Practical Data Storytelling tip #4 : Do you put up a pretty slide and keep mum?

Data Storytelling is not Data Analytics or Data Visualisation. My intention with this 309 word blog is to differentiate between Data Visualisation and Data Storytelling and give you an example convincing enough that makes you say, ” Yes, Data Visualisation is not Data Storytelling.

A lot of my work involves Data Storytelling and naturally I look for all articles, books and papers to continuously grow my knowledge in that field. A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon an article that curated the best blogs about Data Storytelling written in 2016.

Excited, I started reading each one of them carefully, but to my disappointment the majority of the articles were about data visualisation. Most people confuse data storytelling with data visualisation. I found myself lost in shapes, line, graphs and charts etc  to use.

The easiest way to understand the difference between data visualisation and data storytelling is this

Imagine you are about to make a presentation( non data related)  and you have prepared the best slides possible. You take your position on the stage or wherever you are presenting from, the slides come on the screen and then you keep mum. Does that sound like an effective presentation?

Absolutely not… That was the equivalent of, have a great data visualisation with no data storytelling.

By focusing only on data visualisation you have failed to inspire the audience to take the action you intended them to take. Because an emotion, which is in the story, leads to action and emotion will not be there in the graphs and pie charts.

Now, ask yourself… why are you communicating if you cannot get the action you desire?

If you are keen to know a little more on this subject I recommend you read one of my fav blogs on Data Storytelling by Brent Dykes here

So, what can you do? 

Start with understanding that Data Visualisation does not lead to an action,  Data Storytelling does.

This is our fourth blog of short practical tips on Data Storytelling. You can read other blogs ( all less than 3 mins to read ) below

Data Storytelling Tip 1

Data Storytelling Tip 2

Data Storytelling Tip 3

PS: I agree this may not be a practical tip as suggested in the title but its an understanding one must have to effectively data storytell.

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