Skip to main content
Writing data stories

Generate relatable, easy-to-understand narratives from data

Jennifer Funk avatar
Written by Jennifer Funk
Updated over a week ago

Sidekick can help you generate relatable, easy-to-understand narratives from complex data visualizations and analyses. By prompting Sidekick with your data exploration goals, it can create outlines, summaries, presentation drafts, and more - all written in plain language while accurately representing the underlying data.

Sidekick Beta helps users tell engaging stories with data, focusing on insights and trends that matter most to their audience. Use it to help you create narratives that you can copy and paste into your Reports and Dashboards.

When to use this capability

When you need to communicate insights from data to diverse audiences like community members, policymakers, and/or colleagues.

Example use cases include:

  • Distilling key takeaways from retrieved data or maps into concise summaries

  • Creating narrative outlines or drafts to frame data-driven presentations or reports

  • Putting data findings into context through the use of examples and comparisons

  • Developing simple data stories that make the data more accessible and memorable

Example questions and responses

User Query

We want to highlight the connection between air quality and health outcomes in our community using data. Can you suggest a compelling narrative structure and relevant datasets that would help bring this problem to life for community members?

User Query

Can you summarize the key insights from this map (average download speeds for counties in KS) from the perspective of the digital divide?

Advice for effective prompting

To get the most useful and relevant data stories from Sidekick:

  • Start with clear data insights. To tell a compelling data-driven story, you need a map and/or clear insights. Use Sidekick Beta to analyze data sets and identify key observations or trends. You could start with a prompt like:

    • "Summarize key insights from this map on [topic]."

    • "Review and analyze this data closely, then present 3 to 5 interesting observations, insights, or trends related to [your area of interest]."

  • Personalize the story to your target audience. Tailor your story to the interests and knowledge level of your target audience, whether they are policymakers, business leaders, or the general public. For example:

    • "Write a short description of the data in the map, as well as key takeaways for policymakers about the impact of recent housing policies."

  • Describe the type of narrative aide you're working on (e.g. outline, summary, full draft), which will help ensure the format works for your needs.

  • Refine the narrative. Review the draft provided by Sidekick. Ensure that the story flows logically and that the data supports your main points effectively. You can iteratively refine the narrative by asking Sidekick to rephrase or expand on certain sections.

  • Visual support. If you're not already working from a visualization, enhance the story with visuals. Ask Sidekick to create charts, graphs, or maps that illustrate your points clearly. For instance:

    • "Create a pie chart showing the percentage of households without internet access by neighborhood in Seattle, WA."

  • Final touches and sharing. Add your final touches, such as an introduction and conclusion, to frame your story. Once complete, use Sidekick Beta's sharing features to distribute your story to your intended audience or publish it directly from the platform. (Note: At this time, you will need to copy and paste text or upload visuals to your Reports and Dashboards. However, soon you will be able to export these assets directly.)

Did this answer your question?