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