A story is a lot more than just words on a page. It’s a combination of interesting language, images, colour and, perhaps most importantly, a brilliant narrator. This is no different in Data Analytics. Like any story, the beginning of any data report starts out as numbers and figures on a page which, let’s face it, isn’t the most interesting read. To ensure the data reaches its full potential and entices an engaged audience, a good Data Analyst will wind and weave them into a compelling story. So, how might you go about doing this? Know your audience How your story is crafted will be completely dependent on who will be reading it. It’s important to consider your audience’s age, knowledge and expertise. For example, if you were reporting to a junior team, the information given will be simplified, and specific language and jargon should be broken down to include explanations, making the data accessible. The story may also be a lot longer than usual to ensure all areas of information are covered, with room for questions if need be. This is crucial if you want your data, and your story, to benefit the learning and development of the team as well as to encourage their interest and curiosity in the topic. On the other hand, if you were telling your data story to a group of expert professionals, the explanations will be a lot more top line and the story much pithier and succinct. The depth should instead lie in the narrative of how the data impacts them and their company, providing solutions to problems or providing compelling ideas for innovation and change. Choose an engaging narrative Undoubtedly, your data will have thrown up all sorts of storylines, from the mundane to the thrilling. When you’re creating your presentation or report, if the data is relevant, opt to design your story around the most exciting dataset. Your aim is to keep your audience engaged and wanting to know more, not to bore them with too many, or figures that are not relevant or provide further guidance. Be creative No matter how electrifying your data may be, there's only so much information an individual can take in. Your story needs visuals to bring what you are reporting on to life. Typography, font and font size, colour, images, graphs and tables are all valuable assets to include to help stimulate your audience’s imagination. Of course, in this day and age, these visuals don’t have to be limited to static pictures either. Don’t be afraid to play around with movement and interactivity to get your audience involved and engaged. That being said, it’s important to find a good balance of static and interactive. Be an appealing narrator If you’re having to present your data, you’ve got an extra challenge on your plate. Your story is only as good as you are. No matter how visually fantastic your report is, or how apt it is for your audience, if you are bored, unengaged and uninterested by the information you are presenting, you will pass all these feelings onto your audience. Not only is it important you know the story you’re telling inside out, but you should be excited by the data you are presenting. Don’t be afraid to inject personality into your data, make it characteristic and make it feel human. If you are passionate about your data and your story, then your audience will be too. Data doesn’t just have to be statistics on a page. It can be thrilling, it can be colourful, it can be loud, and it can be enticing. You, as a Data Analyst, are that brilliant narrator. If you're looking to take the next step in your career or build out your Data & Analytics, we may be able to help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more.