As technology, data transparency, and modernization continue to transform government agencies nationwide, one of the most important things any agency can do is look at how these changes can help them better connect with their constituents. Data transparency in the digital age makes it possible to share more about what your agency does with the community—and you want that connection to be an asset, not a liability. By taking control of that narrative, you are able to share what your agency is doing, and why, in addition to showcasing how those programs, decisions, and other actions serve the community.
Storytelling is a centuries-old art. Here are three ways utilizing it can help state and local agencies:
1. Takes Data To The Next Level
Your agency has access to more data than ever before. But are you taking full advantage of it? Statistics, data, and all the extensive reporting available to us today through technology still only become meaningful when translated to the real world through a narrative structure like data storytelling. Data storytelling enables you to communicate information to a specific audience with that audience’s specific needs in mind and translate cold hard facts into a narrative that resonates.
Think of it as the final step in data analysis. You know what the numbers are, now it’s time to tell others why they matter.
2. Adds A Human Element
Data storytelling brings a human element to the communication of information. When you incorporate visuals and narrative into the way that you communicate and discuss data, you speak to a wider audience than you could otherwise.
The concept of data storytelling isn’t new—but the tools at our disposal are. If Uber can send your constituents a snapshot of the miles they’ve ridden in a year, the amount of money they have personally spent and where it went, then you too can harness the technology at hand to deliver engaging insights. These personalized statistics make what were once numbers on a page a little more human.
3. Engages Communities
In an age of information overload, it’s vital to take this final step in data analysis to tell your community why the information you’ve presented is valuable. By using data storytelling, you’re able to tell a story in order to give context, provide a human perspective, and finally, end with a direct call to action. This last step is crucial and will take your story from a string of numbers and words into concrete action. At the end of your story, you should provide a clear next step that puts change in the hands of the community. By providing personalized insights through digital innovation, your agency is able to prompt community engagement like never before.
When you use data storytelling to better communicate as an agency, you’re able to send messages that are more human than spreadsheets and percentages. In addition, by using modern technology, you can turn that message into something relevant and meaningful that reaches more of your community. It’s the best of both worlds: the art of storytelling meets the technology that will shape the future—and you can use both to take control of your agency’s narrative.