All Good (Data) Stories Start at the End

How do businesses keep insights flowing when physical distance is the norm? It’s harder, but not impossible. Data storytelling frameworks help lead the way.

We’ve had an unprecedented rate of change over the past few weeks, and with that has come an unprecedented use of data. And it’s not only the surge in information sharing prompted by COVID-19. I’d go a step further: If we sit back and consider our own working environments, there has been more of a demand for timely data on production, shipments and financial metrics, let alone the wide range of human resource considerations.

The way in which we work and interact has fundamentally changed in what seems like the blink of an eye.

At Storylytics, we believe that we need data stories to make faster, better decisions in a rapidly changing world.

This need for data stories is something we discuss a lot, and at no other point in time has the importance of telling stories through data been greater.  The storytelling element is underscored by the fact that, with many of us working from home, data is often now shared without a voice-over or human touch. So, how do we keep the insights flowing? We need to develop and deliver stories that can stand alone.

To tell a good story, in any realm, we need three key elements – something meaningful to share, a common language with the audience, and a relatable framework to engage. If a story is missing the mark, we need to focus on what makes up each of the pillars. Where is the gap? Is it in the interpretation of the data, understanding of the audience, the intent of the problem, the design of the story or the delivery technique?

“Whoa. Okay. So, where can we start?” I can hear you asking from here, physical distancing in my home office. Well, the same place all good stories start – at the end. To build your skills, focus first on the delivery of the story. It’s where your audience feels the greatest frustration, and where you’ll get your biggest return on investment.

At the end of the day, all your audience really wants is to know why the data matters – what it means and how it helps them determine what’s next. In remote work we lose the luxury of chatter, which puts even more pressure on story delivery to ensure insights are understood and actions are clear. Using a data storytelling framework like the POET Technique™ helps you maintain that laser focus on making the data matter for your audience.

POET lives in three forms – verbal (presentation), visual (page) and email. When working remotely, POET on the Page is where we make the data matter and allow stories to be told without us being present. Our audiences will understand exactly what they need to do differently, based on the data, and can share the same insight with others. This speeds up communication of results, and ultimately the action needed.

Ah, data in the time of COVID-19. And this is exactly why we’re going to be offering free webinars on the POET Technique™ in the first few weeks of April. Keep an eye on our website for more details, and keep in touch for more tips in the weeks to come.

Laura, it was great to meet you. I loved your content and style, and I must say we are an organization that needed that session. You resonated with ‘marketers’ and ‘analytical’ minds in an amazing way. I would love to have longer sessions as I think you will make us better at telling the story of data and analytics! Really great session!

–Director, Marketing Strategy

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