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Stories have impact, create memories, and lead a viewer down a chosen path. Matt Francis explained when to use data stories in his TC On Tour session in London.
Most dashboards are built for exploration and are generally neutral. They allow a user to go on their own journey of self-discovery.
Matt outlined situations where you want to achieve something else with visualisations:
He calls it sequential data visualisation and he illustrated his point with three of his own examples. Some use Tableau’s new 8.2 Storypoints features; others were built in a particular way to tell a story.
This isn’t so much an “emotional” story but a series of different points ordered to reveal particular information about sunspots.
This was an entry into one of our Iron Viz contests. Instead of just showing a dashboard of data about drivers, Matt told a story, revealing different facts about drivers at each stage. He used this technique to drive people to his own conclusion, that Juan Manuel Fangio is the greatest F1 driver of all time.
In this example, Matt is using emotional stages in a story to drive people to change: to get them to donate to Malaria causes. There are several factors that make this work as a data story.