Telling Stories with Data


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Susan Moore, whose global work and results were published in the book, Wake Me Up When the Data is Over, has held senior management positions with Microsoft and Eastman. Elissa Fink is the Senior Vice President of Tableau Software. Together, these two dynamic business leaders addressed the fundamental shift in how we see and process data.

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Telling Stories with Data

  1. 1. You cannot open a bookY t b kwithout learning something.– Confucius Telling a Great T lli G t Story With Data Susan Moore Elissa Fink
  2. 2. Providing Facts to Management Can Be a Big Job to Navigate 2
  3. 3. Why Story?Makes sense and orderSees the whole where there aredisparate partsGives vision to what the future can look likeIs interactive – people p themselves p p putinto stories 3
  4. 4. What Is a Good Story?A good story involves CharactersChallenge iis b liCh ll believable blThere are Hurdles to overcomeOutcome or prognosis is clear 4
  5. 5. A Story Has Emotion 5
  6. 6. Often, Often Presenting Data ≠ Good StoryMonthly Presentation of Results 6
  7. 7. Why? Too often, We Createthe Presentation Before We Know the Story 7
  8. 8. The Presentation or The Story?Is This Really Just “Sales by Region”? “West Region Growing By Leaps & Bounds”? Sales by Region 30% 25% 20% 15% Last Period 10% This Period 5% 0% East Midwest South West 8
  9. 9. When Crafting a Data-Rich Story…Get the Story First: Explore the Data What Are the Findings?Determine What You Want People to Doas a ResultFinally, Write Out the “Story Board” forYour Audience The more senior your audience = fewer slides 9
  10. 10. This? 1010/21/2008
  11. 11. Or This? 1110/21/2008
  12. 12. Be Authentic Authentic… Your Story will FlowWhat Makes It Believable For YourAudience? Start with metaphor, urban legend or anecdote. Develop with data. Authenticity is rooted data in facts. Facts are rooted in data. Supplement hard data with qualitative data. • Sample customer emails • Audio/video clips of competitor activity 12
  13. 13. Be Visual –You Are the Film Editor 13
  14. 14. NY Times Example /business/20080916-treemap-graphic.htmllink next 14
  15. 15. NY Times Example 15
  16. 16. This? 16
  17. 17. Or This? 17
  18. 18. Make It Easyfor You and Your AudienceTelling a story should be simple anddirect recall and action will be thatmuch strongerNo hoop jumpingState 2-3 key issues and how they 23relate to your audience 18
  19. 19. This? 19
  20. 20. Or This? 20
  21. 21. How You Invite DiscussionIdentify yourself – share somethingabout yourselfLimit it to 3 key points on crafting your storyFocus on highlighting what theaudience needsInvite them to continue the discussion: Blogs Intranets Discussion Boards 21
  22. 22. Be Ready for InteractivityCreative ways to access and interactwith the dataAnticipate questionsCan you be “real-time” withyour answers?“Real-time” examples 22
  23. 23. I hear and I forget. ea a d o ge . I see and I remember. I do and I understand. – ConfuciusQuestionsResources National Storytelling Network Perceptual Edge g g Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds Examples Susan – Elissa – 23