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Storytelling for Big Data Whitepaper


Change: data is the driver. story is the vehicle.

This new storytelling for big data whitepaper is a thoughtful examination of the communications challenges that arise when implementing data-driven change. It also contains practical techniques and frameworks for chief data officers, chief informatics officers, chief analytics officers and other information technology leaders to move storytelling theory into communications practice in the workplace.


Big Data Brings Big Communications Challenges

To enact your big data-driven solutions and to enable data-informed decisions, data leaders and their analytics team need to do much more than merely crunch numbers; they need to hone their communications skills.

“Fundamentally, we need people who are absolute data geeks–people who love data, and can slice it, dice it and make it do what they want it to do. Having said that, there is one very important aspect we look for, which perhaps differentiates a data analyst from other technologists. It exponentially improves their career prospects if they can match this technical, data-geek knowledge with great communication and presentation skills….someone who has this combination of skills can rise to the top very quickly.”

– Mandar Thakur, senior recruiter for Walmart’s Technology division, in Forbes


Storytelling embodies the attractive combination of  logical context and emotional appeal that can drive data-driven change, but it’s a skill that must be learned by people who are comfortable with numbers, but less confident when it comes to interpersonal communications skills that effectively engage and influence stakeholders.


“Using Big Data successfully requires human translation and context whether it’s for your staff or the people your organization is trying to reach. Without a human frame, like photos or words that make emotion salient, data will only confuse, and certainly won’t lead to smart organizational behavior.”

– Jeff Bladt and Bob Filbin, in Harvard Business Review


The consensus is clear: big data, analytics, informatics, and information technology leaders and their teams must effectively translate their findings to others in the organization. But how?

Storytelling for Big Data Whitepaper

The whitepaper Using Stories to Make Data-Driven Change Stick: How Storytelling Aids the Implementation of Big Data Projects and Data-Informed Decisions offers real-world communications help for big data leaders.