The value of storyboarding

I’ve been using the phrase “think it through” a lot in conversations with my manager recently.  All of us are working through business questions and some of these questions are more complex than they appear on the surface.  As an analyst, I need to set aside time to think through my work approach and also my work product approach.  How am I going to communicate the information I find in a way that’s easy for everyone else to understand?

 

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In the past year I’ve been sketching more and more and I’ve been reading more articles that seem to emphasize this low-tech approach to organizing your thoughts before starting to compile a work product.  Makes sense to me.

 

Here’s a slide deck from Mico Yuk from this year’s PASS Business Analytics Conference discussing storyboarding.

 

In all honesty, I’ve been looking for a “how-to” storyboard guide for my own use for a while now and haven’t found one.  In my quest to advance my skills I start with a measurement that I’ve been asked to communicate:  the headline.  Then I start asking myself questions about that measurement.  The kind of questions I would expect other people to be curious about — the kind of questions I’m curious about myself.  Then I conduct more analyses to get the answers and incorporate them in the same space, supporting the headline, using visual, easy-to-understand icons whenever possible.

 

Paper and pen is my best friend for sketching out the order in which the reader will see and digest information.

 

My journey toward data visualization enlightenment is still in progress, but with a little help from the experts and friends like you, I keep moving forward.  Please share your data viz success story with me if you would!

 

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Happy Labor Day

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by | September 7, 2015 · 8:08 am

Fundraising Advisor quiz from Abila

True confession: I’m one of those people who secretly take online quizzes.  Like what’s your hippie name?  Or which Mary Poppins character are you? OK, I totally made that last one up, but sometimes quizzes can be ridiculous.

 

Unless of course they’re about increasing your fundraising IQ.  I couldn’t resist this quiz from Abila!

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The best part is the great information they deliver right after you complete the survey.  Maybe some information you already knew, but reinforcement is a good thing.  Here’s a sample:

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Ouch!  The learning moment is for us to leverage all the data at our disposal for communications segmentation, personalized outbound touches and channel specific content (being mindful of constituent channel preferences).

 

Click on either of the images above to take the quiz yourself and get a set of advice that matches your results!

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September desktop calendar-wallpaper

A lovely wallpaper calendar for your desktop

from mindingmynest.com

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Case study – planned giving prospecting

Perusing the Prospect-DMM recently, I spotted an entry from Michael Pawlus of Grand Valley State University.  He generously shared his presentation slides from the APRA International conference in New Orleans.

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He steps you through a scenario of how to build a segmentation score for planned giving donors if you don’t have the resources or time to invest in extensive modeling.  His method encourages us to first look to our own intuition and check to see if our assumptions are true. What a great approach!

While it’s impossible to receive the full impact of Michael’s presentation just by reading his slides, his underlying messages are clear and easy to understand.  Click on the slide image to open the deck.

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Case study – Harvey Mudd College’s prospect scoring formula

Posted recently to the Prspct-L and LinkedIn, Harvey Mudd College has shared their formula for assigning scores to constituents that help with filtering and selection when attempting to narrow down a pool of candidates.

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Click the image above to read the full article.

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Blooming Tuesday

This year I planted an old childhood favorite so I could make one of those pretty cotton boll wreaths for my winter front door.  This is an ornamental variety of cotton.  The flowers, just like the agricultural type, resemble hibiscus.

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After they bloom, the fruit develops.  And hopefully (!) in another month we’ll be enjoying fresh fluffy white cotton.

 

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have a great week 🙂

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