Data visualization is the process of creating visual representations of data. This can be done using charts, graphs, and other types of visuals. Storytelling is the process of using stories to communicate a message. This can be done using data visualizations to create written, video, and audio-based stories. In this blog, we will cover the basics of data visualization and storytelling (why and how your business should use it). We will also talk about some noteworthy storytelling with data examples.

What really is data visualization and storytelling?

Data visualization and storytelling are two powerful complementary tools that can help you transform your business. Data visualization allows you to take complex data sets and turn them into easy-to-understand visuals that can be used to inform and create a powerful business strategy. Storytelling with these visuals helps you communicate your company’s unique value proposition, share your brand’s story, and connect with customers on an emotional level.

what is data visualization and storytelling

When used together, data visualization and storytelling can help you create a compelling case for your business that resonates with customers, employees, and investors alike.

Which businesses need data visualization and storytelling?

As the world increasingly runs on data, it’s no surprise that businesses are looking for ways to visualize and tell stories with their data in order to stay ahead of the competition. But which businesses need data visualization and storytelling?

The answer is: all of them! Data visualization and storytelling can transform any business, no matter what industry it’s in. Here are some examples of how data visualization and storytelling can help businesses in different industries:

-A clothing retailer could use data visualization to track trends in customer purchases and then tell stories about those trends on their website or social media channels.

-A hotel could use data visualization to track guest satisfaction levels and then tell stories about how they’re constantly improving the guest experience.

-A food company could use data visualization to track food safety issues and then tell stories about how they’re working to ensure a safe and healthy product.

No matter what industry you’re in, if you have data, you can use data visualization and storytelling to transform your business!

5 ways data visualization and storytelling can positively impact a business

  1. Fewer missed opportunities: When you have a clear visual of your data, you can quickly see patterns and correlations that you may have otherwise missed. This can help you to make better decisions about where to allocate your resources and how to best serve your customers.

Data visualization is all about representing data in a way that is easy to understand at a glance. This can be anything from a simple bar chart to a more complex infographic. And by storytelling, we mean using data to tell a story that will engage and resonate with your audience. So how can data visualization and storytelling help your business miss fewer opportunities? For one, data visualization can help you spot trends and patterns that you might otherwise miss. By seeing the big picture, you can adjust your strategy accordingly and make better decisions for your business. Additionally, stories are more likely to stick with your audience than dry data alone. This means that if you can craft a compelling story using your data, you’re more likely to have a lasting impact on your reader. And when it comes to business, those opportunities are worth their weight in gold.

  1. More engaged employees: Data visualization can help employees to better understand their work and how it fits into the bigger picture. When employees feel like they have a good grasp on the data, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated in their work.

Data visualization and storytelling can be powerful tools to help companies foster more employee engagement. By visualizing data and telling stories, businesses can better communicate their goals and objectives to employees, and engage them in the company’s mission.

data visualization and storytelling increases employee engagement

For example, consider a company that wants to increase employee productivity. The company could use data visualization to show employees how their work affects the company’s bottom line. Building on that, the company could tell stories about how previous employees have increased productivity through small changes in their work habits. These stories would help employees see how their work contributes to the company’s success, and how they can make a difference.

Data visualization and storytelling can also help businesses build a stronger culture. By sharing stories about the company’s values and how they’ve helped employees succeed, businesses can inspire employees to live those values every day. In turn, this can create a more positive and productive workplace culture.

  1. Improved customer relationships: By understanding your customer base better through data visualization, you can develop more targeted marketing campaigns and improve your overall relationship with your customers.

Data visualization and storytelling can help companies improve customer satisfaction by allowing them to see the customer’s journey from start to finish. By understanding how customers interact with their products or service, companies can make changes to improve the customer experience.

For example, a company could use data visualization to track where customers abandon their shopping carts on their website. By understanding this, the company could make changes to the website to make it easier for customers to complete their purchases. In addition, data visualization can help companies tell stories about their customers. For example, a company could tell a story about a customer who had a great experience using their product. This would help other customers see that the company cares about its customers and is committed to providing a great experience.

Read: 6 Customer Centric Innovation Examples Driven by Design Thinking Principles that Every Startup Should Look Upto

  1. More interest from potential investors: Investors are constantly looking for new opportunities to invest their money. However, with so many options available, it can be difficult to know where to put their money. By visualizing data and telling a story about a company, businesses can attract the right investors.

