What comes to mind when you hear the term, “data analysis?”

Perhaps your mind jumps to spreadsheets, algorithms, or mathematical calculations? All of which are valid but are considered the “hard skills” of data analysis.

However, hard skills are useless without their soft skills counterparts. It’s not enough to just analyze data; you need to know how to communicate the story it tells in a clear, compelling manner – a skill called data storytelling.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for research analysts is expected to grow 25 percent between 2020 and 2030, much faster than the average across all industries.

Data storytelling is the ability to effectively communicate insights from a dataset using narratives and visualizations. It can be used to put data insights into context and inspire action from your audience.

The three key components of data storytelling include:

  1. Data: Thorough analysis of accurate, complete data serves as the foundation of your data story. Analyzing data using descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive analysis can enable you to understand its full picture.
  2. Narrative: A verbal or written narrative, also called a storyline, is used to communicate insights gleaned from data, the context surrounding it, and actions you recommend and aim to inspire in your audience.
  3. Visualizations: Visual representations of your data and narrative can be useful for communicating its story clearly and memorably. These can be charts, graphs, diagrams, pictures, or videos.


Data storytelling can be used internally (for instance, to communicate the need for product improvements based on user data) or externally (for instance, to create a compelling case for buying your product to potential customers).

Data storytelling can also help turn data insights into action. Without effective communication, insights can go unnoticed or unremembered by your audience; both hard and soft skills are crucial for leveraging data to its fullest potential.

Businesses need experts who can take the relevant data and turn it into a story that’s easily understood by key stakeholders. This is because data-driven stories drive change by engaging the audience and helping them comprehend what previously puzzled them.

Data storytelling is ultimately about understanding context and inspiring change or action. When data analysts review and present their data, a story can help them communicate complex ideas and simplify (and accelerate) the decision-making process for stakeholders.

Every business wants to make good decisions. And good decisions rely on good information. But how you communicate that information matters and that is what Chameleon BI can do for you!