The Data Story Guide

For decades we’ve been working on a simple mission - to help people find and share stories in their data. We’re researchers and analysts just like you, so we know how hard that can be. That’s why we created Displayr and Q Research Software - tools that make it easier to handle, analyze and communicate data.

This journey started more than a decade ago, and since then, we’ve become smarter about how to simplify the data analysis process and worked harder to share that with other researchers and analysts. That’s why we’ve written The Data Story Guide for you.

“I wish I had this guide 5 years ago!”

The demands placed on data analysts and storytellers today are different from the demands of even a decade ago. Data and analysis methods are now infinitely more complex, while the scope of projects keeps expanding especially as new markets enter the picture and the audience for data becomes broader. That’s why The Data Story Guide makes sure you have the essentials of data preparation, statistics, and analysis thoroughly covered.

However, today’s analysts need not just be adept at handling data, but also, strategic thinkers, insights pullers, data visualization masters and skilled communicators. So we’ve made sure to also cover the crucial skills of finding and communicating insights - walking you through how to construct a clear and engaging narrative with your data while also making even the most complex analysis easily understandable for any audience.

We know that accomplishing all of this is no mean feat. Whether you are a data scientist, market researcher or business professional, you consider The Data Story Guide as your singular resource to help you meet this challenge. Build your skills, become a better communicator and be inspired today.

The Data Story Guide team

The Data Story guide is written by a team of data experts

Andrew Kelly

Quantitative Research Specialist

Cristin McCurdy

Quantitative Research Specialist

Tim Bock

Data Scientist

Natalie Brown

Data Story Designer


What is The Data Story Guide?

The Data Story Guide is a textbook for effectively telling stories with data. It addresses data cleaning, analysis, visualization and report and dashboard creation.

Is The Data Story Guide right for me?

Determining whether The Data Story Guide is right for you depends on your interests, career goals, and the skills you wish to develop. Here are some considerations to help you decide:

  • Interest in Data and Analytics: If you have a keen interest in working with data, uncovering insights, and understanding trends, the Data Story Guide would be beneficial.
  • Career Goals: If your career path involves data analysis, business intelligence, marketing, journalism, research, or any field where interpreting and communicating data is key, this guide can be highly relevant.
  • Communication Skills: If you're looking to enhance your ability to communicate complex information in a clear, engaging manner, this guide can help you develop those skills.
  • Visual Storytelling: If you're interested in visual design and want to learn how to create compelling data visualizations, the guide would be a great fit.
  • Problem-Solving Orientation: If you enjoy solving problems and making decisions based on data-driven insights, the Data Story Guide can provide you with the necessary tools and techniques.
  • Technical Skills Development: If you're interested in learning or improving your skills in data analysis tools and software, this guide can be a stepping stone.
  • Enhancing Your Resume: If you're looking to add valuable skills to your resume that are in high demand across various industries, this certification can be a significant addition.
  • Curiosity and Continuous Learning: If you have a natural curiosity and a desire for continuous learning, especially in the rapidly evolving field of data, this guide will be beneficial.
  • Making Data-Driven Decisions: If your role requires or will require you to make decisions based on data, understanding how to tell stories with data is crucial.
  • Ethical and Responsible Data Use: If you're interested in the ethical aspects of data use and want to promote responsible data practices, this guide can provide insights into that area.

What skills will I gain from reading the The Data Story Guide?

Reading The Data Story Guide can provide you with a range of skills that are essential in the modern data-driven world. While the specific skills you gain can vary depending on the depth and focus of the guide, generally, you can expect to develop the following abilities:

  • Data Interpretation and Analysis: Understanding how to interpret data, identify trends, and extract meaningful insights.
  • Data Visualization: Learning the principles of effective data visualization, including how to choose and create appropriate visual representations for different types of data.
  • Narrative Development: Developing the ability to construct a coherent and compelling narrative around data, making complex information more accessible and engaging.
  • Communication Skills: Enhancing your ability to communicate data-driven insights clearly and effectively, both in writing and verbally, to a variety of audiences.
  • Critical Thinking: Improving your critical thinking skills, particularly in assessing data sources, recognizing biases, and ensuring the accuracy and relevance of data.
  • Storytelling Techniques: Gaining knowledge of storytelling techniques and how to apply them in a data context to make your presentations more impactful.
  • Technical Skills: You Can learn about specific tools and software for data analysis and visualization, such as Displayr, Q, Excel, Tableau, Power BI, or R.
  • Problem-Solving: Learning how to use data to identify problems, find solutions, and support decision-making processes.
  • Ethical Considerations: Understanding the ethical implications of data usage, including issues related to privacy, consent, and data security.
  • Audience Engagement: Gaining insights into how to tailor your data presentations to different audiences, ensuring that your message is understood and retained.

Does The Data Story Guide have examples with data?

The Data Story Guide includes examples that illustrate how to effectively tell stories with data. The Data Story Guide Academy includes more data sets and worked examples.

Do I need access to particular tools or software?

To analyze data effectively, having access to certain tools or software can be highly beneficial. The choice of tools depends on the complexity of your analysis, the size of your data set, and the specific tasks you need to perform. Here are some common types of tools and software used for data analysis:

Spreadsheet Software (e.g., Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, Displayr): Ideal for basic data analysis tasks like sorting, filtering, and basic calculations. Capable of creating simple charts and graphs. Suitable for small to medium-sized datasets.

Statistical Analysis Software (e.g., Displayr, Q, SPSS, Stata, SAS): Designed for complex statistical analysis. Offers a wide range of functionalities for hypothesis testing, regression analysis, and more. Suitable for larger datasets and advanced statistical needs.

Data Visualization Tools (e.g., Displayr, Tableau, Power BI): Excellent for creating interactive and visually appealing representations of your data. Can handle large datasets and complex visualizations. Useful for presenting findings to others.

Programming Languages (e.g., R, Python): Offer flexibility and power for data analysis and visualization. Ideal for complex, customized analysis workflows.

Survey Tools (e.g., Qualtrics, SurveyMonkey): Convenient for data collection.

Database Software (e.g., SQL, Access): Necessary if you need to manage and analyze very large datasets stored in databases. SQL is particularly useful for querying large datasets.

Text Analysis Tools (if open-ended responses are involved): Software like Displayr can help in qualitative data analysis. Useful for coding, categorizing, and analyzing textual data.

Cloud-Based Data Analysis Tools (e.g., Displayr, Google Data Studio, AWS, Azure): Useful for collaborative analysis and handling data stored in the cloud. Offers various tools for analysis and visualization.

How do I get certified by The Data Story Guide Academy?

To get certified by The Data Story Guide Academy, you would do the following:

  • Enroll in the Program: Register or enroll in the certification program through the academy’s website.
  • Complete the Coursework: Engage with course materials, which include videos, readings, and practical exercises.
  • Participate in Hands-On Projects: Complete these projects to gain hands-on experience in data storytelling. Pass the Examination
  • Share your Certification: You will receive a digital certificate which can be officially added to your LinkedIn profile. Continued Learning
The Data Story Academy

Our quick courses and full certifications cover everything you need to know about data analysis, visualization, and reporting. Learn easily, grow fast.

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