We encounter great, difficult, inspiring stories that are built on data every day – in journalism, business, politics, healthcare – in almost every aspect of our lives. But data alone does not make for a very good story. The most compelling storytelling uses a combination of data, or factual evidence, alongside the very personal to activate both our emotional and cognitive thinking processes (fast and slow thinking, if you prefer). Powerful stories often combine a broad perspective with very personal examples. Good stories are global and local. They often rely on multiple forms of media or provide a rich sensory experience to convey a clear message.

Resources

The volume and availability of data is changing how many of us work. There are tons of inspiring examples out there that demonstrating how powerful data can be used when they are used to tell stories. We’ve provided some below, and hope you will add to the list below by sharing on Twitter, writing a blog post, or emailing us with suggestions.

Be sure to check out Wei Yin’s blog post on 4 tools for telling stories with data.

Activities

  • Tell us – How is data changing and influencing creativity and storytelling in your community? Share via Twitter thread or send us a blog post via Google Form or email (see guidelines).
  • Submit your short-form essay about using data to tell a story (300-600 words) or submit another creative work (visualization, art, video, music, etc.) to be featured on the LDW blog

Discussion Prompts

  • Share some awesome examples of storytelling with data!
  • As a researcher or storyteller, does your field do this well?
  • If you want to improve your data storytelling skills, why? how?
  • What is your favorite tool or resource for visualizing data?