I’m truly honored to help launch the first round of courses on ODSC’s AI+ Training platform. AI+ Training from ODSC is a great player in the online learning game – bringing a diverse group of experts to teach both “of the moment” and “essential” skills to budding and established data scientists. So how does my class “Data Storytelling for Business” fit in with a course catalog that includes “Deep Learning with Tensorflow 2 and Pytorch” with Dr. Jon Krohn, and “Modeling and Machine Learning in Theory and Practice” with Dr. Kirk Borne?
The answer to this question from many data scientists is that it doesn’t. I’m not teaching a new coding language or introducing you to ways to wrangle and clean big data. I’m not breaking down the complexities of SQL or how to create complicated visualizations. My class teaches you how to effectively communicate about data with your audience – an essential, and often overlooked, skill for data professionals to master.
I am teaching you how to take that in-depth analysis and communicate it in a way that engages an audience that does not speak data. A well developed and thoughtfully interpreted data story can open a conversation about data to far more stakeholders. Deciphering your analysis ensures that the impact and insights that you uncover covert to business value. My class will help you think about the interpretation and translation required for your audience – to bridge that gap between the data team and business leaders. Your work makes an impact when it is understood, so let’s all aim to be data translators.
Data Storytelling for Business is broken into three days of learning. Each day is a mix of lectures, group, and individual activities – all designed for you to consider how you can put these new skills into practice in your work the next day.
During our first session, we’ll cover:
- Defining your audience to understand their needs, expectations, and lens to prepare your data-based communication.
- Using the predictable psychological and visual reactions of humans to apply design principles that draw and focus your audience’s attention to the data you need them to consider.
- Alternatives to using charts and graphs to share essential data points to get your audience to reflect and contemplate your information, instead of being overwhelmed.
During our second session, we’ll dive into:
- Often forgotten best practices to employ in data visualizations.
- Why we need to keep our visuals simple and resist the urge to “wow” with a complex data visualization.
- Ways to use color effectively to push our interpretation and narrative forward.
During our third session, we’ll practice:
- Developing a cohesive narrative that meets our audience’s needs and objectives.
- Storyboarding and creating an engaging structure for communicating recommendations and insights.
- Applying the course concepts to develop (and present) a data story from an ongoing case study.
While I won’t touch Python or Machine Learning in this class, I will teach you how to bridge the communication divide often caused by data. You’ll come out of this class with a clear understanding of why spending the time to make your data work consumable and accessible to a broader audience will help you influence and impact decisions. You’ll learn practical strategies that you can apply to your work right away.
Please join me this September to learn how to create data stories that resonate with, rather than bewilder and perplex, your audience. Register here for 10% off!
Diedre is a Lead Data Storytelling Trainer at StoryIQ where she helps organizations improve their communication with and about data. An accidental math teacher, Diedre learned the power of demystifying numbers in New York City classrooms and the power of influencing decision-makers with data during her time running WeTeachNYC.org for the NYC Department of Education. She has a keen sense of understanding stakeholder needs and translating complicated analysis into language that invites all stakeholders into the conversation. Diedre is an Adjunct Lecturer at Hunter College in New York and has spoken at NCTM, iNACOL, and Learning Forward about adult learning methodology and best practices in professional learning.