wins), and determination is how we navigate the ones areas of opportunity. See the following case observe to similarly this situation – it demonstrates how NP Digital executed various performance increases for an search engine optimization campaign thru information, visualization, and narrative.

Image Source: NP Digital

The art of records storytelling also approach not always following these 4 steps to a tee. Remember to embrace flexibility – follow free ends, solution your very own questions, and explore every alternative. This not simplest allows you higher apprehend your information, it:


Creates a more-compelling, properly-rounded story
Makes you more confident and personable
Promotes interest within your self
Keeps shows clean with new information
Embracing flexibility may even hold you leaping among steps. Researching one piece of facts and find something else that simply might be applicable to your tale? Back to the first step. Think that your factor might be driven domestic by way of looking into one greater issue? Back to the first step. Find something that throws a wrench in your whole tale? Go to step 4.

The intersection of technological know-how and art, logic and creativity, data and storytelling is complimentary; each of those distinct components feeds into the other.


Examples of Data Storytelling
Examples of facts storytelling are greater distinguished to your everyday lifestyles than you may recognise.Image Source: Spotify Newsroom


Remember how crazy each person goes at 12 months’s cease for Spotify Wrapped? Me too. Why is that? Think approximately it: Spotify aggregates your listening facts for the duration of the yr, which is personalised to you. Then, thru a acquainted social media tale format, they lure users to click via to the following snippet of their own music story. Spotify also uses putting visuals/images to help customers digest the facts, and sound for an immersive enjoy. Lastly, they prompt users to sell their own facts on social media (free advertising).


It’s extremely good. Spotify’s sales grew with the aid of 322% on the grounds that Wrapped’s release in 2016 (Q4 ‘sixteen vs. Q4 ‘23), with the most important boom occurring that 12 months of its release.


The Future of Data Storytelling
There’s no question that data storytelling will handiest end up more established as time is going on. Data is at our fingertips with tech like smartphones, smart watches, social media, fitness trackers, step counters, display screen time notifications, customized music metrics, and plenty more – even non-entrepreneurs are reading stories through information every day.

Image Source: MacStories

Data storytelling gives an interesting frontier wherein era, creativity, and facts converge to revolutionize how we communicate insights and make choices.

Data storytelling honestly isn’t going anywhere each time soon, so placed your innovative hats on and let’s journey the winding avenue of information collectively.

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