Banking leaders should master the art of storytelling with data

Dashboards are supposed to make it easier to understand the numbers showing the performance of financial services companies. But ‘MEGO’ — my eyes glaze over — often arises in boardrooms and elsewhere. So how do you use all that data to bring people along on a new strategy? Or inspire them to act on an efficiency initiative? Whatever the goal, following these six essential steps will help data-driven leaders create narratives that engage people.

The financial services industry has long used data to inform decisions. Uncovering patterns makes what was once a subjective, often complex process more objective — that is, if the analytics are applied to business decisions, which isn’t always the case.

The holdup can be traced to the methods of sharing information. According to a recent Exasol study, most data insights come by way of dashboards. However, more than half of business leaders and data professionals say these dashboards aren’t as readily used as they should be. The information provided is just too difficult and time-consuming to interpret.

That’s where data-driven storytelling can help chief financial officers and other leaders.

The storytelling isn’t a replacement for a traditional dashboard. Yet, when you add a narrative and visuals to the analytics — the crux of data storytelling — it becomes much simpler for everyone to understand and comprehend the data in front of them. They can read the “why” between the lines.


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