For example, let’s say a company is looking to raise money from investors. They could create a data visualization that shows the potential return on investment for their business. This would help investors see the potential of the company and entice them to invest their money. Additionally, the company could tell a story about its business and how it is helping people or solving a problem. This would help investors understand the mission of the company and why they should care about investing in it. By using data visualization and storytelling, companies can attract the right investors who are looking to invest in new opportunities.

Read: How to make a pitch deck

Noteworthy case studies – storytelling with data examples from around the globe

Some of the most impressive storytelling with data examples come from businesses that have used data to transform their operations on a global scale. Here are three notable case studies:

  1. Walmart used data visualization to streamline its supply chain and improve its bottom line. In order to achieve this, Walmart used data visualization to track inventory levels, identify trends, and predict demand. They then created a clear narrative via stories that allowed them to make more informed decisions about where to allocate resources and how to respond to changes in the market. As a result, they were able to reduce costs and improve efficiency.
  2. Coca-Cola used data storytelling to engage customers and boost brand loyalty. For Coca-Cola, data storytelling has been a key part of its marketing strategy for years. In fact, they were one of the first companies to really embrace the power of using data to tell stories that connect with people on an emotional level. One of their most famous data storytelling campaigns is the “Share a Coke” campaign, which was launched in 2013. The campaign used personalized bottles of Coke with people’s names on them to encourage people to share photos and stories about their experiences with the product. The campaign was incredibly successful, reaching millions of people and driving up brand loyalty among Coca-Cola’s customers. And it’s all thanks to the power of data storytelling.
  3. IBM used data visualization to help cities manage traffic congestion and reduce pollution levels. In 2010, IBM partnered with the city of Rio de Janeiro to help manage traffic congestion during the World Cup. Using data from the city’s traffic management system, IBM created a real-time traffic visualization (story) that showed where congestion was occurring and helped city officials redirect traffic accordingly. In 2012, IBM again partnered with Rio de Janeiro, this time to help reduce pollution levels during the Summer Olympics. Using data from the city’s environmental sensors, IBM created a pollution map and built a strong narrative (story) that showed where pollution was most concentrated. This information helped city officials take steps to reduce pollution levels in those areas.

These are just a few storytelling with data examples of how data visualization and storytelling can be used to achieve remarkable results. If you’re looking for ways to use data storytelling to transform your business, these case studies should give you some inspiration.

The connection between data visualization, storytelling, and design thinking

Design thinking is a process for creative problem solving that is often used in the design of products, services, or experiences. It is a human-centered approach that begins with understanding the needs of the people who will be using the product, service, or experience. Data visualization is a way of representing data in a visual format such as a graph, chart, or map. It can be used to show relationships between different pieces of data or to show trends over time. Storytelling with data is a way of using data visualization to tell a story. The story can be about anything – a company’s growth, changing customer behavior, or the impact of a new product.

There is a close connection between data visualization, storytelling, and design thinking. Data Storytelling is one of the applications of Design Thinking. Just like products are designed, processes are designed, impactful stories with meaningful data visualization can also be designed. And behind every great design, there is Design Thinking!


Data visualization and storytelling are two incredibly powerful tools that can help businesses of all sizes to achieve their goals. When used together, they can provide insights that would otherwise be hidden, and help businesses to tell their stories in a way that resonates with their audience.

While data visualization and storytelling can be used in many different ways, some of the most impactful uses include identifying trends, communicating complex information, and making data-driven decisions. By utilizing these tools, businesses can gain a competitive edge and transform the way they operate.

About the author

Anuradha is a passionate Design Thinking practitioner with 10+ years of industry experience. She has dived into the field of Design and Design Thinking, where she is trained to design experiences. She is the Founding Partner and Design lead at Humane Design and Innovation (HDI) Consulting. Her professional career spans across various roles in Advisory, UX Design, Service Design, Engineering Design, Design integration and Training. She was the lead designer of the Design Thinking and Innovation practice at KPMG. She has designed multiple digital experiences by conducting strategic UX workshops and design experiences that add functional and emotional value. To her friends & peers, she is the Bonding Agent of the team and always a Go to person. She is an avid reader, blogger & a painting enthusiast.

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