I’ve been taking an online data journalism MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) through the Canvas Network, which is all about using data to help tell stories. While researching recent data journalism examples I started considering the wider appeal of using data to get a point across.
Data can be a powerful tool to tell a story when presented in a digestible format. Just think about the number of infographics you see now – they take all the salient points on a topic and present them in a format that is so easy to understand that many are reshared over and over again on social media.
Early adopters of using data to illustrate a point include Florence Nightingale, when she outlined the causes of deaths during the Crimean War, and the Wall Street Journal, which actually started in 1889 as a daily letter of news bulletins hand-delivered to stock exchange traders. Data journalism came into its own when the internet and social media made data easy to access and explain (who could forget the hundreds of stories that resulted from data published in Wikileaks?).
So how can you use data to tell your business stories? Think about using graphs to express the results of your research into customer insights, express demographics for your region by overlaying graphics on a Google map, or create an animated video for YouTube using your business data.
As the DOMO infographic shows, data is created constantly around the world, so use it in your storytelling.