Does Your Data Tell Stories?

I’m going to show my age here…remember the joke:

Question: What time does your watch say? Answer: It doesn’t say anything, I have to read it.

It’s like that with data too:

Question: What stories do your data tell? Answer: They don’t tell anything, I have to analyze and interpret the data to figure that out.

I’ve spent a large portion of my career digging into data, analyzing it, searching for patterns, outliers and exceptions. Why? To help the organizations I was working for to better understand what was driving their business forward, what was holding it back, where they were spending too much money, where they were making a lot of money, and even why their competition gained market share while they lost it.

It took hours and hours to plow through all the data available for analysis in order to be able to answer questions like “Why is printer ink sales down in Modesto?” or “Why do we sell more Adidas than Nike in Chicago?” Even much more complex questions like “How many seats do we need to fill on a Boeing 757 flight from Chicago to San Francisco to break even, and at what average price per seat?” can be answered with the right data. At one of my prior roles, I spent nearly 3 weeks of every month simply prepping the data from the previous month so that I could answer questions like those just mentioned. And then, during that 4th week of each month, I spent my time defending my findings and data analysis to management as I presented the facts about the business that went against their gut feelings.

Of course all this happened early in my career, long before I was a Salesforce user.

When I first started using Salesforce, I built reports and dashboards to see how many times customers called in with certain types of issues relating to their software. I was able to determine how often specific customers called in for support and what they needed help with. That still took time, but it was quicker than my pre-Salesforce days, and often still required some additional analysis and word-smithing before sharing with management.

So that’s better, but still rather time-consuming.

Enter Lexio, from Narrative Science.

Lexio automates analysis and gives you the story hidden in your Salesforce data in plain English, in real-time, and in a way that helps you understand and act on it.

Now that’s your data telling you something!

Narrative Science calls that Data Storytelling. Sounds simple enough, right? Ok, you try to explain just exactly what Data Storytelling is…go!

Listen to what the people who work at Narrative Science have to say in this video.

Want to learn more? Visit with Narrative Science at Dreamforce.

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