How Storytelling Helps Visualize Data and Turn it into Action
Why Do We Collect Data?
The reason we collect data is to make a change to better our business. If we don’t create change, then we have done the wrong analysis or we have the wrong data or we are missing data. In order to ensure we create change, we need to utilize storytelling to accurately pull all this together and visualize data.
Data Vs. Information
The definition of information is taking your data and putting it into some sort of sense — orderly and aggregated. This is a good example of information that is not yet insight. While I have KPIs, I don’t know how they relate to my business and therefore I don’t know what to do with them. The next step is to take this information, visualize the data, and form insights from it.
Forming Insights from Data
There are different ways of presenting information that will allow people to develop insights from it. Some people are great with tables, but more people are better with some sort of visual that allows them to start to “see” the story.
An insight is developed by applying some form of analysis, or synthesis, or distillation, or whatever you’d like to term it, to the information. That could be simple bi-variate linking, recutting, pulling out, reordering, sub or super-linking, all the way through to complex multivariate statistics, to identify like and unlike groups or reveal hidden data relationships. It’s as simple as within-data set cross tabs, and as complex as cross-database integration of information.
This is where the importance of business experience and good integration of analytics and having good research science, all in combination and collaboration and working as a business team, can pay off. Otherwise, if these insights are not used, if they do not create an impetus for change, in a ground-level process, or the management of operations, or the business strategy, or the end brand experience, then this whole process is for naught.