Why You Need to Turn Data Into Stories
This week we published the Versta Research Summer Newsletter, which focuses on Turning Data Into Stories. Here is a preview of what’s inside to pique your curiosity.
First, what do we mean by “Turning Data Into Stories?” We don’t mean creating little vignettes or personas around every finding. No narrative arcs or emotional connection points, presumably to bring findings to life. None of that is needed! What is needed is simply to lay out the context, the questions, the answers — the who, what, when, where, why — of your data. Just say what the data mean, because that is the story.
Second, the benefits of doing it are huge. The newsletter outlines five of the most significant benefits:
- Turning data into stories tells you what to do, because there is never, ever, anything inherently actionable about data.
- Turning data into stories helps you integrate seemingly conflicting data, because reality is full of messy contradictions that need to be explained and interpreted.
- Turning data into stories helps you avoid mistakes, because conflicting data will have you asking whether your story is true, or whether your data is messed up.
- Turning data into stories gets your research heard and understood, because data tends to overwhelm most people, whereas stories usually engage them.
- Turning data into stories helps you communicate research to multiple audiences, because data can be interpreted and pitched in multiple ways depending on your specific need.
We’ll show you some examples with research in Kiplinger’s, Barron’s, a recent medical conference, and even a new Ad Council campaign.
As always, we hope you enjoy and learn something from the newsletter. Please reach out if it sparks questions, comments, or ideas.
—Joe Hopper, Ph.D.