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The 8 Commandments of Storytelling with Data

The 8 Commandments of Storytelling with Data

  1. Begin with a Question –  Set up your story.  What is your audience going to learn?
  2. End with an Insight – If we can’t learn something useful from the data, the story isn’t worth telling.
  3. Tell a Compelling Story – People remember stories, not data.  Take them on your journey.
  4. Explain with Visuals, Narrate with Words – People understand metrics, trends and patterns better with visuals. Use words to add your voice to the data.
  5. Be Honest and Credible – The clients we want value honesty. Don’t sugarcoat the negatives.
  6. Be Clear and Concise – Remove everything that is not a part of your story.  Save the good bits for another time.
  7. Know and Cater to Your Audience – What are their interest and goals? Do they want the details, or just the high-level summary?
  8. Provide Context – Compare metrics over time or to industry benchmarks.  Numbers are meaningless without context.

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