Demystifying Data Part 5: Telling Your Story With Data Visualization

What good is having a stellar data analysis if you can’t communicate it? All too often we get lazy and just send a bunch of charts and graphs to our clients, hoping they’ll understand what we’re trying to say. There are a lot of data visualization tools on the market, such as IBM Watson and Tableau. You can also build out dashboards with Google Data Studio™. That said, a great looking graph isn’t enough. What’s your story?

Consider an Infographic. An Infographic is simply a visual image, such as a chart or diagram used to represent information or data. Check out some great examples here.

An Infographic is a great way to combine your data points with a narrative. Infographics can help your SEO and push people back to your website via links. Infographics are easily broken out into smaller, bite-size pieces and posted on social media. You can write a blog post around an Infographic for your website. Teams can use Infographics to pitch out to the media. The contents of an Infographic can also be the starter for a white paper.

When building out a narrative, I like to start at the end and work backwards. I want to know what the conclusion and take away is going to be for the reader. First, I ask “so what?” – why should anyone care about the story being told? Without a strong conclusion, the rest of your hard work becomes irrelevant. Think back to your middle school days and dust off the old “how to write an essay” structure. You need to introduce your idea or point, provide some supporting materials and examples, and then give the reader a conclusion.

Looking for more inspiration on how to use data visualization to tell a story? Check out these other blogs by SHIFT: Using Google Data to Boost Your PR Pitches and Big Data in PR

In part 6 we’ll wrap it all up with a nice bow. Stay tuned!

Katie Lioy
Director, Marketing Technology


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