Data as storytelling has the power to bring about great change, most critically in the healthcare field. But in order to understand facts, the brain needs to visualize them. Therefore the ability to convert cold, hard numbers into a compelling story that can, for instance, improve the patient experience or reduce operating costs, has enormous value, as I write in my latest article for Hospital Impact.
As I point out, because the brain is a pattern-making machine it is not happy unless it can convert data in a visual way into a meaningful story that resonates with what it knows already. This “data visualization” is something we’re working on with several of our clients at Simon Associates Management Consultants, and it’s proving to be quite a challenge.
So that you, too, can learn how to make your data come alive, enabling you to “see, feel and think” about it differently—which is when real, lasting change can occur—I share some approaches that have worked for these clients.
For stories to work, they need structure
Regardless of the industry you’re in, if you want people to understand your data, you need to turn it into a well-structured story with a strong beginning to set the stage, a rich middle to develop the characters, and then a powerful, logical ending that ties it all together.
Then your audience will be able to see the underlying causes of how things relate to each other—and what it all means. And this is how data can play a crucial role in getting your staff, in an informed and empowered manner, to take the actions that are being recommended.
As I say at the end of my article, I’ll be writing more on this topic. Stay tuned!
From Observation to Innovation
Andi Simon Ph.D
Corporate Anthropologist | President
Simon Associates Management Consultants