Modern companies are increasingly turning to data-driven solutions to offer better products and services. According to TechTrend’s review on global data use, we created 2.5 quintillion data bytes daily in 2020; this means there is more data now than ever to extract value from. Moreover, the field of data analytics has also expanded rapidly.
Data analyst Lluvia Meneses notes that there are a number of data-related tasks to fulfill, such as modeling data, mining data, and discovering trends and patterns. Above all, however, she highlights that the best way to utilize data is to communicate insights through data storytelling.
Data storytelling is the process of telling a compelling story based on the data you have. It involves three elements: data, visualization, and narrative. Accurate and updated data has to be presented through visuals, graphs, and charts to convey information. Finally, this is all tied together with the narrative — the story you want to tell — which highlights the significance of your data. Here are three ways data storytelling can transform your business:
Creating personalized experiences
When choosing between two products in a similar price range, it’s likely that customers would prefer to buy from a brand that understands their unique needs and wants. This strategy is called personalization; it’s a way for brands to tailor-fit their messages, offers, and customer experiences to gain an edge over their competitors. With data storytelling, personalization can be taken to the next level.
Case in point, as Later’s primer on Instagram Analytics highlights, pulling data from the different Instagram features can give you more insights about your followers. For one, you can pull demographic data such as age, gender, and interests to improve your content strategy. You will see what type of content works best for specific audiences and when you should post content for better performance. Using your data to tell stories can help you better target your ideal audience, so you can convert more views into sales.
Boosting your brand’s value
The world may be filled with limitless data, but this means nothing to your audience unless you can make them care about it. High-value content does more than provide knowledge; it gives meaning and context to numbers on a spreadsheet. With good data storytelling, you can connect the dots so audiences can find meaningful insights, make better decisions, and solve problems through their actions.
An example of this is Johns Hopkins University. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Johns Hopkins University has gathered up-to-date data and uploaded it onto a real-time dashboard. Instead of a tangle of numbers, their platform features widgets, maps, and animated videos that arm organizations and individuals with the information they need to combat the virus. Aside from differentiating themselves from the competition through their content, the platform also reaffirms Johns Hopkins University as a trusted source and a brand that provides real service to its audiences.
Engaging with more people
Aside from the inherent stimulation of visualizing data, the narrative component in data storytelling is widely effective to combat the ever-shrinking attention span of humans. Storytelling is part of human nature; we love to listen and to tell stories, so narratives can persuade us to interact with hard numbers, especially when they’re paired with visuals like heat maps and infographics. One great example is Zillow, a US-based online real-estate marketplace.
Zillow has data on over 110 million homes, and they create a lot of value for the audiences through content. Zillow publishes standard blog posts on topics like the best places to retire, as well as more creative stuff — like the best cities for trick-or-treating, based on home values, door-to-door distance, and the number of children under the age of 10. On a more serious note, Zillow Economic Research also produces studies on housing data, such as the impact of COVID-19 on local housing markets. This strategy allows them to leverage their corporate social responsibility efforts for a far-reaching marketing advantage.
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