Data Storytelling Guide: How to Captivate Your Audience with Stories Based on Valuable Data

Data Storytelling Guide

Data Storytelling is a technique that transforms available information into a story. It combines data visualization formats—such as charts, charts, animated maps, and more—with narrative elements. The goal is to use a somewhat complex amount of data to tell a story in a simple and concise way.

In an increasingly information-driven culture, telling a story through it adds credibility to any Marketing strategy.

Another benefit of this methodology is the high degree of attraction of these contents. As we’ll see later, these stories captivate the audience, helping to improve conversions and brand loyalty.

Read on and learn more about it!

What is data storytelling?

It’s a technique that uses data to tell a story. It’s a useful way to present information, which means it can be used with both internal and external audiences.

However, it is important to differentiate data storytelling from data visualization. Data visualization consists of representing data graphically, not necessarily telling a story.

If you’re presenting a report, for example, you can better sell an idea or better explain a point by using charts, tables, or infographics, because those content retains your audience’s attention in a way that a text or even video can’t.

They facilitate the processing of all information at once and decision making.

Data storytelling goes beyond representing data in a more engaging way. It consists of showing how or why the data changed over a period, and for that it is necessary to gather:

  • a narrative;
  • context;
  • characters.

Here are the key factors to get your audience really involved with content!

Why tell a story with data?

There has never been as much data as today. Big Data is already a reality and more and more companies are investing in a culture based on tangible and real evidence.

With so much information available, data-driven storytelling is a way to organize everything and present it in a more enjoyable and accessible way.

Because it’s easier to absorb information that way, data storytelling also makes your content more life-long and more engagement-generating, whether it’s shared online or generating word-of-mouth marketing.

Beyond being visually appealing, data storytelling also strengthens your credibility. Unfortunately, all that information that we have also has its negative version: fake news or fake news.

In this context, it won’t take long for the data-driven approach to also be requested by the customer.

Interactivity is another current trend of Digital Marketing and functions as a two-way path, as companies can also collect information about their customers in this process.

Many data visualization elements not only allow consumer engagement, but also encourage it, and there are many data visualization softwares that can help you find the right format for your audience.

How to create a relevant data storytelling?

We’ve already looked at the basics of data-driven storytelling and its importance to a marketing strategy, so now let’s look at what to consider when implementing this concept.

Read on!

Be clear and concise

The idea of investing in data-driven storytelling is to simplify the reading of huge and complex amounts of data. It is therefore essential to use clear and concise language.

Think about your person’s cognitive burden and choose images that provide as much information as possible. The more you know your audience, the greater the chances of getting it right in this election.

Highlight insights

As we have already mentioned, turning data into something more accessible is very useful for expressing a point of view or selling an idea.

It is essential that you identify what is the main information that your data storytelling is trying to transmit. Without it, there’s a good chance it’s data visualization content rather than a story.

This “insight moment” in which we create a framework for the disclosure of information usually arises from the combination of two or more datasets.

Determining a data storytelling goal can be helpful: do you want to inspire your audience or would you rather tell a funny story?

Combine words with images

Telling a data storytelling doesn’t mean we have to tell a story without words. Conversely, words should be used to make images even more appealing.

At the same time that you want to reduce the cognitive burden of your audience, you want to highlight the information you need to keep in their minds, so presenting it through text and images has its advantages.

Make it shareable

If you want your story to reach more people,you need to create them in a way that’s simple to share. How do we do that? Two features are essential here:

The first is the visual appeal,of course. Discover your audience’s tastes and identify formats and design patterns that are best suited to them.

Second, don’t underestimate the context. Why do I tell this story to these people through this data?

In other words, why should they care? It won’t matter how beautiful or interactive your story is if you’re addressing something your consumer doesn’t want to hear about.

Examples of Data Storytelling

Now that you know what relevant data should have good data storytelling, let’s look at excellent examples of well-established brands that presented information through a combination of data and narrative.

1. Spotify

The annual“Wrapped”campaign could be one of the greatest examples of interactive data storytelling of all time.

Since 2016, Spotify has presented its users with an elaborate timeline that shows artists, songs and, more recently, the most listened podcasts of the year.

The streaming app uses your users’ data not only to talk individually to their customers, but also to demonstrate how interesting Big Data can be.

No matter how specific a consumption pattern may be, it can be identifiable and fun. Who wouldn’t want to know how many times “Total Eclipse of The Heart” was heard during a week of eclipse?

This case becomes even more interesting when we see that, even as an online product, Spotify was able to take its data storytelling out of that sphere, also bringing it to traditional media, as you can see in the following image.

Data Storytelling Guide: How to Captivate Your Audience with Stories Based on Valuable Data

2. Google Maps

Google Maps provides a monthly travel report to users who turn on the “Location History” feature on their mobile devices. You can explore this feature by interacting with Google Maps.

You can find out the places and cities you visited the most, see photographs taken at each location and acquire information about the most commonly used means of transport.

Do you know how much time you spent on public transport or in your car for the last month? Maybe you cycled more than you walked, didn’t you?

All this information can be tracked through this tool. As you can see, Google Maps has all the main features that good data storytelling should have: context, narrative twists and characters (yourself!).


As you can see clearly, data storytelling is already a trend and will continue to distinguish relevant brands from their competitors.

Beyond being visually appealing, it’s a smart approach that conveys credibility and can be used in many different ways and for a variety of purposes, from a fun perspective of exemplifying an app’s consumer behavior to an official demonstration of pandemic growth, for example.

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