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Effective Data Storytelling: The Fundamentals

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Kuala Lumpur, 09 December 2019 - The ability to make data-driven decisions is crucial to any businesses. With each click, like, share, and swipe, a world of valuable information is created. Data is essential, persuasive, and when paired with a good story – it can be very powerful. As marketers, we use data insights to go hand in hand with our narrative. We all know that data is key to valuable insights, few understand how to use these insights to produce meaningful story that will resonate with their audience.

Just recently, Moving Walls invited Aveek Majumdar, a Data expert from Nielsen, to share his perspective on how he started his journey in data storytelling. Aveek pointed out that although data collected by Moving Walls and Nielsen differs, both are still considered consumer data and it is crucial to use them correctly to identify audience pattern, and translate that data into meaningful insights for marketers or decision-makers.

Aveek constantly referred us to a data visualisation methodology by Professor Hans Rosling, the visualization pioneer who made data dance - that all data story should have memorability, emotion, and attention - and we should also answer all these fundamental questions first:

 

What are the data?

Analysing and defining what kind of data are we collecting is very crucial in determining what kind of content we will be producing.

Who is the end receiver?

Identifying the target audience also plays a big part to ensure a relevant message is delivered to the right people. People tend to show interest in something that is related or relevant to them and will likely ignore those that are not.

How will we use data to deliver out our content?

We need to determine what medium and how are we using that medium to analyse data and convey our message to the right audience.

After these questions are answered, then will we be able to look at other contributing factors while story-building your data. People are able to resonate a lot of data but will only remember the most uniques one. A human brain can only process up to 3-5 separate information at any given time, but only 30% of it will likely remain in our memory.

 

Hence, it is vital for us to identify how to produce content that will leave a long-lasting impression on the audience. Aveek mentioned that having emotions in your message will also help in strengthening your story. Empathy is one of the emotion that can attract people’s interest to learn more about a particular story.

 

Messages or stories that have the empathy element will trigger oxytocin secretion from your brain, which eventually result in the support and affection you felt for a particular message. A story that is more emotionally adherence will also appear more compelling and persuasive. Thus, data must be used as supporting evidence to convince the audience.

Aveek also highlighted that the common mistake is putting too much information and leaving out the most important key data. People only want short and concise information.

 

Data is everywhere. The world produces 2.5 quintillions of data every day. By 2020, 20 billion devices will be connected globally. Together with digital businesses and apps, along with IoT, an huge amount of location data will be produced. At the same time, wearables, smart appliances, smart homes, transactional data, blockchain and more will add on to a tremendous wealth of consumer data. 

Data overloading becomes inevitable. There is only so much data or information a human brain can manage at one given time. Ultimately, your ability to do data visualisation, or storytelling, becomes the only impactful way of delivering huge number of information across to your audience.

 

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