Hero: The Missing Piece In Your Data Story

A lot of the time, the data in your presentations is the only thing that makes it compelling. A study found that without a hero to root for, most audiences start feeling apathetic towards data after just 5 minutes. So what can you do? Read on in this article about how adding a compelling hero to your data presentation can make all the difference!

Why is a hero important?

The hero is the most important part of any data story. A compelling hero will help drive home the point of the story and make it more relatable to the reader. Without a hero, a data story can feel dry and uninteresting.

The most compelling data stories have a strong protagonist, or hero. This is the character that your audience can root for, and the one whose journey they follow. Without a hero, your data story will fall flat.

How to add a hero to your data story

So how do you add a hero to your data story? First, you need to understand who your audience is and what they want to see. What kind of person are they? What do they care about? Once you know this, you can start to craft a hero that your audience will identify with.

Your hero doesn't have to be perfect – in fact, it's often more relatable if it's not. It can be flawed, confused, and even make mistakes. But what matters is that the hero is trying to solve a problem or achieve a goal that your audience cares about.

Make sure your hero's journey is clear. What are they trying to achieve? What obstacles are in their way? How will they overcome them? As your audience follows along on this journey, they should feel like they're learning something new and gaining valuable insights.

Finally, don't forget to add a touch of humanity to your hero. They should be someone or something that your audience can empathize with and connect with. And they should have a reason to care about the hero's journey, whether it's because they're trying to solve a problem that your audience cares about, or they're struggling against obstacles that your audience knows and feels firsthand.

How to find the right hero for your data story

Your data story is only as good as the hero you give it. A compelling hero can make all the difference in whether or not your audience is engaged and invested in what you're saying.

Here are a few tips on finding the right hero for your data story:

1. Know your audience.

The first step to finding a compelling hero for your data story is understanding who your target audience is. What kind of person are they? What do they care about? What will resonate with them? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you zero in on the right personality for your data story.

2. Make it relatable.

Once you know who your audience is, you need to make sure that your hero is someone they can relate to. If your hero is too far removed from your audience's reality, they won't be able to connect with them and your story will fall flat.

3. Keep it consistent.

Once you've identified and introduced the hero, make sure that you stick to it. The audience will be able to remember and track story if the hero is consistent throughout.


Three common data story mistakes to avoid

It happens all too often. You spend hours, days, or even weeks poring over data, looking for that one key insight that will help your business achieve its goals. But when it comes time to present your findings, you realize there's one crucial element missing: a compelling hero.

Your data story may be chock-full of important information, but without a strong central character, it will fall flat. Here are three data story mistakes that will make your presentation fizzle without a hero to lead the way.

1. The data dump

This is the most common type of data story. It's simply a list of facts and figures, with no clear hero, purpose or direction. The goal is simply to provide information without any real narrative thread.

2. The uneventful day

This data story has no highs or lows; it just moves forward without any meaningful narrative arc at all -- just boring events and data points with no compelling context, impact or hero.

3. The never-ending story

This is a data story that drags on too long and eventually loses the audience's interest. There is no focus and hero to rallying around and root for.


No matter how great your data is, it won't mean anything without a compelling hero to drive the story. A good hero will make your data come alive and help your audience connect with it on a personal level. So if you're looking to add that extra spark to your data story, be sure to focus on creating a strong, relatable hero.

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