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storytelling with data podcast

Business & Economics Podcasts

Rid your world of ineffective graphs and mediocre presentations, one exploding 3D pie chart at a time! The storytelling with data podcast from bestselling author, speaker and workshop guru, Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic covers topics related to data storytelling, better presentations, and all things data viz. There is a story in your data—get the skills and power to tell it!

Rid your world of ineffective graphs and mediocre presentations, one exploding 3D pie chart at a time! The storytelling with data podcast from bestselling author, speaker and workshop guru, Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic covers topics related to data storytelling, better presentations, and all things data viz. There is a story in your data—get the skills and power to tell it!


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Rid your world of ineffective graphs and mediocre presentations, one exploding 3D pie chart at a time! The storytelling with data podcast from bestselling author, speaker and workshop guru, Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic covers topics related to data storytelling, better presentations, and all things data viz. There is a story in your data—get the skills and power to tell it!




storytelling with data: #53 Shashank Kalanithi interviews Cole

Recently, Cole chatted with senior data analyst Shashank Kalanithi for his YouTube channel, where he helps people break into the world of analytics. Listen to this repost of their conversation—you’ll hear Cole reflect on a wide range of topics, from why technical experts should double down on communication skills, to the ideal tech stack, to advice for undergrads, graduate students, and those transitioning into a career in data. Tune in also to be among the first to hear details about Cole’s...


storytelling with data: #52 you asked...

Through our workshops, we get the rare opportunity to meet thousands of people every year, across a huge variety of industries, companies, and roles. We never know what kinds of questions we’re going to be asked. In this episode, SWD storyteller Mike Cisneros highlights a few recent notable questions, ranging from chart choices, to design, to presentation. The range of topics may be broad, but the commonality among everything discussed here is that they’re answers to questions you...


storytelling with data: #51 the path to trusted advisor

How can you position yourself—and your team—to be a valued analytics consultant by your stakeholders and clients? Cole talks with Simon Rowe, the newest data storyteller on the SWD team, about his experience and tips for building productive partnerships. Tune in to hear about the journey from reactive to proactive data analytics, including practical strategies you can employ to avoid missteps, build relationships, and have greater impact in your work. Related links: Follow...


storytelling with data: #50 data viz research with Steven Franconeri

“I want to be able to show it and say, doesn’t that feel good? And you know what? We actually know it works well, it’s not just your intuition.” In this episode, Cole talks with Northwestern University professor and director of the Visual Thinking Lab, Dr. Steven Franconeri. Hear about research that helps us understand and harness the limits of our visual system and how it can be translated into practical terms to help you design better graphs and dashboards. Cole and Steve discuss several...


storytelling with data: # 49: become a data viz superstar

Establish yourself as a well-respected data visualization practitioner. Cole shares five points that will help you do it. Tune in to hear tips and tactics for setting good goals, learning, evaluating your work, influencing others, and getting the support you need to become—or help members of your team become—a data visualization and storytelling superstar, followed by Q&A. Subscribe to the SWD YouTube channelWatchbecome a data viz superstar part 1to see Cole illustrate a progression along...


storytelling with data: # 48: the challenges of change

Have you encountered challenges in your attempts to drive change with data visualization? In this episode, Cole talks with SWD’s newest data storyteller, Amy Esselman, about the difficulties that can arise when you try to impact people’s perceptions and behaviors. You’ll hear about Amy’s research on the status quo bias and her encounters with it in real life. Tune in also for a conversation about the human side of data, developing empathy for those you aim to influence, and practical...


storytelling with data: #47 the art of the interview

Fresh off a successful search to expand the SWD team, Cole chats with SWD advisor, husband Randy Knaflic, about a critical part of the hiring process: interviewing. Randy shares tips learned and stories lived over a career of hiring talent, from Google to SpaceX to storytelling with data. From showing compassion for a nerve-racked candidate to strategies for thoughtfully crafting and effectively addressing interview questions—whether interviewer or candidate—there’s something for everyone in...


storytelling with data: #46 questions about questions

"There's so much value to be gained in the exchange that happens after someone asks a really good question." The Q&A portion of a presentation is important, but the uncertainty can also be intimidating. When should you solicit questions, and for how long? What do you do when a query is off-topic? What if you don't know the answer? Tune in to hear Cole and Alex talk about preparing for successful audience interactions, including strategies for navigating tricky situations. Cole also answers...


storytelling with data: #45 the power of post-its

Tune in to hear Cole discuss one of her favorite low-tech planning strategies: storyboarding. Small, sticky, and sublimely potent when used well—she details her penchant for post-it notes and process of using them to brainstorm, edit, and solicit feedback to create shorter, targeted, and generally more effective communications. Article: give it time Book: Info We Trust by RJ Andrews Book: Let’s Practice! by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic Book: The Big Picture by Steve Wexler Conversation: my...


