Stories are powerful things. We've used them throughout history to capture attention, convey ideas, fire the imagination, and stir the soul. A well-told story can also give life to data.
On the surface, storytelling appears to be the opposite of analytics: anecdotal instead of quantitative. But quantities aren't the only way, or even necessarily the ideal way to convey information. We know that not everyone is a quant who thinks natively in numbers. Some think in pictures, thus the popularity of data visualization. Still others — a vast portion of business people — would rather not think about data at all, preferring to hear its meaning in anecdotes, metaphors, and examples.
Storytellers reach the quants and the non-quants, too. They don't dismiss the value of the quants—quantification is the foundation. In fact, storytellers amplify quantification by rendering data and the events it reflects with visuals, words, or other media. With that, they communicate the what, when, where, who, and why of business past, present, and future more persuasively than could be done with data alone.