How to Talk about Data: Build your data fluency

Total pages
June 2022

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How to Talk about Data: Build your data fluency


Data literacy is one of the key skills that companies are looking for but it’s a specialist skill – currently. This book is your comprehensive guide to becoming data literate: understand data analytics, how to use data insights effectively in your organisation, and how to talk about data with experts and non-experts confidently.

Table of Contents

PART I: The Manager as Data User: Making Sense of Data

1. Overcoming Analytics Anxiety

2. Making sense of statistics: Achieving a global view of data

3. Predicting outcomes: Modelling the world with data

4. Understanding relationships: Probing for the when, how, and why

5. Differences that make a difference: How to segment the world statistically (and what machine learning looks like)

PART II: The Manager as Data Facilitator: Conveying Data-based Insights

6. The Five Magic Ingredients of Data Storytelling

7. The Data Storytelling Canvas

8. How to visually DESIGN your Data: A Manager’s Chart Guide

9. How to Work with Software in front of others

10. Effective Analytics Q & A Sessions

PART III: The Manager as Collaboration Partner: Making Analytics Work

11. A Typology of common cooperation challenges in Analytics

12. A Recipe for Better Analytics Collaboration

Conclusion: Future proof Analytics

Back Cover

Data literacy or data fluency is a key skill for the future. If you’re data illiterate, you might:

  • shy away from anything to do with data
  • feel uncomfortable talking to data analysts
  • be unable to critically question data-based findings
  • have anxiety when writing a report or giving a presentation involving data
  • More importantly, a lack of data literacy can impact your work and organisation, leading to misunderstandings, poor decision making, and ineffective strategy.

    How to Talk about Data will demystify data analytics, so you understand how data works, how to analyse data, and how to interpret results. With a visual and practical approach, you’ll discover The Five Magic Ingredients of Data Storytelling and The Data Storytelling Canvas so you’ll build your data skills and knowledge, and feel more confident in discussing data and presenting information with others. 


    Martin J. Eppler, PhD, is a chaired professor of communications management at St. Gallen University, one of Europe's top 10 business schools, where he is the director of a global MBA program. He is the author of 22 books, including the getabstract international business book of the year winner 'Meet up!' (Cambridge University Press). He is a 10 times 'MBA course of the year' winner and received numerous best paper awards for his research on communication issues in management. His research has been featured in The Guardian, Businessweek, the Harvard Business Review, Inc. magazine, the MIT Technology Review. He is an advisor to organizations such as the European Central Bank, the United Nations, IATA, Tawuniya, Porsche, Swiss Re, or Nike. He has been a guest professor at Georgiatech in the US, Cambridge University in the UK, Simon Fraser University in Canada, Aalto University in Finland, and CUFE in China, as well as Pacifico in Peru. For the last 15 years, he has been editor of Europe's largest and longest running change management journal ZOE (part of Handelsblatt).

    Fabienne Bünzli, PhD, is a lecturer and project manager at the University of St. Gallen where she conducts research on persuasive communication . Her research has been published journals such as the Journal of Nonprofit Management & Leadership, Journalism, or the Journal of Philanthropy and Marketing. Her work has been recognized with the Best Paper Award of the Swiss Association of Communication and Media Research in 2018. Prior to her academic career, she has worked as a public relations and communications specialist.