064: Data Storytelling For Data Informed Decision Making with Selena Fisk

Made For More

Jul 25 2022 • 32 mins

If you find it daunting to work your way through data, you are not alone. Data is a reality, both at work and home, but often people find it challenging to navigate through data to make an informed decision.

Now more than ever, understanding data is a skill that all leaders need to use, manage and recognise what story the data is telling and make informed decisions based on that evidence.

It's important to recognise that data-driven and data-informed are two different things. While the former focuses only on numbers and excludes the human side of the story, data-informed accounts for both the quantitative as well as qualitative information which provides a holistic picture. At the end of the day, data does not tell us what we need to do, it requires human touch to know what needs to be done.

Like any storytelling, in data story-telling one needs to be passionate, confident and the story should sound interesting (WIIFM) so that it inspires people to want to take action. In addition, having visuals will drive the point home. The way you tell the data story should be able to change the perspective of people.

In a world rich of data, if you are worried and wondering how to improve your data story-telling skills (as a beginner), relax and identify the insights. If the does not come easily observing someone who tells a very good data story can be a good starting point. Observe what stood out and how they made it sound interesting and then replicating those will likely help you be a better data story teller.

Data is here to stay and expected to be stacked up in organisations, at least in the short/medium term. It is expected to grow exponentially but humans need to be able to make the final decision after evaluating its impact. That’s decision-making process can never be replaced by technology. So put your fear of being redundant due to technology at rest. However, data storyteller expert Selena Fisk cautions that it is important to be not over-run by technology but be able to appreciate its utility and make your own decision.

The common tendency of confirmation bias that we experience in our daily lives is yet another phenomenon that needs to be avoided and the importance of looking at the data afresh with new eyes cannot be emphasised enough.

To know more about data storytelling, tune in into our new episode with Selena Fisk, who is passionate about helping others sort through the numbers to tell the real stories and lead positive change. With her experience of having mentored hundreds of executive leaders, middle managers and employees in data storytelling, she discusses the highlights of data storytelling based on her book, 'I'm not a numbers person: How to make good decisions in a data rich world" which was published in April this year by Major Street Publishing.

Topics We Discussed include:

  • Getting to know Selena Fisk (3:21)
  • Data-driven Vs. data-informed decision-making (6:03)
  • Aptitude for numbers: Kids Vs. adults (8:41)
  • First step towards data literacy/capability (10:07)
  • Data literacy (12:04)
  • 3 components of data story-telling (13:21)
  • Normal story-telling Vs. data story-telling (14:20)
  • How to improve data story-telling for beginners (15:29)
  • Data in next 10 years (18:26)
  • Apprehension in embracing technology (20:35)
  • Confirmation bias (22:52)
  • Top five tips for leaders (25:32)

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