Data Storytelling vs Data Visualisation

Richard Jones our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 11/7/2019 9:00 AM
The demand for “unicorn” employees is growing. Those with humanities and communications skillsets are now in demand, alongside those who specialise in Computer Science, Data Science, and anything technology-related. So, what exactly is the world looking for today?

Well, with the plethora of online learning opportunities available, the ramping up of technology courses both online and offline, and a cadre of storytelling books on the shelves; answering the question can seem daunting. But there are two ways in which you tell your story. They’re not separate exactly, but they do have their own parts to play.

What is Data Storytelling?


In a nutshell, it’s the ability to tell a story using the Data you’ve collected and analysed. So, how does this work exactly, and why would someone use it? This way to explain what’s happening the Data to stakeholders and executives helps paint a picture of their company in a different way. And unlike traditional storytelling, this type has facts and figures to back it up.

But that’s only half the story.

By taking a wider view of Data storytelling, you can provide stakeholders with the big picture in a way that’s relevant and engaging. But you still need the Data to back it up. This is where Data Visualisation comes in. Think of it as the Graphic Novel of your business’s story. Content is the narrative and images are the visual behind the narrative cementing the story in your mind.

What is Data Visualisation?


This is how you define your story, and you can do this in a variety of ways. You can use Data Visualisation software to help guide your story and keep you on track in the details. Seeing is believing and can help persuade a call-to-action from decision makers.

In a nutshell, Data Visualisation enhances storytelling using traditional techniques such as a “hook”, and embodies the basic structure of beginning, middle, and end. And while those in the marketing world know how to draw emotion and get people to act on it, Data Storytelling provides a new, useful skill for Analysts.

What are the Elements of a Good Story?


First, understand the story you’re telling. While visualising the results happens at the end to cement the story you’re telling, the heavy lifting is done in Data preparation. It’s not unlike baking a cake; you spend more time buying (collecting/gathering) the ingredients, mixing them, and organising (which pan, how long, and at what temperature), than you do baking the cake. The end result is the smell of something freshly baked, that looks amazing (visualisation), and tastes phenomenal – where the story and the visuals come together.

Second, identify the main characters; your Data elements. You need ask yourself what is the relationship between your characters (Data elements) and was is their role in the story.

This can help you bring together two disparate Datasets. Ask yourself, what tools would you need to make things work together? This is the preparation side of things. Once this is sorted, you have the elements of your story. 

Keys to Good Data Storytelling


  • Choose the right subject
  • Source credible Data
  • Craft an interesting, engaging, or enlightening narrative
  • Ensure your story provides meaning and value
  • Ensure you’re using credible Data to back up your story.
  • Blend narrative and visuals which can cement the information and make your story stick.
  • Choose relevant, useful topics for a more engaging story. You want your listeners to resonate with what they’re hearing or seeing. When people are engaged, this is where the emotion comes in.

Stories come from a variety of sources, but are essentially either internal (you or your organisation) or external (trade publications or industry leaders). For content marketing, external sources offer a variety of ideas to tailor your story around. But what best will resonate with your audience is your internal story. Those tailored to pain points or interests are particularly valuable. 

Remember that Data storytelling is not a story about numbers; it’s about humans and how those numbers affect them. 

If you’re interested in Data Storytelling and Visualisation, we may have a role for you. Take a look at our current vacancies or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

Related blog & news

With over 10 years experience working solely in the Data & Analytics sector our consultants are able to offer detailed insights into the industry.

Visit our Blogs & News portal or check out the related posts below.

