Are You Telling Stories With Your Data?

This week I came across a short presentation on how to the power of using stories when presenting your data. Let’s take a look at the typical way companies present data and how a better structure can make your presentations more impactful and engaging.

The typical presentation structure looks like this:

  1. Hypothesis: what is going on?
  2. Data: what data do we have to understand this?
  3. Analysis: what does the data say?
  4. Findings: what are the actions needed to solve this?

Pretty straightforward and seems perfect for a work context. However, this can be a bit boring too. We all want to be entertained and we could tweak our structure to take share our data in a way that is more likely to be remembered. Let’s imagine that we use a story format (plot, climax, and resolution) instead.

The structure could instead look something like this:

  1. Plot: what is going on?
  2. Rising Action: what changed recently?
  3. Climax: what is the main issue?
  4. Falling Action: how do we resolve the main issue?
  5. Ending: what is the conclusion?

You can still present the same data but put in a structure that is more natural to understand.

Actions for This Week:

How can you use stories to better present your data and your findings? This is especially useful if you’re presenting to executives or investors who need to quickly understand what is going on.

Interesting Reads and Resources

  1. Check out the full presentation on using stories to tell better stories at Tableau.
  2. Andrew Chen recently posted a great article on How (and why) to build a growth team.


One more thing before you go! Are you getting the data you need to grow your company?

I find most companies are stuck with high-level metrics and they aren't able to properly understand what actually drives user growth for their web and mobile products. To do that, you need the right data and the right tools.

If this sounds like your situation, then you should download our free tracking plan (and tutorial video). This is the document that you should create before you ever implement tools like Mixpanel, Amplitude, Segment, and Intercom. Click the image below to download your own free tracking plan (and tutorial video).

Ruben Ugarte
Ruben Ugarte
I'm the founder of Practico Analytics and I created this company to help companies use analytics data to grow their web and mobile products. I love combining data, psychology, and systems in work and in personal projects.

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