Simran Kaur Arora | 12 Dec, 2022

What is Data Storytelling

What is Data Storytelling?

Data storytelling can be defined as the process of creating a story from the findings of data analysis, which allows individuals to understand complex aspects and use them to take action against the issues. This technology is becoming more significant due to the high prevalence of big data in various organizations. Every influential communication needs a crafting narrative and visuals are the most effective medium for better understanding in the human brain. Hence data visualization and storytelling is the best way to present the best communicative data.

As everyone knows, organizations can better handle their data if they better understand the information in that dataset. Business analytics and business intelligence are two techniques that need huge investments, so it is essential to get the information from the data to improve business decision making.   

Data visualization helps to transform the complex information into the more accessible format for a better understanding of it, but data visualization answers the ‘what’ questions. Hence data storytelling comes into the picture to answer the ‘why’ questions. Data visualization and data storytelling are two of the aspects that can simplify the critical information to improve the actions against the risks and issues.

There are three aspects of the communications in data storytelling, and they are narrative, visuals, and data. These aspects create a good data story and present the data in a form that can create audience interment and accurate problem-solving ways, so it represents the complex datasets and separates the trends and patterns which are not seen in the spreadsheets.

Three aspects of Data StorytellingFigure 1 three aspects of data storytelling

The above figure shows the importance of all three aspects:

  • Combination of narration and data can explain the complete information
  • Data and visuals enlighten the information for the actions
  • The combination of narration and visuals can engage the audience in the communication.
  • The combination of narration and visuals can engage the audience in the communication.

Combination of data storytelling
Figure 2 combination of data storytelling

So, various combinations show different essential elements, but the combination of all of these aspects creates data storytelling. In simple words, merging the narrative, visuals, and appropriate data can result in the best influencing storytelling to create change. 

Data Visualization & Storytelling

Importance of Data Storytelling

The reason behind the importance of data storytelling is that it can merely tailor the complete information for the specific audience through a compelling narrative. It consists of capabilities to create a compelling story that can influence the audience and provide critical information to make the best decision possible. Let’s discuss a few strategies that can elaborate on the effectiveness of data storytelling:

  • Organizations can learn about their audience/ customers.
  • It is a creative technology but avoids distractions at the same time.
  • It collaborates with others to form a new way to influence and inform the audience.
  • It creates a way to eliminate risks and issues from the process of the organization.

According to history, it provides the information that storytelling is not the modern invention because there are many proofs like cave paintings and novels are available that represent the fact that storytelling has a great history.

Representation of storytelling
Figure 3 representation of storytelling

Data visualization plays a significant role in creating data storytelling for a better understanding of information because it provides sufficient credibility and impact to the data storytelling points.

According to the definition of data visualization, it helps to reveal the critical finding, patterns, and trends from the data by arranging it in the conceptual sequences and time. There are some key points which can provide the importance of the  data storytellings, and they are:

  • It helps you to focus your efforts and create more impactful results.
  • The process can simplify the data so the audience can better understand the information.
  • Data storytelling always develops the information unbiased for the audience.
  • It helps you to review your work for the best results possible.
  • It creates high engagement and appropriate narrative information for the audience. 

The best example of data storytelling is Facebook because social media are master of storytelling due to their countless actions by this technology,  Facebook usage of data storytelling:

  • A message on your birthday that combines memorable moments from the last years
  • Happy new year message with similar insights
  • Friendversary videos that highlight the depth of your interactions
  • Number of times friends have liked, loved or ha-ha's your posts
  • Most viewed photos or posts
  • “On this day” history memories

Apart from social media, there are various examples of storytellings like Spotify, Slack, and Uber. Hence this technology is becoming a significant essential part of big brands.

Working Process of Data Storytelling

There is a process to mold the data in the specific story to influence the audience for the father actions, and the process is:

  • Collect the information about the current situation
  • Involve characters with their real names so that the audience can have better connections with the story by identifying the characters in the story. 
  • Build urgency to identify the problem
  • Take appropriate actions against the problem for the solutions
  • The resolution
  • A complete time frame for the steps of problem-solving
  • Insights, key message, and Inspiring close

Now, this is not the only process that needs to be followed to obtain the best data storytelling possible. Individuals or time can follow to obtain the goal, and most importantly, training for excellent storytelling can help to create more patterns for data storytelling.

Benefits of Data Storytelling

There are different benefits of data storytelling that can positively impact business plans. Majorly this technology is used by businesses to improve the quality of the business, so the benefits of the data storytelling are:

  • Data storytelling uses the total potential values of the data and takes essential information out of it.
  • It provides interpretations or insights into the data visualizations for improving the engagement of the audience.
  • Data storytelling can influence business actions and positively impact their decisions.
  • Apart from all of the situations, it mirrors the impacts of human storytelling.
  • It helps to translate the analysis of data more straightforwardly, i.e., storytelling terms.


Data storytelling provides excellent and narrative information for a better understanding of data, and it merely combines visualization and narrations to resolve the issues from the organization. Majorly it is useful for influencing the audience or enhancing their engagement, and these elements can directly impact future decisions to eliminate issues from it.

One thing is clear that data storytelling can be a great technique and a full part of the decision making process in the future through its clean, interactive, and impactful working body. It consists of many benefits. Therefore, it is becoming a part of the business for the best actual work possible.

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By Simran Kaur Arora

Simran works at Hackr as a technical writer. The graduate in MS Computer Science from the well known CS hub, aka Silicon Valley, is also an editor of the website. She enjoys writing about any tech topic, including programming, algorithms, cloud, data science, and AI. Traveling, sketching, and gardening are the hobbies that interest her.

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