Telling a story using data
Context turns data into information
While data can only give you a snapshot, context gives you the big picture. If there was $5,000,000 of revenue last month, what does that really mean? What amount of revenue was the previous month—or this month the previous year?
A study conducted by Stanford professor Chip Heath found that 63% of people could remember stories, but only 5% could remember a single statistic. Putting your metrics in a report format helps you tell a story with your data, which makes it more memorable and more persuasive.
Each month’s or quarter’s report should tell a different story. Look for outliers and trends and answer the questions: What happened this month? Why? What caused it? What should we do next? Use your dashboard report to narrate this story arc.
How do we tell a story?
- Identify the most important data
- Confirm you have the right data
- Know your audience
- Convert data to information
Remember: each month’s or quarter’s report should tell a different story