From the Back Cover
PRAISE FOR EFFECTIVE DATA STORYTELLING Brent Dykes is the king of data storytelling; he's probably thought about this more than anyone else on the planet. No matter how good your data and analysis are, they won't have much impact unless they are embedded in a good story. Read this book to find out how to do that. --Thomas H. Davenport, Distinguished Professor, Babson College; Research Fellow, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, Author of Competing on Analytics and The AI Advantage Numbers and data visualizations are powerful means to reveal insights and communicate them in business environments, but they are often more effective and persuasive when arranged into narrative structures. Brent Dykes teaches us how to ideate data-driven stories and bring them to fruition while walking us through several fascinating historical and modern examples. Data never speaks for itself; it must be interrogated and compelled to speak. This book explains how. --Alberto Cairo, Knight Chair at the University of Miami, Author of How Charts Lie Dykes does a masterful job of making the vague concept of 'data storytelling' tangible and actionable. With real-world examples from history and from the present, which he deconstructs using the concepts that are the core of the book, he hits the sweet spot of being an engaging read that is also specific and tactical. --Tim Wilson, Senior Director of Analytics, Search Discovery The first to bring together the importance of data, visuals, and narrative, this seminal work on telling stories with data is chock-full of examples founded on principles from Aristotle to story guru, Robert McKee. I can't wait to share Brent's book with my graduate students and colleagues! --Maria Massei-Rosato, Adjunct Professor, Parsons School of Design If you're tasked with presenting analytical results, then this book is a must-read . Brent discusses a wide range of research on how people communicate in general and then ties that research to specific actions you can take to put together an effective story in an analytics setting. The book does a great job of making the case that we often approach analytics presentations poorly and then showing us how to improve. --Bill Franks, Author and Chief Analytics Officer, International Institute for Analytics
From the front Cover
A relatively short time ago, data was looked upon as nice to have, but not essential to most people's roles or positions. Things have certainly changed. Data has rapidly become an indispensable strategic asset at most organizations, forcing everyone to become increasingly literate and conversant in this new digital language. Even though the use of data continues to increase dramatically, data storytelling remains poorly understood. Many insights fail in the last mile of communication and never deliver on their full potential. Telling an engaging story with data is more than just an extension of data visualization. While your data provides the clarity needed to drive change, it's the storytelling that makes your insights both persuasive and memorable. Effective Data Storytelling shows you how to create a narrative with data and explains why this method works so effectively. This book helps you combine the science of data with the art of storytelling. Using the three pillars of data storytelling--data, narrative, and visuals--you will develop the skills to convey your insights to others in a powerful and effective manner. Clear, easy-to-read chapters cover every vital aspect of telling a story with data. You begin by exploring the power of stories and learning how to achieve the four key communication goals when sharing data. Next, you will learn about how the human mind processes information and why emotion plays a more powerful role in decision making than facts. The following chapter covers the six essential elements of a data story, your role as the data storyteller, and the importance of knowing your audience. Once you've learned the fundamentals, the rest of the book provides you with step-by-step guidance on turning your data, narrative, and visuals into a complete data story. From the six attributes of an actionable insight, to the different kinds of narrative models, to using storyboarding to organize your key points, to inserting characters and analogies into your data story, to setting up and polishing your visuals--each stage of the process is explained in detail. The final section brings all the elements together and provides real-world examples of engaging data stories in practical scenarios and teaches you how the concepts and principles in this book can be applied to your own insights. Effective Data Storytelling provides you with everything you need to communicate your insights more effectively, understand why data storytelling is so important, and drive positive change with data.