Strategic Data Storytelling

Learn to craft data insights into narratives that spur action and create value.

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Storytelling with Data

At a Glance

Open Enrollment
8 weeks
Total CEUs:
4.7 CEUs

Upcoming Dates

July Start

Students may register up to 7 days after the course start.

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The University of Chicago’s Strategic Data Storytelling course will provide you with the techniques and tools you need to craft insights into compelling narratives. Over eight weeks, you will learn the art of conveying data in a meaningful way to improve stakeholder decision-making.

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Strategic Data Storytelling Overview

Storytelling and visualization tools are necessary to communicate data insights. This course will walk you through creating compelling data stories to effectively transmit results to stakeholders. You will also learn to align and adjust them to your business goals and target audience.  

After completing the course, you will be able to:

  • Identify which business needs can be addressed with data.
  • Distill data into key points using infographics, dashboards, reports, and stories.
  • Anticipate and manage questions from varied audiences.
  • Enhance decision-making by using appropriate cues and indicators for specific audiences.

Designed For

Designed for professionals who work with data science teams and data scientists interested in transitioning into client-facing roles.

Strategic Data Storytelling Curriculum

  • Translate data into economic value while assessing effective data visualization strategies that link insights to business objectives.
  • Analyze data to determine patterns, key insights, action items, and storytelling potential.
  • Describe the key elements of a successful data story: knowing one’s audience, defining a goal, maintaining engagement, and being explicit about the takeaways.
  • Identify where and how a data story achieves its intended goals and where it can be optimized.
  • Use imaging tools to create data visualizations that align with the needs of the data story.

Strategic Data Storytelling course format

  • Eight weeks in length.
  • Weekly, self-paced interactive learning modules and assignments are time-sensitive and should be completed by the set deadlines.
  • Synchronous sessions and live question and answer sessions.
  • Mentors will provide continuous support and encourage a dynamic and positive learning environment.

Methodologies and techniques:

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Weekly course schedule

Gain a greater understanding of the current data visualization landscape as you learn the key elements of data stories, data privacy, the Tableau and Alteryx platforms, visualization tools, and trends in data visualization.

Learn how to make a business case and understand the data required to build it.

Exploratory data analysis, visualization vs. analysis, working with incomplete data, and data quality assessment and visualization.

Blending logic and persuasion in writing, structuring a recommendation tree, motivating by explaining why, and being your own skeptic.

Visualizing time series data and proportions, mapping capabilities, and custom mapping.

Using color and size in visualization, visualizing networks and trees, creating dashboards and stories for insights, and charting color for optimal legibility.

Principles of strategic decision-making and visualization, introduction to visual analytics and best practices, and fundamental industry KPIs and metrics to drive storytelling effectiveness.

Connecting key learnings for practical application and evaluating team presentations based on those learnings.

Meet Your Instructors

Bridget Sheehan

Bridget Sheahan, MBA, CFA

VP of Analytics and Insights, Valassis Communication

Bridget Sheahan works as the VP of Analytics and Insights at Valassis Communications, a global media and marketing services company. Her role entails leading the analytics services, data innovation, and data science teams. Prior to this role at Valassis, Sheahan held a number of analytics-related...

Learn more about Bridget

Rebeca Pop, UChicago instructor

Rebeca Pop, MA

Founder of Vizlogue

Rebeca Pop is the founder of Vizlogue and an expert in data visualization and data storytelling who has delivered presentations to over 3,500 participants all around the world. Pop's approach to training is grounded in a deep understanding of adult learning strategies and combines hands-on exercises...

Learn more about Rebeca

Career Outlook

The global big data market is expected to grow to $229.4 billion by 2025, and an increasing number of organizations are in need of storytelling techniques—and data storytelling professionals—to communicate and visualize their data effectively. Nonprofits and Fortune 500 companies alike find this approach raises awareness of a brand, issue, product, or trend and inspires audiences to take action. Possessing both analytical skills and the ability to weave data into compelling narratives, data storytellers and visualization specialists are prized by enterprises that want to maximize their data’s value.

$ 61 k

The average salary for an insight analyst in the United States

22 x

Potential job titles in Data Storytelling

  • Analytics Specialist
  • Business Analyst
  • Data Analyst
  • Data Architect
  • Data Engineer
  • Data Modeler
  • Data Storyteller
  • Data Visualizer
  • Database Administrator
  • Digital Analytics Insights Specialist
  • Insight Analyst
  • Insight Specialist
  • Machine Learning Engineer
  • Software Engineer
  • Statistician

Of Interest