Lessons learnt from the launch of Stories

Lessons learnt from the launch of Stories

With the release of Yellowfin 8, we launched our new Stories feature. It was supposed to solve a cutting and pasting issue, but we discovered it solved a problem far bigger than we knew existed.   Stories allows business users to tell compelling narratives with data directly from within Yellowfin. This means that you don’t need to copy and paste information from dashboards into Word or PowerPoint to make a business case. We’ve not only eliminated this clunky workflow, but have also solved a far more complex problem - we’ve helped make data actionable for business users.

You can see business users' eyes widen in overwhelm when presented with BI tools

If you’re not a numerical person, BI and analytical products can be quite intimidating, complex, and overwhelming to use. This intimidation is a factor that often stops business users from using data to make decisions. As Stories is a very simple product (as simple as creating a LinkedIn article), it allows you to engage with data easily and create a compelling narrative.

Great data stories grab your attention, pull you in, and influence your actions

This data narrative can be incredibly powerful. Being a data person, I’ve always been comfortable looking at and interpreting numbers, but through Stories I’ve learned that the data isn’t always as important as the story. It makes sense when you think about how people interact within businesses. If you want to influence outcomes in an organization, you have to be a great storyteller. You can’t just show someone a chart or budget and expect them to take action. You have to tell people a story with the data that compels them to take action. The Stories feature now gives you a mechanism to create a narrative, augment it with data, and share insights about your business. Because the platform isn’t intimidating, we’ve found that a wider set of business users are willing to interact with it. People who were occasional consumers of reports and dashboards are now suddenly using Yellowfin to write stories. Natural storytellers in each function and department are now coming to the fore, and it’s not necessarily the people we expected.

We don't need more data literacy

As a result of the Stories rollout, we’re now seeing adoption of Yellowfin in organizations growing three-fold. People who never felt the need to log into Yellowfin now want to read stories. Stories draws people in and compels them to talk about data. While companies like Qlik believe people need to become more data literate, we’ve learnt that data literacy is actually not the problem. A great data story doesn’t require data literacy because the storyteller will explain what’s going on and use data to support their argument. The problem wasn’t data literacy, it was that people didn’t have the ability to shape a narrative using their data. Stories gives business users a better way to consume and engage with data. They now have the ability to create a narrative to support their argument with data and a mechanism to influence outcomes in their organization in a compelling way. This has resulted in higher adoption rates of our platform, more transparency, and improved communication within the organization.

Find out more about Stories

Did you know that you can even embed data visualisations from other BI solutions beside Yellowfin to tell your data story?