Trying to Tell a Persuasive Data Story?

Data allows organizations to bring issues to light, solve problems, and improve processes.

However, let’s not forget that many of these data rows have a human connection as well.

Photo by Nery Montenegro on UnsplashIn the data sets I use each day, there is a human on each row.

Someone is withdrawing money for her grandchildren’s party.

Someone following a web link about her dream home.

Someone registering a complaint about a debt he already paid.

These tables have millions of rows — millions of people.

Most of us do not want harm to come to others.

We don’t want them to suffer or be unhappy.

We don’t want that for ourselves.

Data stories influence us when they highlight others.

In Rosling’s Ted Talk, Numbers are Boring.

People are Interesting; he uses himself to make his point.

He was encouraging the audience to change how they think about families by revealing his own story of sacrificing career goals for staying at home with his children.

He uses people as the persuader, not statistics about why this idea is a good one for society in general.

Add the Human to PersuadeA quality engineer was on a team who needed to change a departmental workflow process.

No one was using the existing once because it was cumbersome.

It was causing issues for the downstream users.

The best solution was to invest in some new equipment.

It seems like a slide deck with graphs breaking down the process issues was in order.

Present it to management and wait for the marching orders.

The desired equipment was expensive.

It was not going to be an easy sell.

Photo by MD Duran on UnsplashThe team took a different route by pulling the employee names from the data table.

They interviewed each of them about the issues they faced.

The workers had some common sense reasons not to follow the process.

They were not insubordinate; in fact, they were trying to get work done despite the process.

The resulting presentation highlighted each employee’s experience.

Then they masterfully presented data to support the narrative.

This technique worked like magic.

The management team better understood the human side of the issue.

Notice that flashy charts and statistics did not convince anyone; it was the data stories — the humans in the data.

The management team empathized with the workers.

They wanted to solve the problem to create a better working environment.

Tell a Powerful Data StoryHumans are how you make an emotional connection with your audience.

Review your data and find the lead characters that live within it.

Tell their stories when explaining to others what needs to change and why.

Did this advice help you?.Read my four steps to creating your own powerful data story.

Four Steps to a Powerful Data Story | ZencosData storytelling has become a popular way to present data.

There are four steps to crafting a data story.

As an example…www.


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