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Reboot your Data – Part 2

3 Ways to Reboot your Office’s Healthcare Technology 2020


How to approach data and use it to make decisions.

There are things you adapt without being consciously aware. We see how managers approach problems, opportunities, the routine, and the critical. One of the things my most cherished mentor and former boss ingrained in our team, that I utilize frequently, was a question. You could always count on him to ask, “what is the data telling us”?

The situation varied but the approach, pivotal. There would be a decision to make, a need to fill, a specific challenge to wrestle. We’d get a big lump of data or pull reporting together and then, analyze what it was saying. That’s when the magic would begin.

What does the data have to say?

With the sheer amount of data that is accessible, we need a way to help us evaluate what is collected. One path to take is through storytelling. Everyone loves a story. People love to tell stories as much as they love to listen to stories. Storytelling is part of our history, our genetic and ancestral make-up. It’s a powerful way to share discoveries and insights in order to provide meaning, value and engagement.

Stephen Few, a data visualization expert said, “Numbers have an important story to tell. They rely on you to give them a clear and convincing voice.” The important part about data storytelling is context. When you provide the context, the data story takes shape and comes to life. Add graphs and charts and it becomes visual. Show it over time, in concept or sequence, but it’s the context that draws the audience in, provides the value, and makes the point memorable.

Take emotion out of the conversation.

Data storytelling allows the speaker and audience to focus on facts. This takes emotion out of the conversation and creates a path to concentrate on solving a problem or identifying next steps.

When we interact with facts and data it increases our knowledge. With knowledge comes empowerment, and we can make good decisions.

Making the complex simple.

Data storytelling helps us navigate what we are seeing and positions us to think through various outcomes. Numbers and data can be intimidating but breaking it down and telling the story makes it meaningful and simplifies the complex.

Use the data to establish facts and tell a story that connects us on a human level. I hope you’ll try this method and watch your data stories boost your confidence in decision making.