Today’s lesson is actually an academic-ish paper on the history and application of story telling to data presentations. It’s an interesting review of the literature up until now, and some ideas for future research.
It struck me while reading this that measuring story telling is a lot like measuring humor: most people know it when they hear it, but it’s really hard to define what makes one person better than another at it. For both topics you can get mired down in issues of audience and personal taste, but it’s clear there are still some general rules. That visuals should be a part of storytelling if possible (and especially with data) is one of these general rules.
I certainly applaud for anyone who calls for more research about how to effectively communicate data through visuals. Translating complex concepts in to usable information is what’s going to allow data nerds to increase their scope of influence.
Overall impression: A longer read, but lots of interesting citations and resources mentioned.