Marketers know that it’s not enough to simply show consumers data points—it’s the story-telling aspect in the data that really hooks readers. But finding a thread of narrative among raw data is sometimes challenging.
Whether you’re presenting campaign analytics, creating data visualizations or informing ad creative, the narrative that emerges is dependent on the actions of the marketer, analyst or designer to bring the data to life.
To help marketers harness the power of data-driven storytelling, we connected with Tim Degner, Concept and Communication Designer at Nike, to learn more about the influence that the presenter has over data-driven messaging.
Degner has spent his career working with clients on information design, brand strategy and revealing consumer insights by transforming complex data into simple visual designs. He’s worked with companies across all industries from Tech, Retail, CPG, Healthcare and Nonprofits, which gave him a visual narrative from all sides.
Recently, Degner delivered a presentation for the Digital Analytics Association illustrating how a simple dataset can be transformed 30 different ways to expose multiple messages to your audience. Here’s one example of how two narratives can be extracted from the exact same dataset, based on places Degner traveled to in the U.S.
Fig. 1: U.S. states Tim visited. Conclusion? “I have been all over the country!”
Fig. 2: Remove state lines + dot exact locations. Conclusion? “I guess I haven’t been all over the country.”
This clearly illustrates that while the data itself isn’t malleable, the message is. So, how can marketers make the most out of their data and ensure they are delivering a message that resonates with key audiences? Here are three top tips from Degner:
Bottom line for marketers: your data tells a story, but you get to decide how to best present it to your consumers. Using these tips, we hope you not only harness the underlying narrative within your datasets, but find success in engaging your reader with a whole new data-driven outlook.