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Steve Nouri: Is data storytelling the secret to business growth?

For decades, data storytelling has been traditionally reserved for the big titans of B2B research institutes like Forrester, McKinsey and Gartner. But as data analytics tools and survey models become more easily accessible to B2B, it turns out that every B2B business can embrace the power of data-driven storytelling. So what is data storytelling and why is is so important? We speak with data and AI megastar Steve Nouri to find out.

What is data storytelling?

Good data is only half the story. The real value of data is the ability to be able to democratise it and make it easy to use and understand across an entire organisation - not just in the IT department.

Sadly, much data collected today is meaningless because users lack the context to understand it or articulate it in an easy-to-digest way. This is where data storytelling comes in, as data becomes democratised, shared, and no longer siloed across an organisation.

Data storytelling is about breaking down vital business data and presenting it in an easy to understand visual format.

Internally, it can be leveraged to inform better business decision-making, and align different departments together. From a marketing perspective, data storytelling can be used to reinforce your product's positioning as the go-to-solution, while also strengthening your thought leadership to prospects and the press.

Why is data storytelling important?

There is ample evidence to show that data, when presented in visual format, is far easier to digest, understand and leverage than complex spreadsheets or long form slabs of text.

Sisense reports 5% of listeners remember the statistics and the concepts they described, but 63% will remember stories used to illustrate key concepts, and 50% of the human brain is used for processing visual information.

Meanwhile infographics are the fourth most used type of content marketing, says HubSpot. Infographics have had the biggest increase in usage among B2B marketers in the last four years, now at 67% says the Content Marketing Institute. High-quality infographics are 30 times more likely to be read than plain text says Kissmetrics.

Steve Nouri, one of the world's leaders in data analytics and AI, agrees data visualisation is critical in today's data-driven business landscape.

"One of most crucial parts of the data analytics role is to actually communicate the results. You spend a lot of time to get the data and insights and then you get the results out - it is all very time consuming. But if you cannot deliver the insights clearly to the right people, to help them take the actions, it's a lost cause," he says.

"If you want to unlock the value of your data, you need to understand how to communicate the results and make them understandable to your stakeholders. Executed well, you end up having actionable insights that deliver real, tangible value to your business."

What are some examples of data storytelling?

At AZK Media, we've produced dozens of exceptions data storytelling campaigns for our clients. From healthcare, to martech, adtech, BI and AI, we've created exceptional, deep data-driven reports that generate premium results.

The secret is not just in creating one report, but 'upcycling' and 'repurposing' it into incredible lead generation campaigns, dovetailing them into PR campaigns, and producing world-class events and video animations off the back of the reports.

It is this highly integrated approach that gives our clients the greatest ROI for their data storytelling efforts.

In the heat of the pandemic, AZK Media created leading health software company Clinic to Cloud's first ever data-driven campaign, highlighting the critical need for digital transformation in healthcare to optimise patient engagement.

The report was then leveraged to target prospects at all stages of the funnel, through an integrated mix of PR, inbound lead generation, video marketing and organic and paid social campaigns. The data was also leveraged by the sales team in their sales enablement process.

In 2020, Sisense, the leading AI-driven platform for infusing analytics everywhere, engaged AZK Media to create one of the biggest BI surveys of its kind in the ANZ region, which was integrated into a highly strategic social, PR and thought leadership inbound strategy. It was also integrated into a virtual event featuring some of the top data analytics experts in the region.

The unprecedented success of the campaign resulted in Sisense engaging AZK Media for further data storytelling projects across multiple regions.

Not all reports need a large cohort of respondents. In this deep-dive focus group-style report, global adtech leaders Silverbullet engaged AZK Media to uncover key data and digital concerns marketers have in the APAC region.

The results were not only used internally to better inform brand and product positioning, but were also integrated into a 'highly visual data animation style' paid and organic social campaign.

Unlocking business growth by telling stories with data

As explained by the renowned Steve Nouri, If any business wants to get the results very quickly out of data analytics functions, they need to look at their data storytelling capability.

"The most important steps to get the results is capturing the right data from and then communicating it clearly to internal and external stakeholders. he says. "That way you can truly unlock the value of becoming a data-driven company."

This article was also featured in LBB Online, one of the world’s leading marketing news publications. See the LBB version of the article.

Contact us out more about how AZK Media can help your business unlock data storytelling to drive business growth.


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