The Thing We Don’t Do Well. And Yes, I’m Feeling Sheepish About It.

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Let me start this week with an admission that, frankly, has me feeling a little sheepish.

We (Enolytics, that is) are not so good yet at telling stories.

At telling the stories of wine + data, I mean, which is something that I feel sheepish about because, as a writer, storytelling is what I do. Or at least it should be.

The thing is that telling stories with words is different than telling stories with images. Visualizations are what gives data its unique flavor and advantage when it comes to influencing decisions in one direction or another.

We need some more practice at this.

Because it isn’t typically a visual of data per se that gets any of us up out of our chairs and running down the hall to convince our boss to do something, or even to run to the store and buy a bottle of wine.

What gets us up out of our chairs is that irresistible flash of NOW I GET IT. That flash happens when one part of what we understand strikes with another part, like a match head dragged along a surface followed by that satisfying sizzle.

That’s what happened to me this week, when I attended the International Institute for Analytics conference in Portland, Oregon. I was there to talk about “uncorking analytics” and how the wine industry is moving toward data-driven decisions. But fortunately, and happily, I was also able to sit in on other presentations that were happening throughout the day.

One in particular was given by Brent Dykes of DOMO, on the subject of “Mastering the Art and Science of Storytelling.” My takeaway from Brent’s presentation, the one that got me up out of my seat so to speak, was this:

The data to find the right insight may not be the right data to tell the story.

We work hard to analyze and interpret the data in order to deliver the right insight that is meaningful and helpful to you. That’s the match head.

But there’s also the way that we light that match, which is the surface we drag it against that makes you say NOW I GET IT.

They’re two different things. The insight itself, and the story that brings the story to life. The match head, and the surface.

You help us to start with data from the wine world (and about the wine world), but the insight and the story are on us. I’m personally looking forward to doing more of this, more effectively.

Thank you for reading, and for joining us on this journey. We learn more, and try to do better, every day.

Cathy