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University System of Maryland

Storytelling and Persuading using Data and Digital Technologies

University System of Maryland via edX


Decisions made by humans are rarely made by data alone. Human decision-makers have cognitive biases, are affected by emotions, and make conceptual leaps beyond what the data may suggest. The best way to educate and persuade decision-makers is through stories. Stories built by good data analysis.

In this course, you will learn how to create stories based on data - data storytelling - by using the ABT (“And, But, Then”) Narrative Framework. We will start by using powerful data science techniques to explore and refine your data. We shape a compelling narrative out of the data findings using brain-friendly storytelling techniques.

Once you have your stories, you will learn to create insightful data visualizations and build a persuasive presentation for business professionals - both in-person or online.

The final week of the course deals with Customer Training. Customers want the latest and greatest digital products full of features. But customers don't want to spend too much time learning those features. Customer training helps the digital organization be more strategic by assisting the customer in engaging more with the product.

Using data storytelling skills, you will craft stories to help customers understand how your organization’s products and services will make their lives better. You will learn how to use the data analytics and machine learning in your digital organization to create effective customer training, so your products and services get the traction you need for digital transformation success.


Week One - Storytelling with Data

  • Module One - The Basics of Storytelling
  • Module Two - Compelling Storytelling with the ABT Framework
  • Module Three - Selecting the Right Data
  • Module Four - Creating a Story from Data
  • Module Five - Thinking in Data Stories

Week Two - Building Good Data Presentations

  • Module One - The Rules of Good Presentations
  • Module Two - Brain-Friendly Presentation Design
  • Module Three - Creating Good Data Visualizations
  • Module Four - Beyond Bullet-Points Presentation Planning and Delivery
  • Module Five - Compelling Online Presentations

Week Three - Persuading with Data

  • Module One - What Persuades People?
  • Module Two - Presence, Logic, and Emotions in Persuasion
  • Module Three - The Perfect Pitch Tool for Persuasion
  • Module Four - Recovering from a Bad Proposal
  • Module Five - Helping the Decision Maker Persuade Themselves

Week Four - Customer Training

  • Module One - Why Organizations Need to Train Their Customers
  • Module Two - Creating the Customer Training Program
  • Module Three - Training Customers with Data Analytics Products
  • Module Four - Engaging Customers with Data Analysis
  • Module Five - Training Customers with Data Stories

Taught by

Bill Brantley


4.0 rating, based on 3 Class Central reviews

4.2 rating at edX based on 5 ratings

Start your review of Storytelling and Persuading using Data and Digital Technologies

  • I'm very much interested in storytelling and how to create impact by storytelling. I learned a lot from this course from basics, frameworks, practical tips on building good presentations and power of persuasion through storytelling and data.
  • Anonymous
    The videos are compelling and the first three weeks are enjoyable. The written text was just the video transcription, zero added value. Moreover, the weekly quizzes are useless, not challenging at all. The kind of questions aim for repetition, the quiz designer should take the week four of this course. The final questions are just some of the weekly quizzes questions, even badly stated. I easily had all the questions right, but if I had known, I wouldn´t had paid for the quiz. My recommendation is that, if you are interested in upgrading your storytelling skills, you watch the videos for free.
  • Anonymous
    very useful and practical tips gained. the course has great documentation to refer to, videos, articles, test. interesting knowledge acquired. i am happy about the course, so that i will search another one.

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