There are many talented individuals who understand data, run complex models and analysis, but many struggle when it comes to standing in front of decision makers and telling a story.
To close this gap, we interviewed some of the star storytellers at Hyper Anna, to find out what data storytelling means to them and who they look to for inspiration.
Cheryl Lim is a Client Engagement Manager at Hyper Anna.
1. Who do you think are the best storytellers?
If I had to choose, it would be Christopher Nolan for movies. I love the way he tells a story intertwined with the concept of time and perception; I find myself having multiple discussions/debate on his movies after watching them.
My favourite author is Patrick Rothfuss; late nights were worth it while I was hooked on The Kingkiller Chronicles, and I’m still waiting for the final book to be published.
Talks wise, I like how Cassie Kozyrkov shares about AI and data in an easy to understand way, and that’s what got me interested in this industry.
2. Favourite quote from your mentor/favourite storyteller/colleague/anyone really.
Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss
“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.”
3. If you could have a conversation with anyone (alive or dead), and hear their story, who would that be?
It might come across as weird but I would like to have a conversation with a spy.
To understand how they can keep their identity a secret up till the end, and creating a story about themselves to mask their true character. In doing so, does it define them as an individual, or it's "just part of their job".
They are masterful storytellers.
4. To you, what does data storytelling mean? How did it help you to succeed in your work?
In today's world, the rate of generating data is much faster than our brain's speed at understanding them, new information quickly supersedes the old ones, therefore getting the full picture quickly is now more important than ever for business survival.
Data storytelling to me is making use of data to gather information and substantiate points to make a coherent story. When data changes, the story changes too. So we always need to be aware of those changes to bring the most relevant story to the table.
Storytelling is key to engagement, and it helps me share complex ideas with our clients, and empower them to do the same with their key stakeholders.
5. What are your tips for telling a story with data? What should you avoid?
There should be a purpose to your story, with tidbits that your audience can take away at the end of it.
A good structure is also essential for your audience to follow. Less is more when it comes to conveying complex concepts to a wide range of audiences.
6. Tips of the trade: How do you tell a story in Client Engagement?
It has to resonate with your audience.
Are you telling a story that is of interest to them? Do you know what matters to them the most and where do they need support to reach their goals.
Bringing value to our client is the key focus in Client Engagement, as only when it's useful for them, would they want to continue to use the product/service you provide.
7. Any last thoughts you would like to share with everyone?
We’re all creating the story of our lives each day, choose wisely how you would spend your time to create memories that will turn into stories in the future.
Before you go...
If you'd like to learn what data storytelling means in the world of Product, check out our interview with Raffaela, Product Manager at Hyper Anna.
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