Event Diary: Eskwelabs Data Storytelling Workshop
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Event Diary: Eskwelabs Data Storytelling Workshop

We share details about the Eskwelabs team’s most recent in-person workshop at the 2022 International Design Conference. We also talk about the four elements of data storytelling.

International Design Conference of the Philippines 2022

Eskwelabs team went on a roadtrip to the University of the Philippines - BGC last October 14, 2022 for the 2022 International Design Conference Philippines. Riz Supreme Comia, our Junior Learning Experience Designer, led a workshop titled, “Data Analytics and Storytelling for Designers.”  

Facilitator Riz equipped over 20 learners with skills in data storytelling, generating insights and recommendations from visualizations, and working with a team to produce a data report. But beyond developing these technical abilities, Riz also designed the workshop so that the participants would have transformed mindsets. 

Featuring Riz Supreme Comia, our Junior Learning Experience Designer

We wanted them to firmly believe that:

  • Data can be and is used in their work.
  • Data is not intimidating after all.
  • Knowledge and skills involving data should be spread in their organization and communities.

Great care and thought was put into this workshop—after all, it’s been years since the March 2020 lockdowns. Meeting our learners in person meant so much to us. We want them to see that the learning experience with Eskwelabs—especially in person—is great and hopefully they’re encouraged to learn with us again or partner with us in the future

Teammates Francine Tan, Julia Las, Louie Cartagena, Kim Gamboa, and Chel Esmasin served as mentors to support the workshop participants. Also, a big shoutout to our Operations team Meg Ruiz and Kiana Carlos for making sure everything ran smoothly and efficiently!

Data Storytelling 101

What is data storytelling?

This is the skill of artfully communicating insights through vivid data-driven stories. A master data storyteller is capable of both informing and compelling their audience to take specific action. 

Some people may ask, how is data visualization different from data storytelling? You can think of visualizations (as in charts or graphs) as one of the elements of data storytelling. Speaking of data storytelling elements, there are four main ones.

What are the four elements of data storytelling?


The most basic data that you can begin collecting about your audience are demographics and psychographics. 

The items below are just the basics, but there are more you can find out about your audience:

  • Demographics - Age, sex & gender, birthplace, educational background
  • Psychographics - Motivations, fears and frustrations, dreams in life

When it comes to this element, we want to know the profile of our audience: Who are they? We want to dig deeper and understand what this information says about them. Our “Audience” is a key element in data storytelling because they are the ones with whom you are communicating. Be diligent with your research, be mindful of your language, and be intentional with your delivery.


Onto the source! The main meat! Without data, there is nothing to turn into a visualization. Without data, our story would have no basis or evidence. Because data is such a central element, we must ensure it is reliable and ethical.

How do we proceed as ethical and reliable data storytellers?

  • Knowing the source of your data
  • Knowing how your data was collected and/or cleaned
  • Being transparent about what data is being shown in your story and what data visualizations could be represented in your presentation’s appendix


An effective visualization gets the intended message across by being clear and visually appealing. Each visualization must form cohesive parts of a well-organized and good flowing story.

For visualizations, often the simpler, the better. These are the 3 simple charts:

  • Bar chart - Best used for making comparisons
  • Line chart - Best used for showing trends or the results over time
  • Pie chart - Best used for seeing the whole


This element is where data, visualization, and audience all come together. What message is it that you are trying to convey? How do you want your audience to feel? And when you do finish your storytelling presentation to them, how will they actually feel? 

We can take inspiration from the greats like Pixar. Every story has a beginning or a build-up. It rises to a conflict, a point of no return where any decision made in this moment changes the course of the ending. Then it closes with the finale, the resolution. What is your audience’s takeaway from your story? Will they be able to act on your data-driven recommendations?

Data Storytelling in your personal life

Data is personal. That is why the stories that we can tell are also personal. Below are 3 quirky but possible applications of data storytelling. We can take the applications below and dedicate blog posts for each!

Interesting applications:

  • Convincing your overprotective parents to let you solo travel
  • Presenting a new initiative to your community
  • Romancing your future significant other

Data Storytelling in your professional life

We generate data in our personal and professional lives. There are countless stories in the workplace, in all industries. Again, we can also take the applications below and dedicate blog posts for each one. This means you’ve sneaked a peek at 6 future blog posts. Woohoo!

Interesting applications:

  • Writing a progress, transparency, or stewardship report for the year
  • Attracting talent at a job fair
  • Pitching a project with a potential partner

Book recommendations if you’re interested in Data storytelling

📖 You're Not Listening: What You're Missing and Why It Matters by Kate Murphy 📖

  • Why we encourage you to read this: Stories hit harder when you’re a great listener. This is a foundational skill to develop as a data storyteller.

📖 Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance by Erica Dhawan 📖

  • Why we encourage you to read this: In this pandemic and post-pandemic world, it’s highly likely that you’ll do your data presentations via Zoom or Google Meets. Developing the skill of also deciphering people’s digital body language is crucial.

📖 Social Chemistry: Decoding the Elements of Human Connection by Marissa King 📖

  • Why we encourage you to read this: Connection is key. Reading this can help you better connect with your audience that you are researching on or are presenting to.

Upskill with Eskwelabs

If this is your first time reading about the Data Analytics Bootcamp, get started by learning more about it here.