Storytelling with data – Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic

What is the big idea?

Visualizing data in a good way: it has become a true art. We are constantly confronted with badly presented data. Not just in our corporation, but even in the media. Pick up any newspaper or magazine and you will surely find graphs that are misleading, incomprehensible or downright boring.

That’s what Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic would like to change with her book ‘Storytelling met data’. This book doesn’t only explain how to visualize data in a correct and effective manner. It also shows you how to evolve from just ‘showing data’ to ‘telling a captivating story with data’. It’s only then that your audience acts on your message and that’s the whole purpose, no?

The book is organized in six chronological lessons. Every lesson contains some theory but the focus lies on the practical implementation supported by lots of examples.

You’ll learn how to:

  1. understand the importance of context and audience
  2. determine the appropriate type of graph
  3. recognize and eliminate the clutter
  4. direct your audience’s attention to what’s important
  5. use traditional design concepts in your story
  6. use the power of storytelling to help your message resonate with your audience

Why should you read it?

Do you use data to get your message across? Then you’ll definitely need to read this book. You’ll learn how to tell a story that sticks with your audience. A story that helps you achieve your goals. And you will build much better graphs.

Considering the subject, you might expect the book to be dry or even boring but the opposite is true. The author has succeeded in writing a very compelling and easy to read story. She clearly practices what she preaches. The book is full of recognizable examples which you can all download on her website.

The ultimate dream of the author? Rid the world of bad graphs, one stone (or 3d pie chart) at a time. And that’s a cause Onestone is more than happy to contribute to.

Written by Horst Remes Customer Strategy Expert @ Onestone