How to Build a Business Case through Data Storytelling

data storytelling

In a highly competitive and digitized world, data has become a critical source of business information on many fronts – from decision making to improving processes. But understanding what data is saying and deriving useful insights from it can be a taxing endeavor, and it’s critical to leverage the power of data in such a way that decision makers can use it effectively. That’s where data storytelling comes in. If you want your business to succeed and to be the preferred brand for your customers, understanding how data storytelling can inform and influence decisions is key. 

Keep reading to learn more about how you can use storytelling to build your own business case for a new idea.

  1. Establish the Context

The first step to a successful business case is sharing the full context of the situation and what you’re trying to solve for. Using data, narratives, and visuals can help decision makers clearly understand what is happening to the customer, their pain points, and how you can solve them. Developing a story around what customers are experiencing (good or bad) builds empathy between you and your audience, making it easier to persuade them to go with your idea. It also helps stakeholders actually experience the pain or challenges that customers are going through.

  1. Explore options

Most businesses collect vast amounts of information about their customers – from their location to buying habits. This data is critical to understanding what customers want (or don’t want) and how your business can meet their needs. You can get direct knowledge from your audience and infuse your business ideas with that information to help explore how you can better serve customers. For example, if you know that your customers want faster resolution to problems, you can explore all the options available to achieve that. This offers a different perspective on the problem and gives you insights that you may not have discovered otherwise. Additionally, including a story around a specific data point (a.k.a. a challenge) will make your idea that much more appealing to decision makers.

  1. Get Good Data

By utilizing all the data your company is collecting, you can build the meat and bones of your proposal. Use analytics, marketing reports, research, and customer surveys to back up all your claims. If you find anything that sounds good on your pitch but you can’t back it up with the data to make it rock-solid, then you probably need to look for other options. Consider using data visualization to present the data and make it easy to digest. No one wants to read tables upon tables and rows of figures that don’t make a lot of sense. You need to paint a clear picture of what you’re proposing by using the data that you have and creating a compelling narrative.

  1. Pitch Your Idea

Now that you have a clear idea of your business case (with solid data to back it up) you can start pitching. The best way to approach this is to explain it in a balanced manner by sharing both the challenges and opportunities your pitch may encounter. Then you bring out the big guns – your data – to project how your new concept solves the customers’ problems. And not only do you use your data to back up your idea, you share a compelling story that clearly demonstrates how your idea will benefit customers. 

  1. Emphasize the Business Value

You already have the idea, the context, varying perspectives, and the data. Now, what you need is to justify why the idea is good. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What meaningful impact will it have on the business?
  • What will it take to solve the problem?
  • How can I measure its success in terms of business outcomes?

These details are crucial to supporting the emotional aspects you raised in the data story. You want to clearly demonstrate – in hard, cold facts – that you have thought about how to put these data insights into action.


A good idea can be easy to come up with, but when it comes to actually making a case for how it can improve an organization, it can get exponentially harder to make it a reality. Thankfully, data storytelling can help. You can establish context, explore options, and make a solid business case using the power of data storytelling. It’s hard to argue with data, and with emotion and compelling stories, you can make your business case even more powerful.

If your organization is looking to leverage the power of data storytelling, contact Gemini Data today. We help organizations construct a view of their business by connecting the dots to tell their story. It’s our goal to enable customers to quickly grasp complex data relationships and increase the pace of human knowledge and advancement with data storytelling.

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