Data Storytelling : Enough from me, lets talk to Data dealers! Part 3 of 5

This blog is the third blog of my Blog series on Data Storytelling from Data Dealers.

Who are data dealers?

People whose job day in and out is to work with data. I have coined a term for these people, Data Dealers because no one really knows better then them what it is to deal with overwhelming data and how best to make sense of it.

In our first blog a Data Dealer shared a great story on how he managed to use data findings for a desired outcome.You can read the story here

In the second blog we shared a story of a market researcher who presented a data insight which helped him rewin a lost contract. You can read the story here

Our Data dealer for this blog is Shireesh Mishra, Strategic Planning, Operations Excellence and Marketing Enablement at Pay Pal Asia Pacific.

So, enough from me, lets hear it from a Data dealer

Ques: Share an experience where you were able to achieve a desired outcome by data storytelling.

Ans: In 2009 I was working for one of the largest Indian retailers who were early adopters of comprehensive customer loyalty program.

We had an opportunity to present to a potential client. The objective was to persuade the potential client on  ‘how the new life-stage led segmentation is better than current frequency based segmentation being widely accepted within the organization’.

We had all the possible statistics required to demonstrate that the new segmentation is way better than the old one.

However, our meeting was a disaster. We relied too much on numbers and as a result we were asked to leave the meeting mid-way. 

Thankfully, upon requesting we got one more chance to present.

This time we had a different strategy i.e. converting the statistics into insights and in turn connecting it with real people examples.

We found patterns of the type of people within the data and created hypothetical (due to personal data privacy) yet real profiles of people who were being treated in a similar way due to the aged old segmentation.

Special consideration was made to ensure the profiles were relevant for the market and decision makers in the room so that they would be able to relate to in their real life experiences.

We kicked off the meeting introducing the 2 characters and distinguishing characteristics of the two. The atmosphere in the room was very different with an engaged audience and people who were now keen to change the experience of such customers in our pool. We created a lot more advocates for our new model in the organization to influence decision making in the course of time.

We are Humans and ‘just numbers’ don’t resonate with us but ‘context’ does

Here are some questions you can ask yourself before walking in to a meeting where you have to data story tell. I learnt about these questions from Storytelling with Data by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic

1 Avoid a general audience. Be very specific who your findings are for. Who is the decision maker and what do I know about him/ her
2 What relationship do you have with the audience? Do they already trust you, or do you need to work to establish credibility?
3 What do you want them to do after you have finished telling the story?
4 What biases does your audience have that might make them supportive of, or resistant to your message?
5 What factors weaken our case and do we need to proactively address them?
6 What data is available that would strengthen our case?
7 Do we know why the data findings are as they are ?
8 Am I making a general reference or I have chosen a character who is like the  people we are taking about it?

On the pic: On a fun note Shireesh has managed to look like a dealer in this pic too. But keeping the importance of context in mind I must share that this pic was taken just before Shireesh was about to donate his Hair for Hope ( Children’s Cancer Foundation).You can watch his before and after shot here

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