From Visual to Story: Bridging the Gap – My experience as a BA in a data science project
“A recent brain-imaging study reported in Psychological Science reveals that the regions of the brain that process the sights, sounds, tastes, and movement of real life are activated when we’re engrossed in a compelling narrative. (…) When a story enthralls us, we are inside of it, feeling what the protagonist feels, experiencing it as if it were indeed happening to us (…).” Lisa Cron (Wired for Story)
Nowadays, most products require data collection in one form or another in order to function and be properly implemented. Your work will not be complete after you gather all the needed data, you will have to present the results using dashboards, statistics, etc. As a Business Analyst with AI Enterprise – Smart Procurement Planning, my job required to participate in customer demo presentations and explain to them what the data collected by my data science team represents. Thus, how I delivered the results was also important. I often considered the most engaging and creative ways of presenting results, looking for formats and visualizations that were intuitive and understandable. This, of course, only after a thorough research and only based on an accurate version of the facts.
My challenge here was to explain the insights obtained from the graphs and statistics in a creative way. Presenting reports and dashboards can be quite overwhelming without adding a narrative to the data. Insights explain what happened, why it is important and how you can use them to turn them into something actionable. Therefore, telling a great data-driven story helped me in communicating better with the stakeholders, and also drove better decision making.
So, instead of showing a graph / chart I chose the path of explaining how that data has been compiled. The impact it had on the stakeholders was considerable. The communication with them became easier, customer satisfaction increased, and the documented requirements were clear and concise.
Thus, I would like to share my experience on how I managed to use storytelling techniques to present data to the customer in a compelling and engaging manner.
Key Words: Data Visualization; Data Storytelling; AI; Data Science; Digital BA; BI tools; creative BA
Oana-Larisa Turta is a Business Analyst, currently working for Endava. My areas of expertise are Project Management and Business Analysis. I’m a visionary and a self-motivated professional, passionate about modernizing business requirements practices.
For the past months I have worked as a Business Analyst for a data science project regarding the optimization of the procurement process (focus on demand management) using Machine Learning algorithms and the data visualization tool Tableau, the latter used to visually represent the smart planning and negotiation roadmap for the Procurement Department from client’s side.