Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals

Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic
Don't simply show your data—tell a story with it! Storytelling with Data teaches you the fundamentals of data visualization and how to communicate effectively with data. You'll discover the power of storytelling and the way to make data a pivotal point in your story. The lessons in this illuminative text are grounded in theory, but made accessible through numerous real-world examples—ready for immediate application to your next graph or presentation. Storytelling is not an inherent skill, especially when it comes to data visualization, and the tools at our disposal don't make it any easier. This book demonstrates how to go beyond conventional tools to reach the root of your data, and how to use your data to create an engaging, informative, compelling story. Specifically, you'll learn how to: Understand the importance of context and audience Determine the appropriate type of graph for your particular information Recognize and eliminate the clutter clouding your information Direct your audience's attention to the most important parts of your data Think like a designer and utilize concepts of design in data visualization Leverage the power of storytelling to help your message resonate with your audience Together, the lessons in this book will help you turn your data into high impact visual stories that stick with your audience. Rid your world of ineffective graphs, one exploding 3D pie chart at a time! There is a story in your data—Storytelling with Data will give you the skills and power to tell it!

Reviews

Reviewed: 2018-12-19

Preethi Jayaraman: 

Early in the book, Cole Nussbaumer mentions that, "There is a story in your data. But your tools don't know what the story is. That's where it takes you - the analyst or communicator of the information - to bring that story visually and contextually to life." The process of learning this skill is the focus of the book. She further highlights that analysts with quantitative backgrounds are rarely trained in design that helps in the communication of the analysis. By using concepts in math, business and design, she skillfully teaches lessons that help move from simply showing data to storytelling with data!

 

The book is structured on six key lessons - I) Understand the context, II) Choose an appropriate visual display, III) Eliminate clutter, IV) Focus attention where you want it, V) Think like a designer, VI) Tell a story.

 

For a quick read into the book, read the introductory chapter that speaks about the importance and need for storytelling as a skill, followed by 'Chapter 8: pulling it together' that is a comprehensive chapter where the author follows the storytelling process using one real-world example from start to finish. Make sure to reinforce the concepts presented in the book through the variety of case studies presented in 'Chapter 9: case studies'.

 

Quick read: ~2 hours

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