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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 and the storytelling with data team covers topics related to better business communications, data storytelling, and knockout presentations.


United States


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 and the storytelling with data team covers topics related to better business communications, data storytelling, and knockout presentations.




storytelling with data podcast: #67 storytelling withOUT data

Graphs and slides are often the first tools we reach for when we need to communicate with data—but when might storytelling withOUT data yield better results? Cole outlines numerous scenarios for alternative approaches, sharing examples from clients, workshops, and her books. From boardgames to baby pics, tune in to learn about humanizing data, when low fidelity solutions work best, the Picture Superiority Effect, and much more. related links: Book: let’s practice! Book: storytelling with you: plan, create, & deliver a stellar presentation Register for debut storytelling with you virtual workshop (use code PODCAST10 for 10% off) Organize a workshop for your team or organization Access resources for university instructors Learn via video on the SWD YouTube channel


storytelling with data podcast: #66 Designing in Light and Dark

Mike and Alex discuss the advantages and drawbacks of designing visualizations with light and dark backgrounds, using examples from SWD community members to highlight where each approach can be preferable. Then, they dive into history and discuss the staying power of some famous graphs. What makes them memorable—and how we might be able to elevate them, using modern tools and perspectives? Listening time 27:06 | related links: Challenge: Light and dark backgrounds Viz: Rob Reid’s gun ownership viz Viz: Rishi Selva’s newspaper homage Tool: Datawrapper Tool: Accessible Colors Viz: Mike Cisneros’s Last Words viz Challenge: Remake a famous graph Challenge: Making or missing the mark Join data storyteller office hours by going premium in SWD community Learn via video on the SWD YouTube channel


storytelling with data podcast: #65 EMPHASIZE it!

Cole draws on a recent experience that underscored the power of thoughtful EMPHASIS. Tune in for practical tactics to create contrast visually and verbally, whether for important numbers or words, focusing attention within your table or graph, or communicating clear emphasis through how you speak and move. Cole and colleague Simon also address related questions on tips for virtual presentations, eliminating filler words, preparing content for someone else to present, and more. Listening time 41:54 | related links: Register for Chicago masterclass on May 5th (use code PODCAST10 for 10% off) Order storytelling with you: plan, create, & deliver a stellar presentation Access resources for university instructors Join data storyteller office hours by going premium in SWD community Learn via video on the SWD YouTube channel


storytelling with data podcast: #64 beginner mistakes in data viz

You'll probably make a few mistakes when learning to visualize and communicate data. That's okay! It's all a part of the learning journey and can be preferred since we often learn more from our mistakes than our successes. SWD storyteller Alex embraces her early missteps as she takes a trip down memory lane to share where she went wrong and what she learned. Listening time 18:11 plus intro/outro | related links: Podcast episode: data viz research with Steven Franconeri Research article (Visual Thinking Lab): Declutter and focus Steve Wexler’s article: Should you use dashboards to tell stories? Video: sample presentation with chart animation Workshops: 2023 calendar (use special code PODCAST10)


storytelling with data podcast: #63 bad news and good feedback

SWD storytellers Elizabeth and Mike join forces to tackle some thorny questions about connecting with your audience: how do you know if you’ve done a good job, and what if you have to deliver bad news? In light of a recent “partner up!” challenge in the SWD community, they explore the benefits of working together with colleagues, friends, strangers, and even family members, while sharing some lessons learned from their own collaborative experiences. Listening time: 34:00 Related links: Website: SWD challenge Article: stop, collaborate and listen (to your audience) Workshops: 2023 calendar (use special code PODCAST10) Order storytelling with you Get sample content from Cole’s new book


storytelling with data podcast: #62 tension in data stories

Tension is a key component of story—and can be used in powerful ways to communicate in a business setting. In this episode, Cole talks tension: what it is, why you should care, and how to identify and use it in your data stories and beyond. Tune in also to hear common questions related to communicating with tension and their answers, plus related resources that will improve your next graph or presentation. Listening time 35:00 | related links: Article: a quick presentation makeover Article: the structure(s) of story Article: when tension is high, get to the point Book: storytelling with you Book: let’s practice! Exercise: build the tension Resource: big idea worksheet Video channel: SWD YouTube Video series: storytelling with cole Video: dashboard to data story makeover Video: record yourself Video: create a storyboard Video: focus attention in data viz Video: avoid these 5 slide mistakes Video: the final presentation Video: don’t keep me in suspense (open to premium) Workshops: 2023 calendar (use special code PODCAST10) University: instructor resources


