How to Create Success Stories with Data

Shaun Jacobs | March 10, 2015

As analysts, we ask various questions to get answers from data. These answers are not composed in binary form or quantitative values, but build out a story that anyone can comprehend.

Generally, stories have a preface, introduction, iterative chapters and a conclusion. Through a marketing lens, we refer to these parts of a story as strategy, benchmarking, campaign reporting and optimization, and a wrap-up report with actionable insights. Here are three keys to creating a data report that is interesting and actionable.

  1. Understand your audience and focus on one message to influence opinions. Use straightforward language to tell your story. Data is a complicated subject and needs to be presented clearly. Use examples that relate to your audience to drive home your message.
  2. Relate your findings to your goals. Objectives can only be achieved if we have key performance indicators. Focus on one message and reinforce it in multiple ways. Illustrate your analysis from the beginning to the end conversion point and paint a picture of what happened in between.
  3. Give actionable insights. Information that is “good to know” will not usually increase performance or further investments. Information that is grounded in thought and data that leads to optimizations and next steps will fuel marketing spend and your credibility.