Key Storytelling & Visualization Elements for Meaningful Stakeholder Reports

Key Storytelling & Visualization Elements for Meaningful Stakeholder Reports

Data is a vital part to an organization’s current & future success. However, can the facts and figures alone pique the interest of the stakeholders that drive decision making? The answer is no. Data that is collected needs to be transformed and converted into meaningful insight that relates to the business objectives and goals of your stakeholders. The way to transform this data is to use the power of visualizations & storytelling.

Storytelling can be stretched beyond a bedtime routine and used to improve elements like memorability and persuasiveness in a boardroom filled with high powered executives. According to a Forbes Article, Chip Heath, a Stanford professor, found that 63% of individuals could remember stories, but only 5% could remember a single statistic.

To learn more about how to hone your storytelling skills check out our previous blog, Elevate Year End Reporting by Integrating Storytelling.

So now that we know how important honing your storytelling skills is to capture the attention of your stakeholders, how can you take this a step further with the Data Studio visualizations that will support your efforts?

Below we will highlight 3 key elements to keep in mind while creating meaningful reports – Understanding these elements will lead to a cleaner, more effective & understandable report for your stakeholders.

  1. Simplicity:
  • Having too many facts and figures can potentially distract a dashboard viewer, so make sure to include numbers that are absolutely necessary.
  • The use of drop-down filters, date ranges, comparisons and more can be helpful with simplifying your report and eliminating any unnecessary clutter.
  • Focus on showcasing the key performance indicators (KPIs) that are relevant to your stakeholders and provide key insights that make their jobs easier.

For example: I used breakdowns of where, who and what at the top of my report so users can clearly understand the use of this data. Filters were used to focus solely on the age groups that stakeholders wanted to learn more about. To further simplify the dashboard and make it easier to use, some drop down controls can be added to look at different age groups & a date range can also be included to select different time periods.  

Storytelling with Data Studio Visualizations

  1. Effective Design: Take advantage of shapes! Shapes are often not taken into consideration when creating these stories of visualization. Use shapes to:
  • Design your layout to guide your viewers eye to each section of data.
  • Highlight key information that you want your viewers attention to be drawn to and be creative.

For example: in the dashboard screenshot below, shapes were used to split the report into different areas that the viewer can focus on. Sectioning the report can be advantageous when guiding the user through the dashboard. Furthermore, circles were used to highlight a key part of the data set. By using this method, stakeholders can walk away with a deeper understanding of the data and remember key points for critical decision making.

Utilizing Shapes for Storytelling in Data Studio

  1. Efficient Charts: Make sure to customize your charts to your viewers while keeping their business objectives in mind. The data that you want to highlight to upper management. vs your analyst team might not differ however, the audience’s understanding of various types of graphs will. 

For example: the data above is shown across time, so an efficient chart would be a time series. Data Studio has many types of time series to choose from:

  1. Time Series 

    As you can see the time series is simple and easy to understand. The outcome is that ages 20-35 are the highest contributors to the revenue.
  2. Area Chart
    Area chart
    When looking at the area chart, the visualization alone gives a deeper understanding of exactly how much more that age group contributes.
  3. Stacked Area Chart
    Stacked Area Chart
    The Stacked Area Chart showcases the data differently, with the highest contributing age group at the bottom and the lowest at the top. In a quick glance it can be easy for the viewer to misinterpret that data as the 36-55 age group contributing the highest revenue. Therefore, understanding which chart is the most efficient to showcase to your stakeholders is important. Otherwise, the misunderstanding of data can lead to unfavorable decision making. 

We hope this blog helped to outline some elements that can be used to harness the power of storytelling into your reporting. Thanks for reading and leave a message below if you have any queries or comments!

Other Posts in Our 2021 Data Studio Series:
  1. Create Calculated Fields in Blended Data Source Tables with Data Studio
  2. Gain Insights on Data Studio Reports in Google Analytics
  3. Understanding the Advantages of Geo Charts & Google Maps in Data Studio
  4. Enhance GA4 Reporting Functionality with Calculated Metrics in Data Studio
  5. The Quick Reference Guide to GA4 Ecommerce Data in Data Studio
  6. Key Storytelling & Visualization Elements for Meaningful Stakeholder Reports (this post)
  7. Turn Up the Dial on your Dashboard Design with New Gauge Charts
  8. Visualize Your User Journey with Horizontal Bar Charts in Data Studio
  9. Taking Advantage of Data Studio Community Connectors
  10. Time Saving Layout Features You Should Be Using in Google Data Studio
  11. Quick Introduction of the New Report Publishing Control in Data Studio
  12. Guide to Collaboration & Transfer Ownership Features in Data Studio
By |2021-12-21T13:08:06-05:00December 13th, 2021|0 Comments
Categories: Data Studio, General

Leave A Comment