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Make Data Work
September 11, 2018: Training & Tutorials
September 12–13, 2018: Keynotes & Sessions
New York, NY

Stories beat statistics: How to master the art and science of data storytelling

Brent Dykes (Domo)
2:00pm–2:40pm Thursday, 09/13/2018
Data science and machine learning, Visualization and user experience
Location: 1A 12/14 Level: Non-technical
Average rating: ****.
(4.78, 9 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Business executives, managers, BI and analytics leaders, and analysts

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A basic level of data literacy and data visualization knowledge

What you'll learn

  • Explore the psychology behind why stories beat statistics
  • Learn how to create a powerful narrative for your key insights and better visualize the insights to communicate them more effectively


Companies collect all kinds of data and use advanced tools and techniques to find insights, but they often fail in the last mile: communicating insights effectively to drive change. Brent Dykes discusses the power that stories wield over statistics and explores the art and science of data storytelling—an essential skill in today’s data economy.

Brent sets the stage by explaining why you need to communicate effectively with data. He then dives into the psychology of storytelling and details how decisions are often influenced by emotion—not logic or reason. By combining data (logic) with story (emotion), Brent demonstrates how data professionals can communicate more effectively their insights to their audiences and shares a powerful framework for understanding how data storytelling can leverage data, narrative, and visuals to influence change. Along the way, Brent covers the structure of a data story, the data storytelling arc, how to bring characters or heroes into your data story by focusing on the people behind the numbers, and the visual aspects of a data story. You’ll also get five tips for creating better visual stories—identify the right data, choose the right visualizations, calibrate visuals to your message, remove unnecessary noise, and focus attention on what’s important.

Physician and early pioneer of antiseptic procedures Ignaz Semmelweis discovered a life-saving insight but failed to tell its story. He missed an opportunity to save countless lives because he simply couldn’t communicate his insight effectively. Don’t let it happen to you. Join Brent to learn how to become a data storyteller and ensure your insights drive action and positive change.

Photo of Brent Dykes

Brent Dykes


Brent Dykes is the director of data strategy at Domo. Brent has over 14 years of enterprise analytics experience at Omniture, Adobe, and Domo. He is a regular Forbes contributor on data-related topics and has published two books on digital analytics, including Web Analytics Action Hero. In 2016, Brent received the Most Influential Industry Contributor Award from the Digital Analytics Association (DAA). He is a popular speaker at conferences such as, Adtech, Pubcon, and Adobe Summit. Brent holds an MBA from Brigham Young University and a BBA in marketing from Simon Fraser University.

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Samsunder Gadiraju | PROGRAM MANAGER
09/18/2018 6:03pm EDT


Can you please share the presentations