27Build the Story: The PICA Protocol in Action

“Data visualization is powerful. Still, data storytelling is the thing driving decision-makers.”

—Monika Piekarska

Here's where you get to see the entire prescription in sequence so you can apply it to your own scenarios. I'll synthesize the PICA Protocol with the storytelling narrative arc from Act I and the slide design techniques from Act II.

You're also going to see the big picture of how each baby story arc unfolds and how each of them fit into the greater parent story arc. Since solving data challenges is like solving a mystery, we're going to don our gumshoe hats and get on these cases!

Case Example #1: The Conversion Rate Caper

Recall once more the marketing channel conversion example from the PICA Protocol chapters. This section explains how this case example could unfold in a real presentation, with each step explained.


The purpose of this data story is to answer the stakeholder question of what marketing channels drive the most conversions, or sales in this case. I'll use a horizontal bar chart to represent the marketing channels as categories and rank them descending by conversion volume.


What happened? Paid search generated the largest share of conversions, followed by organic search, email, display ads, and social media.

What surprised us? Nothing initially; it's common for paid search to be a high-volume contributor of conversions.

Why did it happen? Paid search is the channel where adjusting ...

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