Today, the volume of raw data collected by healthcare organizations can be overwhelming. The urgent challenge for healthcare strategists, then, is to figure out ways to make sense of all this information. But how?
I offer a powerful solution to this problem in my article recently published in Spectrum, a publication of SHSMD (Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development). I point out that data—even “big data”—means nothing out of context. It needs to be visualized to have real value. And for this to happen, it needs a story.
As you may know, I'm a corporate anthropologist. And when I work with organizations, in healthcare as well as in other industries, I apply a variety of concepts, methods and tools to help them transform their data into a compelling “story,” or messaging, to communicate logical solutions and strategies that leaders and their teams can act upon.
What kind of story?, you might be wondering. More than just graphs or dashboards, I'm talking about a story that makes the data come alive in the minds of those you want to influence. It really is true: a powerful narrative can change or affirm an organization’s strategy and inspire actions.
Studies show that stories are the most effective way to make data understandable
As I convey in my article, charts and graphs might make us feel smart but it is only when we read or listen to stories, and share them, that we truly understand the practical and psychological needs of consumers. Stories work through the integration of the senses—sound, texture, color, sensation and emotion—to give us deeper insights into people’s needs. And it is these deeper insights that lead to more effective strategies, innovations and achievable goals.
What is your data trying to tell you?
The power of data to enhance human understanding of a situation while grounding an organization in the meaning of the facts can dramatically change the way it approaches problems and seeks solutions. What's your data telling you? Can you hear it?
4 ways to learn more about data visualization
3) We work with organizations of all sizes across all industries on innovation and change, helping them interpret and use their data to realign their business models for measurable and lasting growth. For a free consultation on how we might be of help to your organization, please contact us. We'd love to hear from you!
4) Read my book, “On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights,” where I talk extensively about corporate anthropology, innovation and culture change. Order your copy from Amazon today!
From Observation to Innovation
Corporate Anthropologist | President
Simon Associates Management Consultants