Telling impactful stories with data

Data storytelling is where art and science come together using data, visualization, and narrative. By leveraging these components, there are three parts to crafting an impactful data story. By effectively telling a story with data, Analytics can become more approachable to a wider audience, and you can increase the value you bring to your organization through data-driven decision making.

Identify the opportunity or problem

Start by defining the current situation and establishing the problem or opportunity. Here you are setting the stage and providing enough information to captivate your audience but not fully revealing the solution. This introduction is critical (and can be challenging) but it is the entire motivation of your analysis! The value of data storytelling is to prompt action that results in changed behavior. Data, Insight & Analysis are otherwise powerless.

Adobe Workspace Tip: Title your visualizations in the form of a question to show exactly what problem or current situation is being highlighted.

Explain through data

After you’ve framed the situation, use data to reveal the source of the problem/opportunity. Focus on the results and the variables that best explain the current situation as opposed to the full analysis and exploration to get there. Provide compelling visuals that help to show the relationship of your independent and dependent variables but keep it simple so that it is easily consumable for your audience.

Adobe Workspace Tip:
Create simple, easy to read visuals that align with the type of data you’re sharing:

  • Use bar charts for categorical and binary data
  • Use line charts (or bubble outside of Adobe) for numerical data
  • USe scatter plots to demonstrate statistical relationships

Offer a solution

Communicate the recommended action and what it may take to get there. Be sure to provide enough details so that stakeholders can make an informed decision, for example, cost implications or required resources needed to make a change. The most effective way to do this is to quantify the possible impact through at least one critical KPI.

Adobe Workspace Tip: Leverage tools such as classifications and/or calculated metrics to quantify (think Net Profit or CLV, for example) the possible impact directly within Adobe Analytics and use summary numbers or changes within Adobe Workspace to end on a high note!


This document was written by:

Amy Ard

Amy Ard, Director of Analytics at Levelwing

Adobe Analytics Champion

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