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Scientist to Storyteller: How to Narrate Your Data

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Eric Swayne

on 20 January 2015

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Transcript of Scientist to Storyteller: How to Narrate Your Data

"Motivated Numeracy and Enlightened Self-Government"
Thank You!
eswayne.com/talks
SO...
The 4 Rules of
Data Narration
Scientist to Storyteller:
How to Narrate Data

@eswayne | eswayne.com
Howdy
Y'all!
Product Management,
MutualMind
Analytics,
BuzzShift
Founder,
DataNarrate
Meet
Ladislav Sutnar.
Ladislav changed your
life.
FROM
TO
5555555555
(555) 555-5555
Forgettable
Memorable
Chaos
Meaning
Meet
Florence Nightingale.
Geek for
Good.
Having the truth is
not enough.
We need this by
the gallon.
Annual global IP traffic will surpass the zettabyte threshold (1.4 zettabytes) by the end of 2017.
(Cisco VNI Index)
American students rank 25th in math, 17th in science and 14th in reading compared to students in 27 industrialized countries.
(OECD, 2012)
On average, American web surfers have an 8-second attention span.
Which is one second shorter than that of a goldfish.

(AP, 2013)
From Data Janitor
to Data Narrator
A good Data Narrator:
- Finds
Insights
.
- Makes them
Stick to Users.
What is
an insight?
Something you
don't know
Something you
should know
Something you
can change
The Beatles
infographic.
The budget
infographic.
Nothing can change about
The Beatles.
Congress
should
be different.
"It's not about
this
output
you're
showing. It's about the
next
conversation
they're
having."
1
2
3
4
See the Pattern,
Know the Pattern,
Break the Pattern.
Decide where the eye will go
first.
The budget
infographic.
Why insights
matter.
It's
The Law.
"The larger an object is, the faster and more accurately you will reach it."
Tell me
where to look!
Desperately seeking
patterns.
First coin flip set:
H, H, H, H, H
Second coin flip set:
H, T, H, T, H
Which is more random?
NEITHER.
Your job is to read
between the lines.
Thou shalt know
thy user's biases.
"In one word?
Dogma.
"
20 year long-term study
284 political experts
82,361 forecasts by the end of the study in 2003
Better off with "dart throwing monkeys."
Knowing more made them WORSE.
Foxes versus
Hedgehogs
"Hedgehogs don't notice and don't care when they're wrong; that's why they're so compelling. Foxes learn."
Control the
Context.
Good questions to ask:
Is this going to appear "normal" to my users?
What numbers are they used to seeing?
What are their trophy numbers?
The output is your chance to
script the soundbites.
Use the
Velcro Theory of Memory.
Create more hooks using concrete images
Link to events in the past or the future
Toolboxes of
Stickiness
Own the
Insight.
Make it
Stick.
Diversify your
knowledge.
Psychology, Behavioral Economics, Information Design, Neurology, Predictive Analytics, Statistics, Data Modeling, Python, SQL, Game Theory, Qualitative Analysis, Persuasion Methodology
Ground
Rules
This is called Prezi.
@eswayne,
#sci2story
Presentation at eswayne.com/talks
Get
Fitts.
BAD.
Creating a
Fox
What is a
Soundbite?
"[A few] words that are informative, make you smile, and are so tasty you might want to tell someone else — there is the anatomy of a soundbite. And don’t think that soundbites aren’t useful if they don’t contain a curriculum. A soundbite is useful because it triggers interest in someone, who then goes and puts in the effort to learn more. … Take the moment to stimulate interest, and upon doing that you have set a learning path into motion that becomes self-driven because that soundbite was so tasty — why do you think we call them bites?"
--Neil deGrasse Tyson
@eswayne
http://bit.ly/fitts
The Tale of
The Cream
Cream for
rash treatment
223
75
107
21
Better
Worse
= 74% success
= 84% success
40%
right
60%
wrong
Gun Ban
Policy
223
75
107
21
Better
Worse
= 74% success
= 84% success
keep guns =
ban guns =
keep guns =
ban guns =
Change the
Space
+
>
2x
Dare to be

whole-brained.
Random
Digits
"Can I have
your digits?"
sxsw.com/rate
Commit
Inception.
Get
inspired.
Promo code:
GOLDFISH
$20 credit to all first-time riders where service is available
Full transcript