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  • Writer's pictureChelsea Wilkinson

Data Jackanory!

Question: What is ‘the last mile of analytics’?

Model deployment? A dashboard?



Say author Brent Dykes, MIT Sloan School of Management lecturer Miro Kazakoff and data executive Althea Davis in a recent article.

“If you want people to make the right decisions with data, you have to get in their head in a way they understand. Throughout human history, the way to do that has been with stories,” said Kazakof.

But how?

To surmise their article, a good data story is:

💡 Structured - with a beginning, middle and end.

💡 Presented without bias, but with empathy and context so that business users can digest it, and gain insights for better decision making and – critically – action.

💡 Targeted to the audience who might not have the same view or data fluency.

💡 “Ruthlessly edited…building narrative and revealing data in the proper order and sequence”.

💡 Accompanied by great visuals (the right picture can replace a thousand words).

💡 Empathetic – interprets different viewpoints with relevant material.

But who is skilled for this data translation? And who is responsible?

Our experts suggest that organisations likely need to create data storyteller roles, whilst upskilling the wider workforce to be data literate.

“Being literate with data and able to explain the stories it reveals is as important a form of literacy as being able to read, write, and speak clearly,” Kazakoff maintained. “It’s a core skill, not a job function, and it cuts across all division and roles at a company.”

What have been your experiences of data storytelling?

Is your business TEDtalk ready? Or lost in translation?


Here is a link to the MIT article:

And if you're interested, Jackanory was a BBC children's television series which was originally broadcast between 1965 and 1996. It was designed to stimulate an interest in reading. So yes, I'm showing my age!


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