5 Best Practices for Telling Great Data Stories - And Why it Will Make You a Better Analyst

Elissa Fink, Chief Marketing Officer - Tableau Software
Susan J. Moore - Author & Marketing Consultant,

Data stories can bring facts to life. They can help you make sense and order out of a disparate collection of facts. They make it easier to remember key points and can paint a vivid picture of what the future can look like. Stories also create interactivity—people put themselves into stories and can relate to the situation.

Simple strategies can help you to use storytelling to gain your audience’s attention and commitment. Learn how to make your data presentations and reports more interesting, more dynamic and more effective. And see how easily and quickly you can build effective stories from the hidden insights locked in your data.

Tell data stories with your presentations:

  1. Think of Your Analysis as a Story - Use a Story Structure
  2. Be Authentic... Your Story will Flow
  3. Be Visual - Think of Yourself as a Film Editor
  4. Make it Easy for Your Audience and You
  5. Invite and Direct Discussion

Don’t be afraid to tell data stories. Being factual, detail-oriented and data-driven is critical in today’s metric-centric world but it does not have to mean being boring and lengthy. In fact, by finding the real stories in your data and following the best practices above, you can get people to focus on your message— and thus on what’s important.

About the authors


Elissa Fink

Chief Marketing Officer - Tableau Software

Elissa Fink is Tableau Software’s Chief Marketing Officer. With 20+ years helping companies improve their marketing operations through applied data analysis, Elissa has held executive positions in marketing, business strategy, product management, and product development.

Prior to Tableau, Elissa was EVP Marketing at IXI Corporation, a firm specializing in marketing information. She has also served in executive positions at Tele Atlas, TopTier Software, and Claritas, Inc. Elissa also spent time selling advertising for the Wall Street Journal. Elissa holds a B.A. from Santa Clara University and an MBA in Marketing and Decision Systems from the University of Southern California.

Susan J. Moore - Author & Marketing Consultant

Susan is a Chicago MBA with 15+ years diversified strategic and practical marketing experience. She is a frequent guest speaker and has been published for work in customer value solutions. She has extensive experience working with key opportunities among market leaders in its positioning, customer insight & strategy recommendations.