Storytelling with Data

Storytelling with Data

Storytelling with Data

In 2014, The World Bank conducted research on their website traffic to determine if anyone was reading what they published online. They found that one third of the documents were never downloaded. Forty percent had fewer than 100 downloads. Only 13 percent had been downloaded more than 250 times.

Public and private sector institutions have come a long way towards making their data easily available, but just publishing the data isn’t enough. Data needs context. It must be able to provide the decision-maker or consumer with the tools to interpret it in a way that makes sense to them.

This is the art of Data Storytelling.

Data Storytelling is a way to communicate insights about data. It incorporates the who, what, when, where, why, and how of news reporting, and integrates it with technology to succinctly contextualize data into a meaningful story. Data Storytelling can take many forms. Infographics, web-enabled APIs, interactive collaboration, and any other platform that uses contrast and variation to deliver a compelling narrative is a form of Data Storytelling. For institutions, Data Storytelling is a powerful tool to promote understanding of how they operate, deliver services, show value, and engage with their workforce.

To tell a story with data, a data artist must consider several key features. First, visualizations offer a quick and impactful way to display data. Another method is to provide impactful stories that speak to your intended audience. Interactive analytics such as dashboards invite exploration to the user experience while keeping data current. To go further, inviting participation through events, forums, tools, or other collaborative mediums allow the user to use the data to deliver understanding on their own terms. Without the data, the story may not be compelling and may not cause decision-makers to take action.

A great example of the effectiveness of Data Storytelling is an exercise done at Stanford University using speech to present data. In a classroom setting, students received 10 one-minute presentations on crime statistics in the U.S. Each presenter gave an average of 2.5 statistics within their presentations, while only one of the 10 used stories instead. Afterwards, students watched an unrelated short video and then asked to write down what they recalled from the prior presentations. When students were asked to recall the speeches, 63% remembered the stories. Only 5% remembered any individual statistic.

As the example above shows, presenting key data points is not enough. Data Storytelling instills subjectivity to the data that engages the emotional and the logical in thinking about what the data is saying. People can act on stories. Data Storytelling can be used as a behavioral science technique to help individuals take meaningful action.

Being able to connect with an audience, whether it be with decision-makers or constituents, allows you to explain, enlighten, and engage them. With right narrative, you can influence and drive change.

About Arc Aspicio
Arc Aspicio enhances the future of our nation by creating bold ideas and bringing them to life. A consulting and solutions company, Arc Aspicio solves problems by applying our integrated capabilities in strategy, design, data, human capital, behavioral science, and technology. The company passionately pursues our vision to be the hub of creativity where people take action to change the world. To do this, employees collaborate with clients and partners to create solutions using a human-centered approach. Innovation is not possible without action. The company focuses on strategy first, then takes a hands-on approach implementing ideas to achieve results. Join Arc Aspicio and our Strategy Innovation Lab (SILab) by creating and sharing ideas to inspire people to change the world. Follow us on Twitter @ArcAspicio @SILabDC and learn more at www.arcaspicio.com.

Contributors

John Ward |

John Ward is an Associate at Arc Aspicio. John has over 15 years of experience working in data and data governance throughout the federal government.

Reinventing Strategy

Reinventing Strategy

Since the GPRA Modernization Act in 2010, agencies across the Federal Government have raced to establish new Strategic Plans in response to incoming Presidential Administrations and agency leaders. Developing a new Strategic Plan is incredibly exciting for an agency. Leaders can redefine priorities, frontline managers can improve mission performance, and employees can better engage with the mission. Strategy, however, is so much more than just a Strategic Plan.

Running IT Like a Business: How Technology Business Management is Shaping the Future of Federal Agencies

Running IT Like a Business: How Technology Business Management is Shaping the Future of Federal Agencies

As the Government continually looks for ways to increase efficiency and encourage innovation, Information Technology (IT) is emerging as a solution to these needs. Recent Federal guidance mandates all agencies to adopt a new framework for better understanding IT costs. Technology Business Management (TBM) is a framework that incorporates IT departments into the overall business network, shifting away from treating IT as an independent unit. This provides a clear way to evaluate and manage IT, running IT as a business and communicating the value of new IT investments.

Behavioral Science – Using Behavioral Science to Effect Action

Behavioral Science – Using Behavioral Science to Effect Action

How do organizations encourage behavior change in their customers? Increasingly, they focus on customer experience, and as a consequence employ behavioral science methodologies. At the heart of behavioral science is the consideration of how an organization can make small investments that generate incremental savings/returns while considering both customers and organizational benefits. One example is Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Pre✓® and U.C. Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry programs.

Launching into #Action Through Strategy

Launching into #Action Through Strategy

As a new employee, your first company-wide meeting can make you nervous. This was how I felt.

Arc Aspicio’s recent Strategy Launch Day was so well planned and it involved participants so that I learned that I had nothing to worry about! The company treats each employee equally and equips even the newest joiners with the information and skills they need to have a meaningful experience

What Being a Consultant Means to Me

What Being a Consultant Means to Me

As a Consulting Associate at Arc Aspicio, I provide expertise and insight to help clients solve difficult problems. To be successful, a consultant does not need only to be a subject matter expert on their client’s industry and needs - though this often ends up happening over time.

Captivate Your Audience Through Design+Data

Captivate Your Audience Through Design+Data

So often, senior leaders must communicate their strategic and simple vision in a world of growing complexity. They must make decisions – and frequently explain them – based on an enterprise view of their data. It’s getting easier to do this these days through data visualizations and infographics that speak to specific employee and stakeholder audiences. Design+Data is what we call it at Arc Aspicio.

Chief Data Officers: Six Steps to Manage Data as an Enterprise Asset

Chief Data Officers: Six Steps to Manage Data as an Enterprise Asset

With an exponential increase in the types and quantities of data, organizations need defined strategies and techniques to manage data as an enterprise asset. To create enterprise-wide use of data, a Chief Data Officer (CDO) needs a clear data agenda for leadership and the whole organization to address current and future needs. CDOs should follow this six-part data plan to achieve short term capability gains and plot a path to greater enterprise data maturity.

Securing Cyberspace: Agile Strategy to Counter Changing Threats

Securing Cyberspace: Agile Strategy to Counter Changing Threats

Cybersecurity, managing and protecting computer systems from attacks, is evolving just as quickly as the techniques hackers use to cause damage. Historically, the public and private sectors believed that stronger technology and more advanced computer systems alone were enough to prevent attacks. As new trends emerge and the technologies used to both conduct and prevent hackings improve, cybersecurity strategies must remain agile, trying new tactics to counter changing threats.

Hacking Back – Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks?

Hacking Back – Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks?

With the increased frequency and sophistication of cyber-attacks worldwide, companies and executives are becoming frustrated with a traditional focus on defensive tactics. As a result, some private sector actors are taking a more active role in cybersecurity by “hacking back” – hacking against the very groups that are attacking their systems in retaliation or to retrieve stolen data. As hacking back rises in popularity, it is important to consider a number of political and legal issues and the risks to counter-terrorism efforts.