Data, Storytelling or Both?
With more and more data being created every minute, information overload is a now a big thing for many of us. Instead of stories and exchanges, we are now busy creating and/or consuming more and more data.
Data and content are the new frontiers of digitalization. But there is massive attention deficit disorder when it comes to an average person’s ability to integrate all the information coming at us.
Between 2015 and 2025, it is estimated that we will have a 16-fold increase in data. In this reality, everyone is in the business of data. One of the world’s largest integrated energy and chemicals companies, Saudi’s Aramco, runs a 6,000 m² data center partnering with Google Cloud. And apparently, our world’s most valuable companies rely heavily on data for their continued success.
So, if there is so much data and content being created, someone must consume it? And somehow possibly make it intelligent?
Making Sense of the Increasing Noise?
Isn’t it interesting that more and more people are trusting the media less and less? Not only is trust in news media at an all time decline, but trust in social media is also on a downward spiral. We no longer truly know who to trust. It goes way beyond media as there is growing global distrust of institutions; from governments to corporations.
In a world where algorithms and aggregators feed us information, we don’t have access to a full picture of what’s going on. And the goal is to always have us consume more and more, which is why clickbait is so prominent. It’s a war for our attention and the battle lines are in place.
And to get our attention, information gets distilled into digestible bites that are memorable. The goal is to have content that is sharable so more people will like it and ultimately, the creator will have more influence and be able to sell more.
Data Storytelling is at the intersection of using data, narrative and visuals to tell a story. The intention is to condense insights into a powerful and memorable way that cuts through information overload. This is one way heralded as the path to winning the fierce competition for eyeballs (not our hearts) by catching our attention.
Data, Content and Us
But consider this. In our external world, information is increasing faster than our ability to consume it. But what if we took an abundance approach to the information available to us and used discernment in our consumption? What if the increasing complexity in the world, is our opportunity to make healthier decisions about what’s for us and what isn’t for us?
Businesses and corporations will continue to try to reach their audiences and consumers (us). But the real question is how do we each want to spend our lives? We also live in a time with a myriad of wonderful things to experience when we choose to put down our devices. We can have conversations, explore places or spend time on our own.
Being an endless consumer seems pointless and who wants to really be seen as someone’s audience?
But like anything in life, the effort we make is what matters. We can choose discernment and by doing so find what matters to us. There are so many places we can travel to during our lifetime but most of us pick a few that are meaningful or we’re curious about. Some of us even go to the same spot every year.
Becoming aware of the increasing speed of data and content helps us navigate this space. We can choose not to be overwhelmed and be discerning of who we trust and why we do. And isn’t it a beautiful thing when we fully trust ourselves?