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Data Report Deep Dive: How to Leverage Data to Craft Compelling Stories

July 28, 2022

Many companies have their own consumer data or have the ability to research and find consumer data, that speaks to trends or market forecasts. If the data is compelling and interesting enough, your data has the potential to gain media interest and drive thoughtful brand awareness for your company. 

As your company gets more proactive with outreach to the media, you want to ensure you are leveraging your own data for opportunities to share and engage based on what results and insights you come across. Sharing and creating data reports has a plethora of benefits that can position your company as a knowledgeable, go-to resource for reporters. Analyze the data your company has and consider all of the angles you can find to help create a compelling story. 

When you go through your company’s day-to-day and regular data analysis cycles, there are areas to keep in mind in order to identify any data that you can potentially craft a story around. An internal roadblock many companies face is how to digest the consumer data they have and how to package it to be able to put it out in the market in an appealing way for people to understand the insights.

With this in mind, be aware of a few areas that tend to consistently appeal to the media: 

Surprising Data

When compiling data, there are instances when you’ll come across data that surprises you. If you notice any trends forming that are particularly interesting or defy expectations or existing narratives in the industry, that data has the potential to help craft a fascinating story for a reporter. In fact, according to Muck Rack’s 2021 State of Journalism report, 59% of journalists pointed to “exclusive and/or surprising data” as what makes a story more shareable. 

This engaging data makes for great stories that can deem a company credible when it comes to supplying accurate and intriguing data. It is important to remain vigilant to surprising data - it just might be the foundation of your next company news story.

Comparative Data Sets

Comparative data sets highlight the difference between two data sets. For instance, how third-party data is gathered vs. zero-party data, or how a typical walk looks pre- and post-knee surgery. Look at your company’s comparative data sets and see if the data provides insights that are relevant and can help create a narrative between the two data sets. 

For example, TELUS International conducted a survey to find out what each generation finds important when it comes to customer experiences. The results showed that 79% of Gen Z have bought a product from a social ad, compared to only 48% of Baby Boomers. This statistic compares what one generation looks for in terms of a successful customer experience compared to another. In reference to this example, the statistic indicates that Gen Z would be more inclined to purchase a product through social media versus Baby Boomers. The Baby Boomer generation didn’t grow up with social media, so a different advertising approach would provide this generation with a more appealing customer experience.

Seasonal Trends & Predictions

Any data that ties to seasonal trends can be valuable to reporters. For instance, data on falls during fall risk awareness month, Black Friday holiday shopping predictions, or back-to-school predictions resonate best during certain times of the year. Any data that comes from events at set times of the year is helpful for reporters not only to compare the data from previous years but also to compare how consumers' behaviors and attitudes change at that respective time every year.

Predict the data that will gain media interest based on timely events and if it proves to be of interest, consider gathering that data annually and position your company as the go-to source for trends and prediction data. Many publications often publish “round-ups” of trends and predictions at the end of the year. For instance, Street Fight Magazine annually puts out a holiday prediction article forecasting consumers’ behavior towards holiday shopping. 

Many industry publications also publish annual “round-ups” at the end of each year to predict what trends will occur in the industry throughout the following year. Audiences rely on this information to plan their business and marketing efforts for the next year.

Recurring Data

Recurring data sets help identify trends and highlight how things are changing for large populations. For example, in a recent eMarketer report on consumers’ demands for personalized experiences from brands, 62% of consumers stated that they expect personalization and will not do business with a brand that doesn’t offer personalized experiences. 

This statistic is a 45% increase since 2021, indicating that personalized experiences are more of a necessity for superior customer experience compared to the previous year. It is the same data point over two periods of time, demonstrating change over time. The comparison also helps companies identify trends that can improve a company’s business and marketing practices.

Recurring data sets also help to identify trends or any irregularities that may need further investigation. If your company expects to gather the same data each year, you may have the opportunity to put out a report each year with updated data. In doing so, you are providing steady awareness of the subject matter and reporters will come to rely on it. Additionally, it helps build relationships with reporters as they will look out for your annual data report, positioning your company as a thought leader in your respective industry.

Seek External Help & Reap the Rewards

Not only do data reports provide valuable insights that can be used to develop trend or prediction stories, but they can also help your company internally with insights that can help improve business decision-making. 

If your company doesn’t have its own internal consumer data, consider seeking an external partner to conduct research with. If a company has the funds to do so, an external data partner can put a survey out into the market to capture compelling consumer insights. If you go out and do the research with a thoughtful approach to both benefiting your business and the media, then when you implement your survey, questionnaires or other research methods it will drive a double boon for your business. 

Crafting stories or finding ways to package consumer data is a big struggle for companies. Not only is it a massive undertaking, but it takes motivation to keep the research process moving. Sometimes, a fresh set of external eyes can help pull out compelling angles or insights from your data to craft a thoughtful story that will resonate with audiences. 

If you’re interested in finding a partner who can help you craft your data into an enthralling story, reach out to us today! With a little bit of insight and perspective, your company has the potential to drive brand awareness and increase your thought leadership share of voice within your industry.