Data Storytelling: Data -> Story -> Action

Data is the democratisation of decision making within the organization. As a result, data is the decentralisation of leadership. Working with data, therefore, doesn’t come without expectation. You cannot influence and control a valuable commodity without the ability to use it.

Your Data is only as effective as the Story you tell about it.

Think about this case study from a webinar we hosted for our client Singapore Institute of Management.

Tiong Gee “TG” Ng who used to head up the IT strategies of Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore would tell how they used to process millions of datasets on the visitors that came to their hotels, resorts, entertainment parks, shopping mall and casino. The danger with all these data projects is being overwhelmed by the results and turning them into a bullet point list of actions that managers needed to follow.

Instead, TG’s response was a masterclass in Data Storytelling. They developed a Narrative Framework called “One More Time”. One More Time encompassed the truths of the data (the biggest uplifts in profit came from repeat customers) and encoded the required strategies (focus on repeat business).

Data -> Story -> Action.

If we spend our time focusing on Data alone, we will neglect its purpose – Action. Great Data Storytellers know this. By leveraging stories, they are able to bridge the gap. This is what humans do very well and what machines are not effective at. This should also serve as a warning to Data Scientists: if you are focusing solely on Data you will soon be replaced by a machine that can do your job faster and cheaper.

Never forget that a “computer” was once a human being.

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