Technology and Data News and Events

The power of data and storytelling in finance

by Mike Jones in Data Analytics 17/02/2022

How storytelling can create deeper connections and allow your audience to relate to critical financial data

In the world today, finance professionals have greater access to a range of data and information. More information, however, may not necessarily translate into meaningful and decisive action. What is vital for people in finance is deciphering how these numbers affect their role and the business. 

Factual information, numbers and lots of data can be challenging to understand. If information is displayed more interestingly and humanely, people are more likely to connect, remember and take action. Storytelling is one of the most impactful methods that has emerged over time to connect and share information with others. 

Becoming an efficient storyteller may not necessarily have to be such a challenge. It does, however, require time to discover a story that relates to your data and then determine the most appropriate way of presenting the information to your audience. One method of reducing time spent on this process is utilising automation, allowing finance professionals to focus on discovering and delivering key insights.

The concept of storytelling has grown in popularity, as more businesses adopt automation and recognise the impact it can have on finance professionals. Storytelling is establishing itself as a vital tool within finance, creating deeper connections within an organisation and building the required company culture.

Storytelling is often considered as something that requires a sophisticated narrative, but it doesn’t have to be this complicated. The key is creating an accurate and logical way of sharing insights and ideas. The concept of storytelling is predominantly focused on improving communication. The important part is ensuring you highlight what discoveries you have found with the data, particularly information that is important to your business or a client. If this step is forgotten then the rest of the process is redundant.

After determining the key data points, the focus is on presenting the main findings and delivering the core theme. Considering the problems and how this impacts your audience, followed by a summary of insights and possible solutions is an efficient way of developing your story. 

When converting detailed, data-focused financial details that many will not understand, you are effectively transforming numbers into something that is relatable and allows individuals to recognise the importance of the data. Visuals are often a useful complementary part of a story, displaying a visual representation of the information. Visuals, however, should support a story, and not tell the story on their own.

A business needs to understand its audience and its language when putting together a report or presentation. Considering what’s important to your users, what motivates them and ensuring they recognise the insights is critical.