min read

The NeverEnding Data Story

February 20, 2024
June 12, 2024
Listen on Apple Podcasts

The Data Whisperer

For nearly three decades, Scott Taylor has been working with marketing and advertising data, partnering with enterprises and innovative data brands that want to change the nature of data management. As the Data Whisperer and Principal Consultant at Meta Meta Consulting, Scott helps business executives understand the strategic value of proper data management, and sometimes he uses puppets. He’s a gem to follow on LinkedIn and he’s here today to talk about telling data stories better.

Evolution of Storytelling in Data Management

With a diverse background in marketing, sales, and dramatic arts, Scott emphasizes the importance of clear communication and understanding audience needs. He distinguishes between analytic storytelling and foundational data management storytelling, stressing, "You gotta do the why before the how."

“There are two types of data stories,” explains Scott. “One data story is about data, and the other uses data to tell a story. The way in which you tell the story matters just as much as the story itself," which is why Scott chooses to focus on the telling part of data storytelling.

Scott believes good data storytelling starts with understanding the why, not the how, of your data. “You’re trying to find out why data helps enable the strategic/important initiatives at your enterprise,” says Scott. “What are those intentions that your company has and why does data help you get there? If you can get that secured, you’ll be able to tell a much better, and more accurate, data story.”

Approach to Data Storytelling

Scott focuses on foundational master data management aspects like metadata, data integration, and infrastructure, advocating for a structured approach with "the four C’s: Code, Company, Category, Country/Geo." He believes in establishing "Truth before Meaning" to ensure accuracy and reliability in data narratives.

“You have to arrive at the truth before you can derive meaning,” says Scott. “That’s why getting the fundamental, master level data management handled first is the only real way to make progress in any digital transformation. Where the data starts is as important as where data ends up.” 

Challenges in Data Storytelling

A common challenge Scott identifies is the technical jargon barrier. He recommends focusing on foundational data and using creative methods to make data stories more accessible and engaging.

Scott uses innovative approaches, including puppets and humor, to make data stories relatable to diverse audiences, especially those without a technical background. His irreverent approach helps demystify data jargon. He briefly explained where the idea for Data Puppets came from.

“Data Puppets started as a small, two-man comedy routine on video, because I realized I had a higher level of control and interaction with puppets that I couldn’t get with cartoons, which are insane to produce. The first video topic was buzzwords and so it felt natural to use the bee puppet, and the reaction was huge! The premise was that no one in data management uses real words, and the overwhelming response from nearly everyone was, ‘I see myself in this.’ It all took off after that.” 

Impactful Data Stories

Scott shares an example of how his storytelling approach influenced a logistics company's strategy. By applying external shipping principles to data management and incorporating the company’s slogan with the word “data,” he successfully helped them bridge the gap between business vision and data realities.

In conclusion, Scott Taylor's unique blend of data management expertise and storytelling prowess offers valuable insights into making data more approachable and strategically valuable for businesses.

The Links

"Telling Your Data Story  - Data Storytelling for Data Management" 

Scott on LinkedIn 

The Data Whisperer - YouTube Channel



"The Little Red Hen" with Scott’s grandson, Data Whisperer, Jr!

"Big Data Day - A NinjaCat Musical"

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