The Importance of Storytelling in Business Intelligence

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Abstract. This paper examines the relevance and importance of storytelling to business intelligence. Business intelligence provides analytics to inform a decision-making process. However, there are often times issues with understanding the analytics presented and contextualizing the analytics to the overall decision-making process. This paper examines these issues and then assesses the value of storytelling in conveying BI findings. The SOAP protocol used for physician/patient clinical encounters is presented to illustrate the benefit of providing structure to a decision-making process. The importance of structure to storytelling is then further examined and shown to help facilitate the communication of data insights. Media richness is also examined to reveal the impact that it has on BI storytelling, helping to explain why visualizations have become so important to BI. An example of BI storytelling with a high level of media richness is then presented. The paper concludes that storytelling is inextricably linked to BI success.

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