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Data Storytelling: Combining Art and Science

This article changed into written by means of Jenny Haskins, search engine optimization Strategist at NP DIgital

You don’t necessarily need phrases to tell a story – in reality, from time to time numbers paintings simply as nicely. But how are you going to effectively create a beginning, middle, and end with numbers? And of course, by means of “numbers” I truely imply “records,” due to the fact we are digital marketers after all.

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Data storytelling is an intrinsic part of numerous marketing offerings, in particular if you work in an organisation placing. If this stability of artwork and technology is performed nicely, you’ll have interaction stakeholders in conversation, keep your audience’s attention, and maybe even hold them on the threshold of their seats.

Key Takeaways
Data storytelling engages, clarifies, persuades, contextualizes, enhances memorability, and humanizes records, leading to better knowledge and decision-making.
Over 90% of the mind carries visible content material.
There are four non-linear steps for effective statistics storytelling: collection, evaluation, visualization, and narrative improvement.
Data storytelling, when executed properly, can make complicated figures reachable to a spread of audiences.
Embrace flexibility within the storytelling process, as a way to cause extra compelling and properly-rounded narratives.
What is Data Storytelling?
Data storytelling combines visuals with compelling narrative. It’s the exercise of collecting, reading, visualizing, and conveying records in an interesting and persuasive manner. The intention is to pressure decision-making and inspire action based totally on insights; made less difficult by using a memorable, relatable narrative.

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Why is it Important?
Instead of asking why statistics storytelling is critical, ask yourself: What’s the factor of an amazing tale? To entertain and/or carry a message, you may solution. The same goes for statistics storytelling.

Or, believe a protracted-anticipated film was simply launched. How do you want to walk away from the theater? Excited, giddy, thought-provoked, stimulated. The identical is going for records storytelling.

Our clients are just like us: human. Rather than watching a stakeholder’s eyes glaze over at some stage in your presentation, try to wow them with the numbers you labored so tough to prepare. As humans, our brains are drawn to stories for several psychological motives. There are survival and sociological components like know-how sharing, dating constructing, or even the discharge of oxytocin inside the mind that cause deeper connection, emotional resonance, and facts retention.

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And the numbers don’t lie: A important financial institution created a credit card that targeted Millennials by means of evoking emotion with storytelling. Use via this age organization grew via 70% and new bills elevated through 40%.

Furthermore, it’s vital to observe that extra than ninety% of our mind is made from visual content material. Therefore, creating a tale behind statistics visualization helps maintain it inside the mind (memorization).

TL;DR: Data storytelling is crucial virtually as it helps with readability and understanding, engagement in the course of your presentation, decision-making, memorability, and alignment.

The Science of Data Storytelling
Any professional with a process rooted in numbers is aware of the importance of accuracy, transparency, and accountability. As an search engine marketing, this holds real. I constantly acquire and check essential information (performance for site visitors, leads, keywords ranking) twice earlier than even considering crafting a story.

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Science (the numbers/statistics) drives the first two steps of statistics storytelling:

Collection
This is the initial section in which relevant statistics is collected from diverse resources. My move-to information resources are (of route) Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Ahrefs, SEMrush, among others – mainly searching at natural visitors, keywords ranking, conversions, SERPs, and greater.

Analysis
Once the facts is collected, it wishes to be analyzed to perceive trends, patterns, and insights. This often entails the use of statistical strategies and statistics visualization equipment to make sense of the facts. For instance, to higher understand metrics pulled from Google Analytics, I’ll create a Looker Studio dashboard, which creates computerized visuals for your precedence KPIs throughout a selected time-frame.

With science, the whole lot wishes to be precise. However, while blending art with some thing, “specific” isn’t exactly totally viable. Once facts is gathered and analyzed, it’s time to get innovative.

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The Art of Data Storytelling
At this factor, we’ve the function of storytelling in human verbal exchange and its power in conveying complicated facts. With facts storytelling, this is where the art of it is available in. There’s creativity, flexibility, and personal contact involved in crafting a tale and its 5 factors (person, setting, plot, conflict, and determination). But how will we merge the art behind those elements with the technology in the back of our data?

We move to the last two steps in statistics storytelling:

Visualization
Data visualization plays a important role in facts storytelling. Charts, graphs, screenshots, and other visual aids are used to illustrate key points and make the records extra handy and comprehensible to the audience.

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Narrative Development
This is where the magic happens. Instead of actually offering uncooked data, the insights gleaned from the evaluation are crafted into a story. This narrative should have a clear structure with a starting, center, and end, and must aim to talk a specific message or concept.

Completing this remaining step facilitates us recognize our tale elements.

An example primarily based on my function: The individual is the client’s business, placing is their website, plot is overall performance, war is areas of opportunity (content material updates, technical fixes, brief wins), and backbone is how we navigate the ones regions of opportunity. See the following case have a look at to further this example – it demonstrates how NP Digital accomplished various performance increases for an search engine marketing marketing campaign thru statistics, visualization, and narrative.

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Image Source: NP Digital

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The art of data storytelling additionally manner not constantly following those four steps to a tee. Remember to embrace flexibility – follow unfastened ends, answer your personal questions, and explore each option. This now not handiest helps you better recognize your statistics, it:

Creates a more-compelling, properly-rounded tale
Makes you extra assured and personable
Promotes curiosity inside your self
Keeps displays sparkling with new information
Embracing flexibility can even preserve you leaping between steps. Researching one piece of statistics and discover something else that simply is probably applicable on your story? Back to step one. Think that your factor may be driven domestic with the aid of searching into one greater aspect? Back to the first step. Find something that throws a wrench in your whole tale? Go to step four.

The intersection of technological know-how and artwork, common sense and creativity, information and storytelling is complimentary; each of these specific aspects feeds into the opposite.

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Examples of Data Storytelling
Examples of information storytelling are more outstanding to your day-to-day lifestyles than you may recognise.

Image Source: Spotify Newsroom

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Remember how crazy every person goes at yr’s give up for Spotify Wrapped? Me too. Why is that? Think about it: Spotify aggregates your listening facts at some point of the 12 months, that’s customized to you. Then, via a familiar social media tale layout, they entice users to click on thru to the following snippet in their personal track tale. Spotify additionally uses striking visuals/graphics to assist customers digest the statistics, and sound for an immersive experience. Lastly, they activate users to sell their very own facts on social media (free advertising and marketing).

It’s top notch. Spotify’s sales grew with the aid of 322% considering the fact that Wrapped’s release in 2016 (Q4 ‘16 vs. Q4 ‘23), with the most important increase occurring that year of its launch.

The Future of Data Storytelling
There’s no doubt that statistics storytelling will only end up extra well-known as time goes on. Data is at our fingertips with tech like smartphones, clever watches, social media, health trackers, step counters, display screen time notifications, personalised track metrics, and plenty extra – even non-marketers are studying memories via facts every day.

Image Source: MacStories

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Data storytelling offers an thrilling frontier wherein generation, creativity, and statistics converge to revolutionize how we speak insights and make choices.

Data storytelling without a doubt isn’t going everywhere each time soon, so placed your creative hats on and let’s travel the winding road of statistics together.

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