storytelling with data: #44 The Big Picture with Steve Wexler

Cole talks with professional “chart looker-atter” Steve Wexler, about his new book The Big Picture: How to Use Data Visualization to Make Better Decisions—Faster. Tune in for a conversation centered around evangelizing the transformative power of data visualization in an organization, including the value of visualizing for “aha!” (not “ooh and aah”), increasing data fluency, and the importance of collaborating with stakeholders for better results. Also hear Steve’s view on why several...


storytelling with data: #43 misleading graphs

A good data visualization can reveal and communicate insights. But bad graphs abound. In this episode, Cole chats with Ben Jones about misleading graphs. They discuss a number of common issues, including missorted time, miscalculated area, going against expected norms, spurious correlations, and more. Tune in for tips on how to read graphs and spot issues and avoid being duped, as well as strategies to consider when graphing data so the visualizations you create don’t inadvertently...


storytelling with data: #42 there is still an art to feedback

Giving good feedback to others—when done well—can help you sharpen your own thinking and approaches for visualizing and communicating with data. We’ll start with this critical topic in our new 10-week course, so it seemed like the perfect timing to repost the original episode of the storytelling with data podcast. I discuss the value of giving and receiving data visualization feedback and potential problem areas to avoid. Hear The Economist’s eloquent response to critique of one of their...


storytelling with data: #41 maps with Kenneth Field

“You don’t have to be a cartographer to make a great map.” Cole talks with cartographer Kenneth Field, author of the award-winning book, Cartography. Tune in to hear the thought process for visualizing data when the “where” matters, including different types of maps, how purpose and audience should drive design decisions, and whether there’s any such thing as a truly accurate map. Plus, learn how technology has compressed the mapmaking process (for better and worse)—from graphicacy to...


storytelling with data: #40 Data Sketches with Shirley Wu & Nadieh Bremer

“For data visualization, you don’t need to be an artist to make good sketches.” Cole talks with Data Sketches authors, Shirley Wu and Nadieh Bremer, about their multi-year project that has been turned into a beautiful new book. Listen as they discuss their exploration of the creative side of data visualization through colors, shapes, math, code, and storytelling. Tune in to learn why you should give a 4-year old a watercolor set, the power of a rainbow palette, using flowers to visualize...


storytelling with data: #39 Better Data Visualizations with Jon Schwabish

Cole talks with Jon Schwabish about his latest book, Better Data Visualizations. Tune in to hear about Jon’s goal to make people aware of a wider array of graphs, which less common graphs he wishes people would use more, his favorite Sankey diagram, and how Luxembourg highlighted an important lesson about maps. Jon also addresses viewer questions on fact-checking, communicating qualitative data, and his work on racial equity in data visualization, including things we should all be thinking...


storytelling with data: #38 hi, my name is...

Being able to introduce yourself eloquently and in a way that captures and keeps your intended audience’s attention is a hugely important thing. Yet, we don’t commonly devote a lot of time or thought to planning how we do this. In this episode, Cole shares the process that she and the storytelling with data team used to create their intros, plus shares the steps you can use to form your own inspirational introduction. She also addresses listener questions on dot plots, the audience...


storytelling with data: #37 it's for THEM

How can you get people’s attention on what you want to share and drive the action you seek? Carefully consider your audience. In this episode, Cole dives deep on audience, discussing ways to identify who they are and prioritize their needs, strategies for approaching the challenging but common case of the mixed audience, and tips for getting to know an unfamiliar audience. She also addresses listener questions on grad school, gauging data storytelling success, and innovation in data...


storytelling with data: #36 presenting data

When communicating data in a meeting or presentation, YOU play a very important role. How can you talk about your data in a way that makes others want to listen? Tune in to this special episode, excerpted from a recent virtual event, about presenting data. Cole shares practical tips for rehearsing aloud, planning how you’ll start and end, harnessing the power of your voice, and the important role of feedback for refining your presentation skills. LINKS: Become an SWD community premium...


storytelling with data: #35 a conversation with Maarten Lambrechts

A xenographic is simply a chart type not seen before, and in this episode, Cole talks with data journalist and designer Maarten Lambrechts, creator of They discuss having an open mindset for weird graphs, pushing boundaries to elevate graphicacy, and the value of bringing strange data visualizations mainstream. Tune in to also hear about Maarten’s experience as a data visualization freelancer, the important role of the online portfolio, and how a relentless focus on the end...


storytelling with data: #34 a conversation with John Zeratsky

With days defined by distraction, how can we solve big problems and make time for what matters? Cole talks with technology designer and author of Sprint and Make Time, John Zeratsky, about the power of focus for getting things done. John details the design sprint process perfected at Google Ventures—detailing the value of “working alone, together” to generate better ideas, the benefits of prototyping and testing with real customers, particularly when the stakes are high, and much more. He...