What is a Data Story?


What is a Data Story?

what is a data story

Whether it’s a boardroom presentation or a marketing campaign, data stories are an effective way to communicate insights that inspire change. They combine a narrative framework and explanatory visualizations to convey complex data in a digestible, engaging way. Data storytelling can be used to highlight business challenges, risks, or opportunities – and can help your audience identify the value of a particular decision or course of action.

A what is a data story starts with a question or an insight that’s prompted by the available data. For example, a marketing agency may want to know how an advertising campaign impacted sales performance. Once the overall question is established, a team can start analyzing and preparing the data for the story.

The Art of Data Storytelling: Why it Matters

The next step is to consider the audience and what kind of narrative would resonate with them. Data stories should always be presented with the audience in mind. This is why it’s important to choose relevant data and avoid cherry-picking or presenting misleading relationships such as spurious correlations.

It’s also critical to keep the audience’s current level of knowledge in mind when constructing the narrative and choosing visualizations for the data story. If the data is too technical or overly complex, it’s unlikely that the intended audience will understand what the information means or how to act on it.

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