By William Skelly
As organizations are getting smarter about measuring performance, from sales revenue and customer interactions to production metrics and costs, there’s more granular data than ever. By 2025, an estimated 181 zettabytes of data will be created, captured, copied and consumed worldwide, according to Statista.1
Most data scientists approach a long column of statistics and analytics with glee. For our colleagues and non-technical executives, their eyes will likely glaze over when faced with a glut of numbers and raw data.
Data can’t speak for itself. For that reason, marketers and organizational leaders are turning to data scientists or outsourcing data management services to uncover the business insights hidden in the spreadsheets and reports.
Two key areas where data consultants can support businesses who may be experiencing information overload, include:
Business metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) come from all areas of the organization, such as sales, marketing, customer service, production facilities, warehouses, logistics, human resources and more. The amount of data is astronomical and often unmanageable.
The critical concern is how to interpret the information. What’s important and vital to understand to make business decisions?
Data visualization gives meaning to facts and stats. Using real-time dashboards, charts and graphs and interactive reports, the visual representations bring the data to life.
Advancements in data visualization tools organize raw information and clarify KPIs. The visual formats spotlight patterns and allow decision makers to connect the dots from root causes to outcomes.
Data visualization can be used to articulate performance, underscore trends, showcase relationships and understand the impact of current strategies. The charts and graphs bring greater value to reports, add context and enhance communication and collaboration.
Data storytelling goes a step beyond data visualization. Leveraging reports, dashboards, charts and graphs, data is conveyed as a narrative to inform high-level decision making. Leading data consultants are harnessing AI to analyze structured and unstructured datasets to assist in data storytelling, creating narratives for guiding strategic planning.
Keeping the audience in mind, data storytelling supports proper context and empathy, with the ability to remove possible bias in the data. Rather than simply showing a decline in sales or a surge in customer service calls, data storytelling provides an interpretation to assist with action steps to resolve the issues.
Other ways data storytelling benefits organizations:
- Clear and memorable – Data storytelling helps the audience understand complex information and remember the key points.
- Accessible – Simplifying data makes the insights more easily understood by a larger audience, enhancing cooperation and collaborations across teams.
- Impactful – Presenting data in a clear, concise manner allows the audience to see the significance of the information and discover the implications for specific actions.
With data storytelling, business decisions can be finalized more quickly and efficiently. In addition, marketing campaigns can more closely align with buyer personas along the customer journey.
From product launch and new business strategies to marketing plans and ad campaign management, data storytelling unravels complicated information to assist in reaching sales goals and organizational objectives.
William Skelly is founder and CEO of Causeway Solutions, a leading provider of Acquisition Analytics and innovative data services. Bill serves as advisor with some of the nation’s most influential organizations — from grassroots public affairs efforts to U.S. Presidential campaign strategies. Causeway Solutions empowers clients to make smart, timely, data-driven decisions through real-time consumer insights to better reach target audiences.
1 “Volume of data/information created, captured, copied, and consumed worldwide,” Statista