The Art of Data: Visualisation vs Storytelling

09 Nov 2023 | Blog, What is


AgileData mission is to reduce the complexity of managing data.

In the modern data world there are many capability categories, each with their own specialised terms, technologies and three letter acronyms, We want managing data to be simply magical, so we share articles that explain these terms as simply as we know how.

In this article we describe the concepts of data visualistion versus data storytelling.


The Magic of Data Storytelling Unveiled

Greetings, fellow data magicians!

Today, we embark on an enchanting journey into the world of data, where we’ll unravel the distinction between data visualisation and data storytelling.

Imagine having the power to not only conjure insights from your data but also to weave them into compelling narratives.

Understanding this difference is the key that unlocks this magic. So, gather around as we explore what data visualisation and data storytelling are, how they differ, and when to use each – empowering you to master the art of data.

Data Visualisation – Painting with Data

Think of data visualisation as the artist’s palette.

It’s the practice of representing data graphically to help you comprehend trends, patterns, and outliers. Data visualisations takes data and transform it into charts, graphs, and maps, making it easier to understand at a glance.

Visuals are potent enchantments in your data toolkit. They enable you to:

  • Spot Trends, using charts and graphs reveals trends in your data, whether it’s sales over time or user engagement.
  • Identify Patterns, visualisations make it easier to identify patterns, like seasonality or correlations between details.
  • Communicate Quickly, visualisations simplify complex data, allowing you to automate the provision of information rapidly to your audience.

When to Use Data Visualisation

Data visualisation is your wand when you need to explore and present data objectively.

It’s the ideal choice when you want to illustrate data relationships, analyse statistics, or uncover insights hidden within the numbers.

Data Storytelling – Weaving Enchantment

Imagine a bard’s tale, passed down through generations.

Data storytelling is the art of weaving a narrative around your data, making it relatable and engaging. It goes beyond numbers and charts, transforming data into a compelling story with a beginning, middle, and end.

Narrative adds depth to your data, its enables you to:

  • Contextualises Information, it places data in a real-world context, helping your audience relate to it.
  • Engages Emotions, stories elicit emotions and create a memorable experience, making the data more impactful.
  • Inspires Action, a well-crafted data story will drive decisions and actions, as it’s persuasive and relatable.

When to Use Data Storytelling

Data storytelling is your spellbook when you want to engage and persuade.

Use it when presenting data to make a case for change, or inspiring action based on data insights.

The Key Differences

Medium of Expression

Data visualisation communicates primarily through visuals – charts, graphs, and images. It’s a concise and direct way to convey data insights.

On the other hand, data storytelling employs words and narratives to create a context-rich experience.

Objective vs. Subjective

Data visualisation aims for objectivity, presenting data in a clear and unbiased manner.

Data storytelling, on the other hand, introduces subjectivity by weaving a narrative and evoking emotions.

Engagement vs. Clarity

Data visualisation excels in presenting data quickly and clearly, ideal for analytical purposes.

Data storytelling focuses on engagement and persuasion, making it effective in driving decisions and actions.

The Perfect Duo

As data magicians, you have the power to combine both patterns for maximum impact.

Start with discovering the insights within the data, then create data visualisation to inform , then weave those insights into a narrative to tell the story.

Becoming the Master Data Enchanter

In the mystical world of data, both visualisation and storytelling skills hold significant power.

Data visualisation is your analytical wand, unveiling patterns and trends.

Data storytelling is your magical incantation, engaging emotions and inspiring action.

As data magicians, the key to mastery lies in knowing when to use each enchantment. Use data visualisation to inform, and employ data storytelling to educate and persuade.

By combining these two forms of magic, you’ll become a master data enchanter, capable of not only revealing insights but also inspiring business change.

So, go forth, weave your data spells, and enchant the world with the stories hidden in your data.

The magic is yours to wield!

Keep making data simply magical

AgileData is all about removing the complexity of managing your data.

We power the data that you use to create your data visualisations oto feed your data storytelling.