storytelling with data podcast: #61 AI, quantified self, and fingernails

SWD storytellers Simon and Mike offer their thoughts on how the recent advancements in AI tools may transform the way we analyze and communicate with data. They also discuss some of their favorite entries and interesting themes from the most recent SWD challenge on the quantified self. related links: Website: SWD challenge A year of fitness by Evelina Judeikyte Number of steps in 2022 by Iris van Bussel Reads 2022 by Kirti Vardhan Rathore My 10 Years of Book Reading by Sibi Maran Cook more, eat less meat: Is my good resolution for 2023 being kept? by Line Ton That Water Usage by Rob Reid Personal Carbon Footprint by George-Alexandru Gavrilovici Meditation Tracking + Blue Sky Goals by Sarah Stern A Year of Disc Golf by Bryan Boyle By the time you finish reading this sentence… by Zen Faulkes Lizzy’s Goodreads by Shane Reynolds Order storytelling with you Get sample content from Cole’s new book


storytelling with data podcast: #60 scale with purpose with Brendan McGurgan

Have a listen to this cross-cast of Cole’s conversation with Brendan McGurgan, host of the ScaleX Insider Podcast and author of Simple Scaling: Ten Proven Principles to 10x Your Business. They discuss scaling organizations and dive deep into the topics of audience, the big idea, storyboarding, using tension to engage your audience, plus tips for improving how you present through practice. related links: Follow Brendan: LinkedIn|Website| YoutubeBook:Simple Scaling: Ten Proven Principles to 10x Your BusinessPodcast:ScaleX Insider PodcastOrder storytelling with youGet sample content from Cole’s new book


storytelling with data podcast: #59 questions in dataviz with Neil Richards

Why don’t we use triangles in charts more often? Can design considerations come before we have the data? Do we take data visualization too seriously? Author, speaker, and data literacy advocate Neil Richards raises (and occasionally answers) these and other questions in his new book, Questions in Dataviz: a Data-Driven Process for Data Visualization. In this episode, Neil stops by the podcast to talk about the value of creativity, personal passion projects, experimentation in data visualization, and whether dataviz can change the world. related links: Follow Neil:Twitter|Website|Tableau Public (portfolio)Book:Questions in DatavizPodcast: Alli Torban’sDataviz Today Project:Makeover MondaySWD challenge: for Social GoodProject: Andy Kirk’s The Seinfeld Chronicles Viz: US county hexmapViz: Pet ownership in the UKProject:Data Visualization SocietyProject: Information is Beautiful AwardsGet sample content & orderstorytelling withyou:storytellingwithyou.comUniversity instructor resources:storytelling with YouTube


storytelling with data podcast: #58 don’t! (and what to do instead)

Cole shares a number of data visualization and communication questions that could be answered simply with the word, “Don’t!” From breaking axes and presenting boxplots to unfamiliar audiences, to providing unsolicited feedback to a colleague, and more—you’ll learn why generally not to take these actions, plus hear ideas on what you might do instead. related links: Video:the ins & outs of boxplotsVideo:transform the teleprompter slideBlog post: how many words should I put on my slide?Blog post: unsolicited feedbackGet sample content & orderstorytelling withyou:storytellingwithyou.comNov 17 virtual discount code: PODCAST10)University instructor resources:storytelling with YouTube


storytelling with data podcast: #57 storytelling with YOU

Cole sits down with husband, Randy Knaflic, for a fun chat about her new book, storytelling with you: plan, create, and deliver a stellar presentation. They discuss why building capability and confidence presenting is especially important for those in technical roles, overcoming challenges communicating to mixed audiences, navigating the writing process, and more. Tune in to learn what jazz improvisation has in common with presenting and gain appreciation for the art of the introduction—including specific steps you can take to craft the story of you. related links: Attend an upcoming storytelling with data workshopin London or virtuallyOrder storytelling with youGet sample contentfrom Cole’s new book


storytelling with data podcast: #56 graph draft!

As anyone who has ever participated in a fantasy league can tell you, the most fun part of the whole experience is drafting your team. We took that idea to heart, and imagined, “What if, instead of drafting professional athletes, we did a fantasy draft of chart and graph types?” The data storytellers at SWD and premium members of our online community recently did just that, taking part in a (mostly!) friendly competition to build themselves the strongest possible roster of methods for visualizing information. What chart type was chosen first overall? Did anybody pick pie charts? And, who do YOU think wound up with the best team? Listen to find out! related links: Book: Preview and pre-order the new book,storytelling with you Workshop: Registerfor an upcoming SWD workshop Interactive:The Gyllenhaal Experimentat pudding.coolChart Guides and additional info: area graph| bar chart| bullet graph| bump chart| choropleth map| dot plot| heatmap| histogram| isotype chart| line graph| lollipop chart| pie chart|Sankey diagram| scatterplot| slopegraph| stacked bar chart| waffle (or square area) chart| waterfall


storytelling with data podcast: #55 functional aesthetics with Dr. Vidya Setlur & Bridget Cogley