Life Science Analytics Lead the Way to a New Normal

The Life Science Analytics industry has always beaten to its own drum. But in the days of Covid-19, there’s a different feel and it’s one in which teams are coming together and candidates are staying longer in jobs where they feel connected and impactful.  As the drive for a vaccine and the virtually overnight demand for telemedicine and contactless care come to bear, this industry which once seemingly fell behind that of retail and banking has caught up. So, what can businesses like biotech, pharmaceutical, and other healthcare providers do to retain and keep top candidates? EXPAND AND GROW YOUR TEAM LOCALLY AND GLOBALLY Reskill and Upskill for Career Advancement - If you’re lucky enough to have retained top talent, re-consider tenure-based positions. Advance your great candidates based on performance, need, upskilling, or reskilling. You may already have someone on staff who can do the job you need done or have the potential. Let them. The world has been moving faster than it ever has in this year alone its jumped into warp speed.Consider Global Collaboration – While many professionals, in every industry are working from home these days, some simply can’t due to the nature of their business. In this case, the need to be in the lab. However, as the Life Sciences & Analytics industry leads the way in their approach to flexible hours and the available Data on COVID-19, for example, global collaborations allow teams to do their work without the need for lab access.In demand technical skills - Candidates skilled in Data gathering, algorithm development, and predictive modeling are in high demand as well as AutoML, NLP, and other Machine Learning solutions. In demand soft skills – As the impact of the above technical skills increase and offer proven solutions, it will be important to have Data professionals who cannot only manage the technical side of things, but who can also explain solutions to the nontechnical and business executives in plain language. Since the start of the year, we’ve seen a massive shift in the way we do business. While for some businesses, it was business as usual for the most part. For others, it completely reinvented others. Healthcare and Life Sciences are no exception. And in the healthcare industry, they’ve been stretched in ways unimaginable just last year. And have learned a new respect for numbers and accurate Data. Two things vital to moving forward. A NEW RESPECT FOR NUMBERS AND ACCURATE DATA This new respect for accurate numbers and Data will help teams align to predict new threats while tracking current ones. In other words, no one will be caught off guard next time as the Life Sciences and Healthcare industry prepare for a post pandemic transformation. And how will it impact the industry moving forward? Work from home policies, global teams, telemedicine, the demand for PPE and ventilators, even the demands of the financial side of healthcare have shifted. But with the right data, innovation, and improved efficiency, it’s a sure bet the industry won’t be caught unawares again. WELCOME TO THE NEW NORMAL Though every profession has been hard hit during the pandemic, it’s the healthcare industry which has seen an even greater shift in the need demands to be met, shifting priorities, and patient care delivery has gone online. By moving forward with telemedicine and other automated services, the revenue cycle of the industry, too, has seen a shift. Yet to maintain business continuity, they must close the revenue gap. And here’s where Life Science Analytics meets FinTech and InsurTech. All of these industries will need Data professionals who can speak code and translate it to the nontechnical. All will need professionals with skillsets in predictive modelling, automation, Machine Learning, AI, and more. Is it you they’re looking for?  If you’re interested in Data & Technology, Risk or Digital Analytics, Life Science Analytics, Marketing & Insight, or Data Science jobs we invite you to check out our current vacancies or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

Three Ways You Can Better Prepare for the Future of Work

From reusable planners to navigating Zoom meetings, the world of work has changed irrevocably. Though some businesses are hoping to return to the formal in-house model, many are opting to remain remote workplaces.  Data and web professionals have often worn a mix of hats between the two versions of work even taking breaks or making changes through contract work. The options open now, if structured well, could mean more productivity, safe environments for employees working from home rather than in house, and what may look like true work-life balance.  But what does this mean for the world of the Data professional? Isn’t their career path already pandemic proof? Though it depends on the need of the business, this path isn’t as limited as others might be. But as everything from the world of retail to legacy institutions like banking move online more permanently, opportunities are expanded.  TRANSFERABLE SKILLS ARE KING As more and more professionals seek new ground, transferable skills are more in demand than ever. Specifically, those soft skills of communication, working toward solutions with limited resources, and crafting creative solutions when working through seemingly impossible problems. How professionals handle these issues, pivot on a dime toward solutions in a swiftly changing environment, and the experience they bring with them from other backgrounds all play a role. A maturity level of professional experience far outweighs age or education. Businesses are looking for those who have not only studied toward their career, but who have experience to navigate any changes when the chips are down, and help the business stay on top of its game. BE ABLE TO NAVIGATE CHANGE Employees can be trained, upskilled, or reskilled when it comes to the technical aspects of their job. But what businesses need now are those professionals who can handle pressure well, understand the inner workings of organisations from a business perspective, and are customer-focused.  JOB HOPPING IS NO LONG TABOO  In recent years, if a resume showed more than a few jobs, it was deemed taboo. The professional was job hopping? Why? Was it the employee? The manager? Why couldn’t the employee stay in one place? Today, job hopping is no longer taboo. It’s expected. To keep things fresh from both the business and the employee perspective, changing jobs is part of the next normal. Sabbaticals, once the darling of academia, are finding their way into other professions as well. Renamed contract work, this short-term experience, can lead to permanent roles, or just a quick change for employees to recharge from their former roles.  This is the time to reassess, recharge, reskill, and upskill your way to success as a Data professional. The high demand and the skillset shortage is shrinking, but the demand remains and will continue to grow. So how will you structure your career path for the next normal? In the wake of work-from-home policies, remote working, and the shifting landscape of working outside the office, technology, and particularly biotechnology careers are prime opportunities to both gain increased knowledge in your chosen field or begin your career path.  If you’re interested in Big Data & Analytics or other Data professional opportunities, take a look at our latest jobs or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more.  

RELATED Jobs

Salary

£60000 - £70000 per annum

Location

London

Description

***Analytics Lead - Pricing/Promotion experience required - up to £70,000***

Salary

£75000 - £80000 per annum

Location

London

Description

An award winning insure tech start-up changing the landscape of the industry!

Salary

£35000 - £85000 per annum + bonus and benefits

Location

London

Description

A British retailer are seeking an Analytics Manager to focus on supply chain and commercial analytics projects.

recently viewed jobs