Course Abstract

Training duration : 9 hours

Well told data stories are change drivers within the modern organization. But how do we find the most important insights in our business data and communicate them in a compelling way? How do we connect the data that we have to the key underlying business issue? This course takes students from the fundamentals (what should we be measuring and why?) to the elements of good visualization design (what does a good chart look like?) to proficiency in data storytelling. Developed and continually enhanced with the business needs of our learners in mind, this course will teach you critical concepts in data storytelling along with opportunities to apply your new learning through interactive workshop tasks.

What other students say about this session?

Very useful and insightful. Good balance of theory and hands-on.

Data Storytelling for Business is a nice mix of information, examples, and interactive exercises.

Great class, very insightful

Learning Objectives

  • How to plan and execute high-quality data presentations for any audience

  • How to weave data into a coherent and memorable story

  • How to enhance data visualizations to support a narrative

  • How to build your toolbox of effective design practices



Instructor Bio:

Lead Data Storytelling Trainer | StoryIQ

Diedre Downing

Diedre is a former Wall Street trader, college lecturer, and NYC Department of Education program leader. Prior to joining StoryIQ as a Lead Data Storytelling Trainer, she oversaw the operation, curation and data-driven strategy of NYC Department of Education’s online space for curricular and professional learning materials supporting over 76,000 professional educators. She is currently an Adjunct Lecturer at the City University of New York and holds a Master’s in Mathematics from Pace University.

Course Outline

Session 1 – Audience

Every well-crafted data story starts with a thorough understanding of your audience. Learn tools like the data-ink ratio which help you de-clutter your presentations to make them easy for your audience to consume. Leverage design principles such as pre-attentive attributes to focus your audience’s attention on the key insights you want to convey. Work through practical examples of ineffective visuals, and give them a make over so that they better serve your audience’s needs.


Session 2 – Visuals

Discover when to deploy different visuals such as charts, tables, and “impact metrics”, as well as how to select the right chart to use in any given situation. Walk through how to create best practice charts and tables in Excel and PowerPoint, then practice these skills on our case study, or apply them directly to your own business data and get immediate feedback and tips from our instructors.


Session 3 – Color and Narrative

Apply color strategically and sparingly to your presentations to generate maximum impact. Use our presentation medium selection framework to choose when to present your results using different mediums like dashboards versus PowerPoint decks. Learn principles of vertical and horizontal flow to weave together multiple insights and visuals into a more complex multi-slide data story with a logical and captivating narrative structure.



Throughout the course, learners will work through an end to end case study where they transform a poorly designed business deck that is overloaded with information and poorly designed charts and tables. At the end of the exercise, they will have created their own high quality, a data-driven business deck that can be used as an exemplar for their future work.

During Session 2 there will be a series of breakouts where learners will have the opportunity to practice creating best practice bar charts, line charts, and scatter plots.

During Session 3, learners will storyboard their decks. They will ensure that each slide has a clear and compelling storytelling title and that the storytelling titles work together to logically support a consistent narrative.

Background knowledge

  • It’s suitable for any professional who works with data and charts. If you need to tell better stories with your data, then this course is for you.

  • For more senior audiences who want to direct their teams to produce better data stories, but don’t need to learn how to implement these best practices directly, we can provide a shortened “Data Storytelling For Leaders” course.