How to Use Big Data to Enhance Your Brand Storytelling

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By now, many businesses and organizations have seen the value behind big data. That’s why so many of them are investing in gathering, analyzing, and drawing insights from data from whatever sources they can find. This has proven to be an effective strategy, and yet despite the success stories out there, many companies seem to be missing the mark. You see, big data by itself actually holds little value. Consider it like a resource. A rich vein of coal does little good when it’s simply left in the ground. That coal can be mined and collected, but if left on its own in some warehouse, again all that effort to gather it has been wasted. The same holds true for data. To truly gain value and improve your brand, data needs to be used in storytelling.

This idea may seem counterintuitive at first. After all, big data is all about large sets of numbers. Storytelling uses words and emotions. The two appear to be diametrically opposed to each other. Subscribing to that viewpoint, however, means missing out on the many opportunities afforded by using big data to tell a story and build up your brand. Equally of note is how storytelling by itself will do little to help your organization. Without data, stories like the ones you want to tell provide little impact. To truly create brand value, companies need to use the two in tandem. Storytelling can effectively establish that emotional connection, while data within the story can help earn the trust of the reader.

Put simply, if you want credibility in the content you produce, you need to use data. This can best be seen in the marketing world. It’s one thing to say your product is popular and widely used. If you include that claim with solid data backing it up, suddenly the story you’re telling paints a valuable picture that holds more weight than one without data. This is, of course, far from easy or else we’d be seeing this more often among companies trying to utilize big data. The trick is to find the stories hidden within all that data you’re collecting. That means finding the human element of a large set of numbers. Again, not as easy task.

There are ways to facilitate the process, though. One of the best is to collect and use your own data, which at times requires investment in hyperconvergence. Oftentimes, organizations will rely on the numbers provided by other reports and studies. This can only take you so far, since most of the time you won’t have access to the raw data and may miss out on some valuable insights specifically related to your industry. That’s why you need to collect your own data that you can work with. Doing so can help you determine, for example, how people are using your product or service, or what people’s feelings are toward your brand. This can all add up to the inclusion of a visual element within your story, which is crucial to drawing attention and understanding to the story you want to tell.

Enhancing your brand storytelling with big data should also be focused on creating a dialogue. Providing facts and figures that do little to support your overall point will reach a dead end with readers. Instead, be sure to include the data that is of most interest to your audience, items that they will want to share with others. This strategy also means not going overboard with your data. Include several points of data that will generate thought, but don’t overload the story with fact after fact after fact. You need to offer up the story in an easily digestible form. Again, this is where visual elements can aid greatly in conveying your targeted message.

No brand storytelling strategy would be complete without using the right tools for the job. There are many big data tools, such as Hadoop Spark, that can help you organize and analyze the information you gather. At the same time, some tools, like Tableau Software, are specifically designed for storytelling purposes. The resources are there; all it takes is for businesses to take advantage of them. Through better brand storytelling with big data, organizations will be able to not only inspire content that will be shared, but they’ll be considered some of the top thought leaders in their respective industries..

1 COMMENT

  1. Hi Rick … This is a really interesting article and I think you’ve nailed the idea of big data and stories working in tandem. It would be helpful to see an example of an organisation that has already combined the two and done it well. Do you have one?

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