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Everyone Should Be Training on Data Visualization and Storytelling

We live in a world of data. Every professional needs to be steeped in understanding the data of the job. That may be the CFO of the multi-billion dollar organization of the person working the drive through at the local fast food restaurant. Data is everywhere. In fact, we've gotten really good at data. I recently bought a scale that was designed to work with an app. I stand on the scale for 10 seconds and it sends over 15 different health metrics to my phone. My Apple Watch will tell me over a dozen more health metrics.

The issue isn't getting the data, the issue is understanding it and using it in a more productive way. This is where visualization and storytelling come in. i can write or speak thousands of words that explain why great managers are so important to the organization. However, showing a graphic with 2 or 3 key numbers and building a story around those numbers is more effective.

Unfortunately, data visualization and storytelling are difficult. We never really learn this in school or even in any professional courses - we are too busy learning how to communicate to actually figure out effective messaging.

The greatest gift you can give your team is to teach them to use data visualization and storytelling. How can you make the numbers more than just numbers and weave them into a story that helps me understand something and make a decision. It isn't about showing me ALL the data, but the data that isn't going to move my thinking.

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