Once upon a time, in a far away land…wait, this isn’t some fairy tale about princes and princesses, but rather one where the hero (in this case me) gets to explain why great storytelling is the true art and future of all data analysis projects within businesses and organizations.

 

One of the key reasons I started Bigfoot Analytics came directly from my experiences that most businesses and organizations are missing out on the real power and creativity found within their own data. Industry and media buzz words like “Big Data” have taken control and helped to push executives into making ever increasing

purchases of technology solutions to try to harness data, without regard to who, what, why, when, or how.  I contend that instead of thinking about all the expanding technology solutions, organizations should first be examining how they are telling the stories behind existing data, or what some call the art of data-telling.

As I have said before, it isn’t about the relative size of your data, but what you do with it that counts – small data can be just as powerful as big data.

1) Quest or Purpose

 

  • What is the business quest you are on?
  • What is the purpose of your questions?
  • What are you trying to determine?
  • What are you trying to answer?
  • Are you testing an assumption, hunch, intuition?

2) Compelling & Meaningful Characters

 

  • What data characters (variables) do you have already?
  • How do you use them presently?
  • Will your existing data characters provide insights into your overall quest?
  • If they will not, what other characters do you need to add to your story to make it more compelling and meaningful to your business quest?
  • What analytical techniques are you going to use to assess the impact of the data characters on your story?
  • Do you have the writers or interpreters (analysts) who can help build the data-telling for your business?  If not, can you call in experts to help tell your data story?

3) Resolution & Call to Action

 

  • How will your data analysis be crafted and presented to your intended audience?
  • What data visualization techniques or tools will you use to present your story – always with an eye toward what the original quest or purpose was?
  • Once you have compiled all the necessary data characters, what does the analysis show in terms of proving or disproving the initial business questions?
  • What should the organization do with the data story you have just created to help drive ROI, performance improvements, internal processes, etc.?
  • If dispelling existing assumptions, hunches, or intuitions, give due diligence to explaining why the data tells a different story – clear and concise.

 

I hope as you are building your data analysis projects you will begin to see the real value in making sure that the overall “story” behind it is sound, thoughtful, and reflects the true intent of your business or organization.  Carefully using the three data-telling components I have outlined above will help make your organization more money and be better at judging its own performance, no matter what metric you use.

Feel free to contact us at Bigfoot Analytics if you want any help or guidance.  I am happy to provide you examples of the data-telling I have had the great privilege of developing and using to push analytical quests to very happily ever after conclusions.

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Designed by: Rêve Academy Interns (Fall 2017)