Summary of Storytelling with Data

A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals

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Storytelling with Data book summary
Learn how to present your data with a simple visual story that appeals to your audience.


9 Overall

10 Applicability

9 Innovation

8 Style


Author Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic, who travels the world teaching companies how to produce better presentations, has streamlined the process of developing effective presentations. Each of her chapters provides a simple lesson that will transform how you offer data to your audiences. To explain why each step works, she refers to her extensive experience, to psychology, and to vision and brain science. Knaflic includes a chapter on model visuals and case studies to highlight how to use her lessons to produce stronger presentations. With appreciation for her specificity, getAbstract recommends her strategies to consultants, small business owners, marketing personnel, and anyone who needs to seize and hold an audience’s sustained attention.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to produce visually effective presentations combining data and narrative,
  • What kinds of graphics audiences prefer, and
  • How to use data to tell a compelling story.


Context Matters
When preparing to present information to an audience, make your content self-explanatory, and focus on a specific story, action item or issue. Don’t fall into the trap of wanting to show your entire research process. Audiences would rather know your final analysis than ...
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About the Author

Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic offers workshops and presentations internationally for data-driven organizations. She developed her unique data presentation talents through analytical roles in banking and private equity and recently as a Google People Analytics team manager.

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    Victoria Littlefield 2 months ago
    A mish-mash of the same presentation and story-telling tips that hundreds of others have shared, jazzed up by perfunctory nods to neuroscience, the new hot topic. If you've never read about any of these things, it might be worth your time. If you have or are more seasoned, use you time for something else. I really wish that getabstract would focus on books that have new and cutting edge content rather than constantly providing us with the same old stuff in a new package.
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      Erica Rauzin 2 months ago
      Thank you very much for your comment on Storytelling With Data. As you note, we must offer books at every level of experience and expertise, from novice to seasoned practitioner, like yourself. We search constantly for "new and cutting edge content" and welcome reader suggestions through the "Wish List" link on our home page. If you have books to suggest to us, we'd be very interested.

      We've actually received positive reader reactions to Storytelling With Data, perhaps from people who are newer to the field or from those who like it's clear explanations, but I totally understand that this piece wasn't helpful to you. We're working to supply the newest information out there, and we're grateful for your feedback. - Erica Meyer Rauzin, Senior Managing Editor, getAbstract
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    Paul H Aube 2 months ago
    The book sums up the necessity to ssuccintly simplify presentations, especially at the board level. Decision-makers need the essential while us professional managers swim in data.
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    Elba Elizabeth Ornelas Gutierrez 3 months ago
    This is pretty much what we mean when we talk about Visual Management for Enterprise communication.

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