Data Storytelling : Enough from me, lets talk to Data dealers! Part 4 of 5

This blog is the fourth 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.

You can read the previous stories by clicking on the links below

First Story, Second Story, Third Story

In this blog I will cover how a data dealer managed to convince his boss that Data Storytelling helps prove a point

Question: Tell us about a time when you have achieved a positive outcome due to effective data storytelling?

I am like any other data analyst who spends a large amount of their time convincing their bosses to adopt a new view. Bosses sometimes are harder than customers.

It was a few months ago, I had been reading about Data Storytelling and I wanted to try this approach in my work but my boss would always shut me down upon trying.

He would laugh and say, ” I have hired you to analyse data, stories you can tell over the weekend.”

Then one day, my boss and I were visiting a client. The drive to the client’s office was very long. I took that opportunity to get to know my boss a bit better. Through our conversations I discovered he was a football enthusiast.

As we were talking I was reminded of a fantastic article I had read on undiscovered virtues of data storytelling which proved who, between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, was a better player.

Since our drive was rather long, I took the opportunity to share this story with my boss.

I asked him, ” Who do you think is a better player Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo ?

He said,” both are pretty good”. I said well I can prove to you Messi is a better player before we get to our client presentation today. He smiled and said, ” by all means ”

I searched for the article I had read and read out this key insight to him

Data Storytelling

Magical Messi scores almost as many goals from outside the penalty area (34%) as the other top players score from inside the penalty area (38.2%). That’s just an absolutely stunning achievement. Everyone scores mostly from closer to the goal, and that’s understandable. But Messi outscores his peers from outside the penalty box as well.

This insight is built on data.

My boss responded, that is a great insight, where did you find this?

I then shared the article with my boss and point out the following two lines of the article to him.

Storytelling should be an integral part of data-driven management because analysing and generating insights isn’t going to get the job done. Those insights still need to be woven in a compelling narrative. That’s what will make the data analysis persuasive, and eventually actionable.

As we walked in to the client office my boss said, ” Do you have a great story you can tell today? If you do, lets hear it.”

So, what is the key takeaway here?

How you frame the question to which your data storytelling is providing an answer is very important. It should always leave the listener saying. ” I want to know what that is”

For example you can frame a question like this in the usual way

Do you know how we performed in various markets last year?

Or if you have a great insight in your findings like your smallest market was the most profitable market because it only stocks your most premium product, you should frame a question like this.

Do you know why our smallest market is the most profitable market for last year?

The research behind answering both the question is the same but your framing the question correctly is what creates interest

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"I attended your story telling course some time back. And I've enjoyed keeping up my knowledge with your blog. You may not have realised however, that the Whole of Government is implementing Internet Seperation. Hence I'm not able to access the links to read your articles. Could I suggest including a QR code in your emails so that I can use my mobile to scan it and gain immediate access to the article? It would be most helpful"