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Don't simply show your data—tell a story with it! 

storytelling with data teaches you the fundamentals of data visualization and how to communicate effectively with data. You'll discover the power of storytelling and the way to make data a pivotal point in your story. The lessons in this illuminative text are grounded in theory, but made accessible through numerous real-world examples—ready for immediate application to your next graph or presentation.

Storytelling is not an inherent skill, especially when it comes to data visualization, and the tools at our disposal don't make it any easier. This book demonstrates how to go beyond conventional tools to reach the root of your data, and how to use your data to create an engaging, informative, compelling story.

Specifically, you'll learn how to:

  • Understand the importance of context

  • Determine the appropriate type of graph

  • Recognize and eliminate the clutter

  • Direct your audience's attention

  • Think like a designer when visualizing data

  • Leverage the power of storytelling to help your message resonate with your audience

Together, the lessons in this book will help you turn your data into high-impact visual stories that stick with your audience. Rid your world of ineffective graphs, one exploding 3D pie chart at a time. There is a story in your data—storytelling with data will give you the skills and power to tell it!

what people are saying

In Storytelling with Data, Cole has created an of-the-moment complement to the work of data visualization pioneers like Edward Tufte. She's worked at and with some of the most data-driven organizations on the planet as well as some of the most mission-driven, data-free institutions. In both cases, she's helped sharpen their messages, and their thinking.
Laszlo Bock, SVP of People Operations, Google, Inc. and author of Work Rules!

Data slides are not really about the data, they are about the meaning of the data. Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic understands this and has written a straightforward, accessible guide that will help anyone who communicates with data connect more effectively with their audience.
Nancy Duarte, CEO at Duarte, Inc. and bestselling author

View reviews on Amazon.

related resources

The data, graphs, and images from the book can be found here.

Check out my @Google talk, where I highlight a couple lessons from the book and tackle audience Q&A:

Excel tutorial: Jon Schwabish of PolicyViz recreated Figure 5.13 using Excel and documents his process here. (You can also hear me and Jon discuss my book, color, and storytelling on this podcast.)

Tableau Story Points example: Ben Jones of DataRemixed recreated the example in Chapter 8 using Tableau's Story Points feature, which you can view here. (See Ben's full review of the book here.)

Related book resources: Andrei Kashcha created a network diagram that depicts data from Amazon on what other books people bought after buying storytelling with data. The related blog post with his cluster analysis is here.

additional praise for storytelling with data

Storytelling with Data is a superbly written, masterful display of rare art in the business world. Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic possesses a unique ability—a gift—in telling a story through data. At JPMorgan Chase, she has helped improve our capabilities to explain complicated analysis to executive management and the regulators with whom we work. Cole's book brings her talents together in an easy-to-read guide with excellent examples that anyone can learn from to encourage smarter decision-making.
Mark R. Hillis, Chief Risk Officer of Mortgage Banking at JPMorgan Chase

We have so much data that it can be hard to get people to pay attention to our critical findings. Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic taught us valuable lessons in her workshop and it is fantastic to see these expanded upon in Storytelling with Data. My team is already using the lessons Cole teaches to move people to action as they see new pearls of understanding and make a difference in the lives of others. Now others can, too!
Eleanor Bell, Director of Business Analytics at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

There is something lovely about being consistent with your own teachings. Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic accomplishes that with her first book. She is an advocate for clarity and concision in visualization, and her book is as clear, concise, and practical as it gets. If you are a beginner in visualization, or if you struggle to produce good charts in your everyday job with tools like Excel, Tableau, Qlik, and the like, this is a great place to start learning the core principles.
Alberto Cairo, Knight Chair in Visual Journalism and Professor of Visualization at the University of Miami, and author of The Functional Art

I highly recommend it to anyone who uses charts and graphs to convey a data-driven message to an audience—that is to say, basically everyone.
Ben Jones, Director, Tableau Public

Get your copy of storytelling with data here.