How can we use beauty to convey meaning, and form to guide function, in our communications? In this episode of the SWD podcast, Dr. Vidya Setlur and Bridget Cogley explore these questions with data storyteller Mike Cisneros. In their upcoming book Functional Aesthetics for Data Visualization, Vidya (the “academic”) and Bridget (the “practitioner”) explore the relationships among what we see, how we encode information, and what we mean. You’ll hear about the “bento box” model of organizing our information; how text, tone, register, and language affects our visualizations; how our relationship to food can inform what makes a communication effective; and how to go beyond “it depends” when considering the answers to challenging questions. related links: Follow Vidya:Twitter (@vsetlur)|LinkedIn |Tableau ResearchFollow Bridget:Twitter (@WindsCogley)|LinkedIn|TableauFitblogBook:Functional Aesthetics for Data VisualizationArticle: Honoring Kelly Martin, including the “Birdstrike Redoux” visualizationArticle: TheIshango bone, an early mathematical toolPaper: “The medium is the message” by Marshall McLuhanArticle: “Light vision” by Margaret Livingstone (regarding isoluminance in Monet) Book: Mind in Motion by Barbara Tversky


storytelling with data: #54 storytelling, folklore, and data with Joshua Smith

Data storyteller Mike Cisneros sat down with Iron Viz champion, Tableau Visionary, and self-described “data jackalope” Joshua Smith to talk about how folklore—the study of how information is communicated, primarily through informal means—provides us a fascinating lens through which to examine how data visualization has evolved and continues to develop, both as a discipline and as a community of practitioners. You’ll learn how “best practices” emerge, transform and persist (or are discarded) over time, how informal communication and culture can have unexpected effects on how our work is received, the inextricable links between belief and “objective” data, and how a storyteller can position themselves to be most effective. Several folklorists were mentioned in the course of this discussion.Dan Ben-Amosdefined folklore as “Artistic communication in small groups.” Lynne S. McNeildefined it as “Informally transmitted traditional culture.” Alan Dundesidentified many forms of folklore William Bascomspecified the four functions of folklore: it lets people escape from repressions imposed upon them by society e.g.: tall tales; it validates culture, justifying its rituals and institutions to those who perform and observe them; it is a pedagogic device which reinforces morals and values and builds wit; and it is a means of applyingsocial pressureand exercisingsocial controlRichard Baumanexplored performance theory and audience evaluation Andrea Kittaexplored the strength of personal narrative Book | Info We Trustby RJ AndrewsProject |Makeover Monday Article | Nancy Duarte - “Like Yoda You Must Be” Article | Lilach Manheim & Mike Cisneros - “Beyond the hook: Building information experiences for attention and engagement” Visualization | Robert Janezic - “Music Memories”


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 new book! Follow Shashank’sYouTube channelWatchthe original conversationPractice & exchange feedback:SWD communityArticle: data doesn't speak for itselfArticle: audience mattersArticle: audience, audience, audienceArticle: what tool should I use?Podcast: goals like GooglePodcast: data viz research with Steven Franconeri


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 asked. Attend an upcoming workshop: (use promo code PODCAST10 for 10% off the registration fee) Hans Rosling: 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes (BBC) Hans Rosling: The best stats you’ve ever seen (TED talk) Video: Animating data Blog: Left-aligning chart titles Blog: The right amount of detail SWD community exercise: optimize your output SWD community exercise: storyboard YOUR project ------------------- Additional voice content: Jennifer Schumi Additional music: “Destiny” by ASHUTOSH Music promoted by Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported


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 Simon:Twitter|LinkedIn


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 recent studies, how to bridge the chasm between academia and practitioners, some of the unsolved problems of data visualization, and more. Related links: Follow Steve:Twitter|LinkedIn| Faculty pageTheVisual Thinking LabJournal: Psychological Science in the Public InterestPaper: The Science of Visual Data Communication: What Works, single page summaryPaper: Declutter and Focus: Empirically Evaluating Design Guidelines for Effective Data Communication Paper: Visual Arrangements of Bar Charts Influence Comparisons in Viewer Takeaways Paper:Measures of the Benefit of Direct Encoding of Data Deltas for Data Pair Relation PerceptionUncertainty: FiveThirtyEight’s 2020 Election ForecastBook:The Thinking Eye, the Seeing Brain(James Enns)Book:Visual Thinking for Design(Colin Ware)People mentioned:Lace Padilla,Jessica Hullman,Jeff Zacks,Priti Shah,Christie Nothelfer,Cindy Xiong,Matt Kay


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 the graph spectrumListen to podcast episode 14: learning data vizFor more on OKRs, listen to podcast episode 13: goals like GoogleDownload the Big Picture worksheetJoin theSWD community; share your goal in your member profile


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 strategies for overcoming common barriers to change. Related links: Follow Amy:LinkedIn|TwitterAmy’s research: A Study of Status Quo Bias in Data VisualizationArticle: the old way is betterVideo: overcoming resistanceBook:Nudge(Thaler & Sunstein) SWD community conversation on change