Data Detectives

Data Detectives

What is Data Detectives story tactic?

Wrap your key facts up in a story if you want people to remember them.

You can get great insights from data, but you can also tell great stories about it too. Many people struggle to understand data, even when it's beautifully visualised. But they'll remember a few key facts if you tell them in a story-ish way.

Try this alongside Hero & Guide. Imagine your ability to under-stand data is a magical power that lets you help your user. What kind of story would that be?

How to use Data Detectives story tactic

Run this workshop once you've got your data in. Here are three ways to turn your work into different types of story:

The Data Zoomer

  1. Start by zooming out to show the big picture. What are the most important trends or correlations you've found? What is the overall story that the data is telling?

  2. Now zoom in. Show us the little picture-a single, vivid example that is typical of the trend or correlation you've discovered.

  3. Tell a story that goes from big to little picture: "We've found this trend [zoom out]. .. for example [zoom in]."

  4. Or tell it the other way round: "Here's an interesting thing we found [zoom out]. .. it's typical of a much wider trend [zoom out]." Repeat for your main findings.

The Data Detective

Think of your research as a detective story:

  • You find a body on the floor (this is the problem you're trying to solve)
  • You search for evidence (your data sources).
  • It's confusing at first, but then you find the vital clue (your insight).
  • You follow that lead and identify the killer ( the solution to your problem).

The Data Sceptic

Data can give the illusion of certainty. But acknowledging gaps in your data can make your story seem more solid.

  • How might we be wrong with our data?
  • What alternative conclusions could we draw?
  • What matters, but can't be measured?

Try What's It About? to bring your Dragon story into the real world.

Credit: H.Rosling, Factfulness.

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Data Detectives is one of 54 storytelling recipe cards inside the Storyteller Tactics card deck.

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