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Storytelling with Data - Approach | Skills

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The ever increasing computational capacity has enabled us to acquire, process and analyze larger data-sets and information. However, the human memory and attention required to use this data is more limited and has remained relatively constant. Data visualization can enable us to compress data and encode it visually in ways that allows us to aid perceptual and cognitive understanding.

However, data visualisation alone is not enough and often we need to try to tell stories through data. Storytelling with data can enable us to move from analysis to synthesis, from numbers to visuals, and from an argument to a story. Operating at this intersection of data, visual and story can help persuade not only through logos (logic) but also through pathos (empathy) and ethos (credibility). In trying to tell compelling data stories, we can empower our selves to engage, communicate and persuade a large and diverse audience.

In this talk, I discuss ‘why’ stories work and what we can learn about the art of storytelling from other mediums like oral storytelling, written stories, pictures, comics and movies. I will summarise basic principles that can help us in our crafting journey, as we take the data through the layers of abstraction. The focus would be on unpacking the seven dimensions of creating an engaging data story - Abstraction (data patterns), Representation (visual encoding), Framing & Transition (perspective, focus), Messaging (verbal, text annotation), Flow (arrangement) and Interactivity.

Further, creating data stories is a cross disciplinary activity that requires us to operate at the intersection of a visual designer, data scientist and storyteller. It is both a science and an art. So how does one realistically learn these multitude of skills needed to get good at it. I will also discuss ideas about the possible path that practitioners could adopt to learn this craft through sustained practice.

## About the Speaker

Amit Kapoor is interested in learning and teaching the craft of telling visual stories with data. He uses storytelling and data visualization as tools for improving communication, persuasion and leadership. He conducts workshops and trainings for corporates, non-profits, colleges, and individuals at narrativeVIZ Consulting. He also teaches storytelling with data as invited guest faculty in academia, both in management context at IIM Bangalore and IIM Ahmedabad and in design context at NID, Bangalore.

His background is in strategy consulting in using data-driven stories to drive change across organizations and businesses. He has 15 years of management consulting experience, first with AT Kearney in India, then with Booz & Company in Europe and more recently with startups in Bangalore. He did his B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from IIT, Delhi and PGDM (MBA) from IIM, Ahmedabad. You can find more about him at amitkaps.com and tweet him at @amitkaps

Published in: Data & Analytics

Storytelling with Data - Approach | Skills

  1. 1. Storytelling with data Amit Kapoor @amitkaps
  2. 2. War Stories & Killer Charts
  3. 3. Joshua Bell
  4. 4. Rhetoric Logos — Ethos — Pathos
  5. 5. Humans are pattern-seeking story-telling animals.
  6. 6. analysis Synthesis numbers Visuals argument Story
  7. 7. What is a story or a narrative?
  8. 8. narrative | ˈnærətiv noun: Any account of connected events, presented in a sequence of written words or spoken words or (moving) pictures.
  9. 9. Events that happen in time Linear Order
  10. 10. Named people who have to face decisions Personal Decision
  11. 11. A disruption of a state of equilibrium Change in Context
  12. 12. A foregrounding of human experience Elevation - Human Emotion
  13. 13. One human life, closely observed, is everyone’s life. In the particular is the universal. — Roger Ebert
  14. 14. Storytelling Visualisation
  15. 15. Think Stories, Not Charts
  16. 16. Explanatory Growth of the Dual Ecosystem
  17. 17. Exploratory Where do I live?
  18. 18. The Joy of Stats Hans Rosling
  19. 19. How can we create data-stories?
  20. 20. 80% perspiration, 10% great idea, 10% output. — Simon Rogers
  21. 21. We’re bad at the why questions, which are often much more interesting. — Amanda Cox
  22. 22. Bad Aesthetics
  23. 23. Good Aesthetics
  24. 24. Above all else, do no harm — Tufte
  25. 25. Overview first, then zoom & filter, details on demand — Ben Schniederman
  26. 26. Types of Transitions
  27. 27. Meaningful Annotation
  28. 28. Powerful Narration
  29. 29. There's always room for a story that can transport people to another place. — J.K. Rowling
  30. 30. More Linear, More Storylike
  31. 31. Guide the audience
  32. 32. All stories are indeed structures, but all the best stories are brittle structures. — Tadhg Kelly
  33. 33. Linear Navigation
  34. 34. Staging & Animation
  35. 35. Ensure the interactivity has Affordance. To afford means "to give a clue" — Dan Norman
  36. 36. How to learn the skills to craft data- stories?
  37. 37. Art - Craft - Science
  38. 38. craft | krɑːft noun: An activity involving skill in making or doing things by hand
  39. 39. How do you learn a craft?
  40. 40. Novice — Expert
  41. 41. Start with Basics
  42. 42. Do Repetitions
  43. 43. Conduct Deliberate Practice
  44. 44. Focus on Mastery
  45. 45. It took me a lifetime — Pablo Picasso
  46. 46. So, how do you start?
  47. 47. Learning Styles
  48. 48. We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are. — Anais Nin
  49. 49. Understand your own strength
  50. 50. Learning Data Visualisation & Storytelling
  51. 51. Start with Charting Simple Datasets
  52. 52. Learn Basic Charts
  53. 53. Design Basic Charts
  54. 54. Expand your Chart Vocabulary
  55. 55. Visualisation is the transformation of the symbolic into geometric — McCormick et al. 1987
  56. 56. Think Geometric, Not Charts
  57. 57. Encode with Shapes and Colour
  58. 58. Position them out
  59. 59. Learn the Grammar
  60. 60. Play with Colour
  61. 61. Understand Visual Perception
  62. 62. Develop an Aesthetics Sense
  63. 63. Learning to See
  64. 64. The universe is made of stories, not of atoms. — Muriel Rukeyser
  65. 65. Nature
  66. 66. Architecture
  67. 67. Abstract Art
  68. 68. Sketch ideas
  69. 69. Visualise Wide Datasets
  70. 70. Visualise Large Datasets
  71. 71. Visualise Spatial Datasets
  72. 72. Move to Layering
  73. 73. Multi-layered Static Visualisation
  74. 74. Narrative Visualisation
  75. 75. Dashboard Visualisation
  76. 76. Interactive Visualisation
  77. 77. Tools
  78. 78. Data is just a clue to the end truth — Josh Smith
  79. 79. See the world through a data lens
  80. 80. Aesthetics is deeply associated with emotions and feelings — Giorgio Lupi
  81. 81. Create beautiful aesthetics
  82. 82. The data is just part of the story. — Jonathan Harris
  83. 83. Tell stories that connect
  84. 84. Closing the Gap
  85. 85. @amitkaps amitkaps.com

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