Unlocking the secrets of data storytelling in 2021

30-second abstract:

Data storytelling is the method of mixing graphics and narratives to assist audiences perceive complicated information
There are eight varieties of graphs and charts that entrepreneurs can use to inform information tales
This information will make it easier to perceive why information storytelling is essential and what greatest practices you need to comply with

We’re seeing the rising significance of storytelling with information in 2021—primarily due to the quantity of knowledge being shared with audiences over the previous 12 months.

But information must make sense to folks if it’s to result in higher engagement and elevated conversions. That’s the place visualization is available in.

According to Venngage’s current examine, information storytelling has develop into a preferred instrument in a corporation’s arsenal, with 48 % of entrepreneurs creating information visualizations weekly.

Source: Venngage

In this text, we'll share why companies are turning to information storytelling to inform their model tales and to seize the creativeness of their prospects.

Why is storytelling with information essential?

Data-driven storytelling combines information and graphics to inform a compelling story. It additionally provides the information extra context so audiences can perceive it higher.

The visible illustration of knowledge lies can present readers patterns and connections they could not have deduced on their very own.

That’s what makes them such a essential instrument in a small enterprise’ arsenal—information graphics will help companies observe their efficiency and set objectives.

Kinds of knowledge visualizations for storytelling

There are quite a few visible instruments out there to render information—they spotlight why information visualization is essential.

Some of the sorts of knowledge visualizations for storytelling embody:

Bar Graphs
Bubble Charts
Line Charts
Pie Charts
Scatter Plots

Each visualization approach serves a goal. Bar graphs and charts are perfect for creating comparisons, whereas line charts present linear relationships.

Maps present geographical information, like this instance in regards to the languages of the world.

Languages in the world


Pie charts share information in accordance with set classes, whereas scatter plots present relationships between a number of variables.

To perceive which charts and graphs to make use of to inform your information story, you'll be able to consult with the under infographic.

Infographic chart on data storytelling

Source: Venngage

Five benefits of knowledge storytelling

What benefits can companies anticipate when storytelling by way of information?

These are the questions that entrepreneurs and designers ask themselves earlier than enterprise such a design-heavy undertaking.

But there are a number of makes use of for information graphics that make them value investing effort and time into.

1. Provides deeper evaluation into data

If you have a look at the varieties of visualizations described above, you'll be able to see how they supply higher perception into data.

A textual content submit or report can do the identical work however would require far more labor from the reader—growing the probabilities of them leaving your web page for shorter content material. 

A graphic, then again, tells the reader the identical data in a a lot shorter time. This improves engagement charges and conversions.

Visuals can even convey patterns simply permitting the reader to investigate data rapidly by connecting the dots themselves.

2. Promotes problem-solving

Data tales are succinct supplies that increase the problem-solving course of and enhance productiveness.

This is as a result of decision-makers don’t need to learn reams of textual content or sift by way of data on their very own—the graphics do the work for them and velocity up problem-solving.

three. Engages inside and exterior audiences

Content advertising and marketing is geared towards engagement—and that’s why sturdy visuals that catch the attention are so essential. 

Visuals are extra engaging than blocks of textual content—and information graphics which are well-made much more so than others.

This is as a result of an information story is compelling in itself—numbers, percentages, relationships, and connections are all causes for a reader to cease what they’re doing and have a look at your graphic.

As a consequence, you improve visitors and views to your content material and your web site, all whereas selling a positive impression of your model. 

four. Improves reporting skills

Reports are half and parcel of enterprise life. An important information story is vital to a memorable and highly effective evaluation, like this straightforward however elegant finance infographic template.

Data storytelling improves reporting capabilities

Source: Venngage

There is a lot information concerned in creating stories—if they're articulated by way of numbers and tables, your viewers shall be misplaced, and worse, bored.

That is why nice information storytelling is so essential in report-making, not simply to maintain folks however to inform a superb story.

5. Wide attain

Graphics might be repurposed in a number of methods and for quite a lot of channels. Social media platforms like Twitter, that are chockful of knowledge, require a powerful visible to get consideration.

That consideration might be generated by way of information storytelling. Bite-sized visuals arrest the viewer as they’re scrolling by way of their feed—they’re additionally straightforward to soak up and extra shareable.

Visualized information makes for excellent content material whether or not for social channels, newsletters, weblog posts, or web site touchdown pages.

An important graphic has the potential to go viral, widening the attain of your content material and affect.

Data storytelling greatest practices

Paying heed to the significance of visualizing information means following a number of greatest practices. You can’t create visuals with out having a objective. 

You additionally want to grasp the subject material and the wants of your viewers so your information tells the story you need it to and engages your readers.

