Data storytelling is an essential skill in modern business. It involves the use of data to tell a story. The goal is to use facts to make an impact and generate understanding among others. In this Whiteboard Friday, we will look at the skills and elements needed for effective data storytelling.

Data Storytelling Skills

Data storytelling requires several key skills. These include:

  • Data Collection – In order to tell the story effectively, you need to have reliable data. This can involve collecting data manually or using automated tools.
  • Data Presentation – Once you have the data, you must be able to present it effectively. This involves using the right tools or visualizations to make the data easier to understand.
  • Research Skills – You need to be able to analyze the data and uncover insights. This can involve running statistical analysis, researching patterns, and gathering additional information.
  • Communication Skills – To make the data come alive, you need to convey the story to your audience. This requires concise and clear communication skills.

Elements of a Data Story

Once you have the skills, you need to think through the elements of a data story. This includes:

  • The Setting – Explain the context of the data. This can involve giving an overview of the data, its source, and what it is used for.
  • The Narrative – Once the context is set, you need to explain the story of the data. This can be done by using examples or by following a timeline.
  • The Insights – What did you learn from the data? What patterns or trends did you uncover? What implications can you make from the data?
  • The Takeaways – What final conclusions or recommendations do you have? What action can be taken from the data?


Data storytelling is a powerful skill that can help make data-driven decisions. It involves the use of data collection, presentation, research, and communication skills. The elements of a data story include the setting, narrative, insights, and takeaways. With the right skills and elements, you can turn data into powerful stories.