Stories. Storytelling. A narrative. Context. A collective understanding of events. These are the things that really make data relevant and why we want and should study, analyze and interpret it.
I attended several sessions on Monday at SXSW in Austin that again talked about data and what to do with it. And it all comes back to the stories that we can tell with the data and that being the true value of the data, not the data itself. And while crunching the data might be done by a machine, the story has to come from a human. One presenter aptly said:
GEEK + STORYTELLER
RELEVANT DATA ANALYSIS
It is really as simple as that. We might be on a quest for the perfect measurement dashboard (which is still desperately needed), but how we tell the story with the data that is displayed is what is going to really matter, whether that is visually through information infographics (interactive or not) or through words. It is all about the story.