Need to know

  • The storytelling potential of data transcends marketing. Data-driven storytelling offers potential right across business and society.
  • Lightly peppering narratives with just a handful of well-chosen, killer statistics is the key to data-driven storytelling success.
  • Use data in messaging with caution. The more information you deploy in arguments when you’re looking to convince others and to change people’s minds, the more likely the audience is to resist.
  • If you put all available data into the mixer and look for relationships, you’ll find a connection and be tempted to conclude it’s important, when in fact it’s a false positive. Correlation is not causation, and connections in complex systems are very rarely caused by single factors.
  • Don’t fall into the trap of using all data available. Brand storytellers should start with the reason or purpose they’re looking for data in the first place, and then choose the right data.
  • Effective data-driven storytelling is fundamentally an act of empathy and human understanding. If you can use your research, data, and statistics to show you understand those you’re looking to influence, your story is much more likely to prove effective.