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5 Tips to Become a Successful Data Storyteller

Becoming a data storyteller is no walk in the park.  You have to be as effective as the people behind the analysis of data that you have in your hands, and your organisation’s actions and decisions rely on the message you are going to convey.  You may use a storytelling Power BI application to help you, but we are adding a few tips that can help you become successful in data storytelling:

  1. Don’t over-complicate things.

Don’t spend too much time presenting everything you have analysed, even if you have lost sleep over it.  It will confuse your audience and the whole idea you are presenting will become fruitless.  Structure your story carefully, stick to relevant data only, and build your way to reach the story’s climax.  This way you will be able to keep their attention and compel them into taking action.

  1. Show the statistics by using a data-driven story.

Everybody loves to listen to a good story rather than listen to a bunch of information.  It gives your data a more persuasive approach.  Research has shown that people are more responsive to stories because they touch emotions, which makes it more memorable and easier to understand.  Take note that when doing this, you must learn to filter your statistics and focus on the most important highlights. The whole idea is to move your audience, and the data that you must present has to create an impact.

  1. Connect with your audience.

Normally, information given by data analysts target a broad audience. But you have to remember that not all of your audiences have the same perspectives or goals for the organisation. For instance, a salesperson might be looking for some indicators that are suitable for his current role that is not applicable for the company accountant.

If you try to cover all the bases in one go, you will get bored and confuse audiences.  What you should do is to identify your audience so you can curate your data into a story that relates to them.  It must speak their language so they can understand you.  By doing so, you will be able to use only the relevant information and tools to better address their needs, and help them create the right ideas and solutions.

  1. Your data must support and focus on your story.

You definitely have lots of data that you want to present but remember to always keep it simple.  Stick with your story from start to finish.  When your audience sees your consistency, you will be able to lead them into looking into the whole idea of the data you are storytelling.  When you start entertaining matters outside your discussion, you lose your touch and confuse your audience.

Also, in order to be a credible storyteller, you must be able to present data that supports your story.  Sometimes our opinions are biased towards the actual data, but always stick to the facts.  When you fail to connect your story with the statistical data that you have, you will lose your capacity to defend your story and lose your audience in the process.

  1. Infuse data visualisation during your presentation.

A story without visual aids can be quite boring. When you use visuals during your presentation, it captures your audience’s attention. Data visualisation also helps to convey your message in an easier and more simplified way.  It is also more convenient to show your data to your audience in a form of visual presentation.

Of course, you can’t just flip slides of graphs and charts in front of them, you have to make sure that your visuals are understandable and directly connect to the data you are trying to narrate.  Design your presentation in a manner that is clear, concise and effective.

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