AoF 46: How to add Data Storytelling to your small Data Team w/ Mary Ann Prunier

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Whatever you’re going through, I hope this podcast provides inspiration, education, and entertainment during these difficult times.

Today’s guest is one of our newest rockstars, Mary Ann Prunier, Director of Business Analytics and Contract Pricing at AliMed—a company that provides clinical supplies to hospitals. Mary Ann shares her journey from marketing, to being a nightmare superuser and now to heading up the company’s first Business Analytics team. Tune in as Mary Ann describes her transformation as she successfully weaves storytelling into her business analytics team and organization. Lots of golden nuggets in here!

[On Data Storytelling] “It’s more than the visualizations that you create. It is also what you write and what you say.” [15:36]


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3 Knowledge Bombs

  • Mary Ann on Storytelling: It’s not only about what you draw, but what you say and write.
  • Mary Ann on Communicating Data: Get across information to another person based on a set of facts, and make sure that they understand it.
  • Mary Ann on Sticking to Your Story: Don’t overload and overwhelm with information (analysis paralysis).

In this episode, you'll learn:

  • [09:10]  Mary Ann’s BI Master Class—Three fundamental storytelling lessons:
  • Lesson 1: How to weave storytelling into BI team and make it work.
  • Lesson 2: How to get business/staff on board with storytelling.
  • Lesson 3: How to use BI storytelling framework to be successful.
  • [13:13]  - Mary Ann’s Inspiration: How do you get into statistics as a career?
  • [15:33]  - What is storytelling?
  • [16:43]  - First Aha Moment: How to utilize PowerPivot, PowerMap, and PowerView to make interactive data exploration and visualization presentations.
  • [19:59]  - Super Creators and Users on Steroids: Coming from marketing, not IT perspective.
  • [20:53]  - Next step in storytelling: Power BI models and pivot table nirvana.
  • [25:53]  - Time for Change: How to train staff to use Power BI models—not necessary.
  • [28:13]  - Weave in storytelling by attending BI Data Storytelling Mastery Accelerator.
  • [33:16]  - Stick to your story, don’t overload and overwhelm with information.
  • [37:53]  - Skepticism: How to convince others in business to get on board.
  • [39:03]  - Pull vs. Push: Get started by practicing via an internal BI project.
  • [42:33]  - [42:33] When a story experiences some bumps and doesn’t go as planned.
  • [44:33]  Mary Ann’s Recommendations:
  • Find formal self-taught and expert-led online or in-person training.
  • Follow best practices and frameworks.
  • Don’t stay stagnate; always be learning to stay relevant.

“From an IT perspective, we were your typical nightmare users where we were diving into the data, we were creating all these reports in Excel.” [19:49]

Links and Resources mentioned in this episode:

  • Mary Ann recommends reading
  • Developer tools Mary Ann uses:
  • Mary Ann has taken these BI Brainz courses
  • Mary Ann likes these websites
  • Mary Ann Prunier works at AliMed
  • Download BI Brainz’s Free products

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  • Reviews on iTunes are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! We read each and every one of them!
  • Join the conversation by leaving a comment below!

BI Data Storytelling Online Live Accelerator​

3-Day 100% Virtual Workshops with Mico & team! Oct 20-22, 2020 | Feb 16-18, 2021 

Mico Yuk

Mico Yuk

As the Co-founder and CEO of BI Brainz, I've been in the Business Intelligence/Analytics industry since 2009. Trained 10K+ using our methodologies and frameworks! I love our amazing team and community! I share my passion for data to 20,000+ followers via the Analytics on Fire Podcast, our BI Brainz academy, blog, social media, global keynotes, training, and workshops. Our model is simple. We take what is successful for our customers and teach it! I'm a bonafide beach bum on days off!
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Real customers. Real stories. Real success.

Analytics on Fire is your BI masterclass. By learning from people like you, who have done extraordinary things, you will leave excited, inspired and with a plan. You’ll learn about business intelligence, analytics, design, data visualization, data storytelling, artificial intelligence, and much more. Tune in for the latest stories!


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