How do companies benefit from data storytelling?


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Today, being a data-driven business is very en vogue. Organisations are fuelling themselves by reaping as much data as they can sow, and it's paying off. By paying attention to its data, a business can take advantage of deeper insights into customer journeys and experiences and their business processes. As a result, companies can action these insights into optimising their operations.

Naturally then, company data is of high importance to the boardroom. However, whether or not the boardroom is data-fluent is another story.

Despite the fact that Chief Data Officers are increasingly commonplace among company c-suites, that is only one out of however many individuals in the group. Often, company decision makers are unable to fully interpret data, meaning they can't take full advantage of it.

Fortunately, data storytelling can help organisations overcome this frustration. In particular, it translates data analyses to make it understandable for non-data professionals. Of course, business intelligence (BI) tools do somewhat the same, but they lack the narrative that data storytelling promises.

Say it better with a story

Data storytelling turns the data into information and, like stories, often have some kind of crescendo before a conclusion. In particular, data storytelling adds a human touch to the information and enables people to make much more sense of it. Unlike BI tools, which only display the 'what', data storytelling makes clear the 'what' and 'why' of company data.

Data storytelling is where data science, visualisation, and storytelling with a narrative meet, and all three components are necessary to successfully convey information. The fusion of the three enables in-depth, understandable explanation of data sets. With the support of visuals and a narrative, the audience can see insights they would have missed otherwise. This approach is also more memorable than simply looking at a data set, as the emotional element within a story helps the audience remember stages of the data journey better.

When delivered in simple terms, decision makers can get a better picture of what's happening and why. In turn, they can act accordingly and know that they have accounted for the company activity. Data storytelling can help organisations meet their bottom lines better and introduces a human flair to an otherwise lifeless matter.

Enjoy this article? Why not check out our CxO of the Week, George Kurian at NetApp?

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