The art of telling stories from data
Every organisation - whether it's a financial institution or a mom and pop business - has a wealth of stories to tell from its data.
This means that data workers (analysts, quants [this means quantitative analyst or quant analyst], data stewards and suchlike) need to make the mental shift to realise they are not just data workers but rather story tellers.
So says Weynand Deysel, head of Business Intelligence at FNB South Africa, who will be speaking at the ITWeb Business Intelligence & Analytics Summit 2019, to be held from 12 to 14 March at The Forum in Bryanston.
According to him, in order to be an efficient story teller you cannot function in isolation, but will need the entire context of the business you are operating within.
He equates that to showing someone a movie two minutes from the middle that they've never seen, and asking them to explain what happened before, and what would happen after. "It is therefore crucial for data workers to get involved in all levels of the business to understand what stories desperately need to be told."
Deysel believes a good story creates context for the audience and gets everyone in the business on the same page, which would help an organisation achieve its strategic objectives.
"Of course, it would be a very long story if we had to depict the business and all of its inner workings in their entirety in a single story. That is why it is important to create smaller stories that will address the short-term goals of a business or even objectives at a departmental day-to-day level."
A good story should also create an emotional connection with the audience - the company's employees, he says, so that they become deeply engaged and have a vested interest in how the story of the business pans out.
Any form of media
Stories can be told in almost any form of media and we are fortunate to have many forms of media at our disposal, he says. "Ultimately, a good story teller would be able to convey their story in almost any form of media... Tools and solutions utilised are secondary to story itself."
During his presentation, 'Data storytelling: developing the art of telling stories from data', Deysel will explain the importance of storytelling and outline the techniques that can be used to create good, coherent stories that promote better decision-making and employee engagement.
It is crucial for data workers to get involved in all levels of the business to understand what stories desperately need to be told.Weynand Deysel, FNB