Why Visual Storyboarding is the Future of Useful and Intelligent Analytics

Bridging the gap between BI and Data Science

Could Visual Storyboarding bridge the gap between business intelligence and data science?  We sure think so.

As the keynote speaker at the Microsoft PASS BAC 2015 conference, this was the topic of my presentation.  Starting out in the data science field (literally doing hardcore SAS IBM mainframe stuff), it’s quite fascinating to watch data science become such a critical evolution of analytics.  Without it, Internet of Things has little value.

I’m very open in my keynotes about how hard it was for me to transition mentally from being a Sr. Research Analyst, using SAS to report college football stats to Forbes, to using Excel sheets.

I regurgitated every time I witnessed how easy it was for analysts in Fortune 500 companies to ‘manufacture’ numbers and then allow an unknowing CFO to bank the company’s future on them. I quickly got labeled ‘a troublemaker’ for asking too many ‘detailed’ questions like “Can you prove those number? What is the causation? Did you check to see if they have any real correlation?”.

Let’s just say, I eventually found my home with data visualization.

Using pictures to communicate was the only way to get the business and IT folks on the same page.

Because of this, I am under the notion that data visualization in any form can be the common language between business users, techies, and data scientists.  It is disheartening to see the wide gap that exist between business intelligence professionals and data scientists today.  IT teams continue to lose value due to their lack of data understanding, while the average data scientist with a Ph.D. while brilliant, usually lacks any industry experience.

While the focus of my keynote was on how to use one particular type of data visualization, namely ‘visual storyboards’, you should take baby steps.

In one of our podcast interviews with famed author of the ‘Functional Art’, Alberto Cairo recommends the following beginner first steps for newbies:

He also provides some great insights into the struggle that both techies, data scientists and journalists have when expressing data, and how to overcome it.   Be sure to Subscribe below to be first to learn when the podcast goes live!

I’d like to hear from you.  Do you feel this notion of using visual storytelling to bring business and data science together is correct?



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Meet Mico Yuk

As the founder and CEO of BI Brainz, Mico has been in the Business Intelligence industry for 8 years. Besides leading a team of some of the most brilliant minds in the industry, she continues to share her passion for Analytics through the BI Brainz Academy, blogs, social media and global keynotes and trainings. In her time off, she enjoys being a beach bum and buying red bottom shoes.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Broddy1209

    Great Post, interesting read

  • Ryan Goodman

    Story boards are critical because it forces businesses to think before developing.

  • Broddy1209

    Important stuff

  • hafiz

    Great slides covering BI, data scientist and such. Im beginning to embark on big data journey myself and figuring how to relate with current business offerings

  • Mico Yuk

    Thanks. Yes, the big data world has so much going on right now. I find there is alot of fluff though and repetition. We try to focus on sources that truly add value.

  • Mico Yuk

    Thanks Soo!

  • Mico Yuk

    I agree.