Storytelling is an essential skill for data analysts because it allows them to communicate the insights they derive from data to their audience effectively. While data analysis provides valuable insights into trends, patterns, and relationships in data, it can be difficult for non-technical stakeholders to understand these findings without context or a compelling narrative.


Hans Rosling, a distinguished Swedish statistician, physician, and public speaker, is widely recognized as a leading exponent of storytelling with data. He had a remarkable gift for communicating intricate data in a compelling and understandable manner. One of the most famous demonstrations of his storytelling skills is evident in his “200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes” videos, which showcase his ability to:

  1. Passion and enthusiasm: Rosling was passionate about his work and had an infectious enthusiasm that captivated his audience. His love for data and statistics was evident in his presentation, making it easier for his listeners to engage with the information he was sharing.
  2. Use of visuals: Rosling’s presentations were visually rich, with graphs, charts, and maps that made it easier for his audience to understand complex data. He used animated graphics to show trends and changes over time, making the data come alive.
  3. Humor: Rosling had a great sense of humor, and he used it effectively to keep his audience engaged. He used funny anecdotes and jokes to lighten the mood and make his presentations more enjoyable.
  4. Storytelling: Rosling was an excellent storyteller who used narratives to connect with his audience. He shared stories about his experiences in different countries, which helped to humanize the data and make it more relatable.
  5. Clarity and simplicity: Rosling had a talent for simplifying complex data and presenting it in a clear and concise manner. He avoided technical jargon and used plain language, making it easier for his audience to understand the information he was sharing.

Overall, Hans Rosling’s storytelling skills were a combination of passion, enthusiasm, visuals, humor, storytelling, clarity, and simplicity, which made his presentations compelling, informative, and enjoyable.

The Data School
Author: The Data School