How To Develop Great Data Studies – The 5R2 Roadmap To Great Data Story

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This excerpt has been adapted from “Data Storytelling in Marketing” by Caroline Florence ©2024 and is used with permission from Kogan Page Ltd.

Part One of this book explained the importance of data storytelling, highlighted its advantages for marketing, and identified common obstacles to crafting compelling data narratives.

Part Two addresses the practical steps needed to create effective data stories.

The 5R2 roadmap consists of five critical stages, each aimed at achieving specific outcomes, supported by three actionable steps for each stage.


A compelling data story should prioritize the audience’s knowledge, needs, and preferences. It should encompass:

  • A distinct premise aimed at inspiring a profound shift in the audience’s perspectives.
  • A thorough grasp of the context tailored to meet the audience’s requirements.
  • A focused narrative that addresses the audience’s pivotal questions.

Crafting a pertinent story demands strategic planning skills to outline the storyline effectively.

This stage offers numerous advantages, such as:

  • Early input, collaboration, and co-creation opportunities to enrich your story’s evolution.
  • A clear sense of purpose to maintain focus during story development.
  • The opportunity to approach correctness from the outset, reducing significant revision time in later stages of story development.


A strong data story must withstand rigorous examination and should encompass:

  • A credible interpretation derived from diverse and reliable data sources.
  • Data-driven arguments and recommendations grounded in accurate and current information.
  • An insightful perspective that addresses the audience’s “So what?” and “Now what?” questions.

Crafting a robust story necessitates proficient analysis skills to unearth and highlight key insights.

This stage offers several advantages, including:

  • Opportunities to uncover novel insights and ideas rather than predictable outcomes.
  • The ability to articulate deeper, more nuanced insights that enrich the data narrative.
  • Confidence in the credibility of your interpretations and recommendations.


A polished data story should present a coherent and persuasive narrative, incorporating:

  • A succinct and distilled story resolution that conveys a key message.
  • A rigorously tested story resolution capable of guiding real decisions and actions.
  • A compelling structure that facilitates clear argumentation and understanding.

Creating a refined story demands analytical thinking skills to ensure clarity and engagement.

This stage offers several advantages, including:

  • The ability to pinpoint the specific message the data story aims to convey to its audience.
  • Confidence that the data story provides commercially viable and practical solutions.
  • The opportunity to direct the audience towards necessary decisions or actions, rather than overwhelming them with complex insights.


To craft a compelling data story that resonates, it’s essential to imbue the insight message with emotional depth, incorporating:

  • An empathetic understanding of the people involved in the data narrative.
  • A personalized approach that speaks directly to the hearts and minds of targeted audiences.
  • An engaging storytelling flow that captivates and involves the audience.

Creating a relatable story necessitates emotional intelligence to weave a narrative grounded in real-life experiences and enriched by human perspectives.

This approach offers several benefits, including:

  • Increased likelihood of capturing and resonating with the audience.
  • The opportunity to influence tangible results and significant outcomes.
  • Confidence in your ability to seamlessly integrate data, logic, and emotion into your storytelling.


To create a compelling data story that stands out and inspires action, it should incorporate:

  • A clear and accessible presentation that is easy for the audience to follow.
  • Various bite-sized micro-content pieces that cater to diverse audience needs.
  • A storytelling approach that is thought-provoking and encourages reflection and discussion.

Crafting a remarkable story requires creative thinking and a touch of flair to ensure it cuts through the noise and motivates action.

This approach offers several advantages:

  • Maintaining the attention of a distracted audience.
  • Generating increased interest in your data narrative.
  • Challenging existing norms and prompting new perspectives.

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