"Choose Your Own Adventure" Data Stories

Before the days of iPads, smart phones, gaming systems, and on-demand TV, children read to keep themselves entertained. I know what you're thinking -- "What?! How could that be possible? Kids hate reading!" False! When I was growing up in the 80’s and early 90’s, one of my favorite modes of entertainment was reading, and I especially loved the “choose your own adventure" genre. I can remember reading with a flashlight under the covers eagerly awaiting the next page to choose what happened to the main character. Even though I was choosing from a set number of options, I still felt in control of the adventure. At Juice, we see multiple parallels with “choose your own adventure” stories and data storytelling.

One of the main challenges when it comes to data storytelling is being able to get both analytical and non-analytical users on the same page. Data always tells a story, and we want to enable people to communicate the story to their audience and ultimately deliver something of value, regardless of their level of data fluency. This means giving users a common language in which to communicate and a platform to do so.

Some data stories are simple: they have a few metrics and a number of ways you can slice and dice the data. But what if a user wants to aggregate different sets of data and find trends, commonality, and meaning? This is one of the challenges we have taken on in Blueprint, and the starting point for finding such commonality is deciding on a root unit of measure. For Blueprint that is the employee of a hospital or health system. In our conversations with these organizations, we have discovered that leadership wants to see their employees under many different lenses (such as hiring, turnover, tenure, engagement, compensation etc.). The problem is that each of those lenses is a different data set. With Blueprint we have created an aggregator for those disparate data sets to live. By filtering the data down to an organization, department, or supervisor, we can allow a leader to “choose their own adventure” and find the story in the data that is most important to them. This allows them to see more clearly into their organization and make smart, thoughtful, data-driven decisions.

Blueprint may be the first of its kind, as demonstrated by its use of shorter modules/stacks that allow the user to make his or her selection and then carry it onto the next module, but we know it won't be the last. We're truly excited about what this “choose your own adventure” type of navigating means not only for the future of our products, but for the industry as a whole. And now the choice is up to you -- what will be the next step of your data storytelling adventure?