Here are the six greatest practices for creating visualizations that may increase buyer retention.

Create visible hierarchies

Hierarchies are essential for folks to learn and interpret your information. Visual hierarchies are a key element of knowledge storytelling as a result of they assist readers create context and patterns.

Since you don’t wish to write an excessive amount of textual content to clarify your graphic, hierarchies are the easiest way to convey context. Here are one of the best methods to construct visible hierarchies and context:

Placement of parts from high to backside
Grouped parts
Varying colours
Varied visible types
Increasing font sizes

Users will be capable of deduce the connection between information and parts utilizing the above strategies.

Build belief into information visuals

The advantages of visualization are fully misplaced in the event you can’t elicit belief within the folks viewing your data.

When we put statistics collectively for research at Venngage, we survey tons of, if not 1000's, of respondents earlier than starting the design course of.

This is important to keep away from cherry-picking information, which might be deceptive, as this graph exhibits, and by chance designing dangerous infographics.

Build trust with data storytelling

Source: Venngage

It is all the time greatest to compile information from trusted sources which are unbiased. Verify that information with at the least two different sources so that the information is consultant of the data.

Only then must you transfer into the design section. When creating your visuals, keep away from distortion as a lot as doable by following these strategies:

Choose charts and graphs that fit your information
Your visible ought to embody a scale to present context to the information
Baselines for information ought to all the time begin at zero
Both axes ought to seem within the graphic and be equal in dimension
Use all related information within the visible; don’t go away essential information out

Size performs a significant factor in trust-building—use similar-sized visible parts, like icons, that may be scaled on a graph. 

Show adjustments in information by way of dimension and house however each ought to be equal between all visible parts.

Keep visualizations easy

Pulling collectively information requires quite a lot of effort and time. It might be tempting to design visuals that categorical as a lot data as doable.

But that mindset can negate the effectiveness of visually representing information, and overwhelm your viewers.

Visualizations ought to be easy and simple to grasp—not solely is that this a model design development in 2021, however it retains readers extra engaged, like this chart we created.

Keep visuals simple

Source: Venngage

While a fancy visualization might look subtle and fascinating, in case your viewers spends an excessive amount of time making an attempt to grasp it, they’re going to finally surrender and transfer on.

A badly-designed graphic, just like the one under, can even give readers a unfavorable impression of your model and product, dropping you extra potential prospects.

Bad example


Data graphics ought to be easy sufficient to grasp at a look—that’s on a regular basis it's a must to get customers’ consideration.

Don’t overuse textual content

If your information story wants extra textual content to grasp it, the visible isn’t well-designed. While there must be some textual content within the graphic, it shouldn’t dominate the picture.

You can all the time write a weblog or social media submit round your findings, however your readers shouldn’t be misplaced with out the context.

The advantages of data-driven storytelling lie in the truth that your data might be communicated by way of the visible medium.

If you’re counting on textual content to do all of the speaking, your graphic is missing. Use graphic parts like icons and shapes, and break your information down into bite-sized parts so it’s straightforward to convey.

Use colours correctly in visualizations

Colors have rather a lot to do with the significance of knowledge visualization storytelling—they can be utilized to spotlight key data in a graphic and increase the information story you are attempting to inform.

But that doesn’t imply you employ all the colours within the palette in your graphic. Again, too many colours, like an excessive amount of data, can overwhelm the viewers.

On the flip facet, by utilizing too few colours, you'll be able to mistakenly create connections between information that aren’t right.

Use your model colours in your visualizations, and increase them with two or three colours. Try to not exceed 5 colours or 5 hues of a single colour. 

If you’re questioning what sorts of colours work collectively, you should utilize this checklist to decide on colour mixtures.

Use muted colours in your graphics, as an alternative of daring ones, as that's what is on-trend in the mean time and can make your visuals extra related to audiences.

Highlight information in visuals

As a lot as you need customers to grasp the information as you current it to them in a visible, you goal to seize their consideration as rapidly as doable.

Even the only visuals want some highlights to attract the attention and it’s an effective way to keep up the integrity of your information story.

Use a spotlight colour to make related information stand out or improve the font dimension or icon dimension to do the identical.

By spotlighting an important data, you'll be extra profitable in attracting consideration to your visible and telling your information story. 

Businesses can leverage the significance of knowledge storytelling

We’ve highlighted how information storytelling could make a distinction in enterprise development in 2021.

Graphics share insights and correlations that audiences might have ignored, whereas nonetheless being compelling instruments that interact and convert prospects.

Ronita Mohan is a content material marketer on the on-line infographic and design platform, Venngage. Ronita frequently writes about advertising and marketing, design, and small companies.

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