Data Storytelling That Really Works

Over the past year or two, there has been a huge buzz around data storytelling.

Like so many other buzzwords associated with analytics, people get caught up in the hype and think they have finally found the magic solution to putting their big data to work.

I have attended dozens of conferences and have frankly been underwhelmed by most of those out there talking about data storytelling like its rocket science that costs a lot to deliver.

I have also heard direct feedback from a number of companies who have privately complained that the high priced, high tech data storytelling trainings on the market do not meet their needs.

So, in response to these facts I have come up with my own training on data storytelling. Specifically tailored for the Filipino professional and full of hands on exercises that can be practically applied.

Dan Meyer Quotes 2

This two-day workshop is currently only being offered as an in-house training. Please contact us through to learn how to book us for Data Storytelling That Really Works.

SECTION ONE – Preparing Big Data for Storytelling

Successful storytelling starts with having clean, accessible and organized data. We will start with an overview of tips for good data governance.

SECTION TWO – Knowing Your KPIs

You have to narrow down your data elements into the ones most key to your business. We will conduct an exercise to help us boil down all the data we have into just the 2-3 key points we need for our story.

SECTION THREE – Storyboard Your Data Story

Before we get into designing any visuals, we need to think of about the flow of our story from end to end. Tale part in a classic storyboarding exercise just like they do at Disney.

SECTION FOUR – Using Business Intelligence Tools for Storytelling

There are many tools out there that we can use to facilitate storytelling. We will optimize the BI tools you have in house as well as free online tools to get the best bang for your buck.

SECTION FIVE – The Key Elements of Data Visualization

Most people just through together a bunch of charts and graphs. That rarely works well. Master the various types of data visuals so you always use the best visual to explain your data

SECTION SIX – Business Dashboards for Storytelling

At the core of your data story needs to be a venue for your audience to play with the data themselves. Learn how to design impactful dashboards and build a business dashboard prototype

SECTION SEVEN – Building the Narrative

For most analysts and data scientists, the hardest part is what to do with your data and analyze once you have it. Let me show you how to craft your data into a narrative that will truly influence your audience.

SECTION EIGHT – Delivering Impactful Data Stories

Now its time to bring it all together. Apply the key elements of data storytelling to make more compelling analysis and reporting.


Dan Meyer heads Sonic Analytics, an analytics advocacy with offices in Manila and the San Francisco Bay Area. With over 20 years in Big Data, Dan is one of the most sought-after public speakers in Asia and has recently begun offering public training seminars in the United States.

Sonic Analytics( brings big data analytics solutions like business intelligence, business dashboards and data storytelling to small and medium sized organizations looking to enhance their data-driven decision-making capabilities. We also advocate the use of analytics for civic responsibility through training, consulting and education.

As citizens of this great democracy, we need to look at the data (analytics), plan a course of action (strategy) and share our data-driven viewpoints (presentation). This approach to a data savvy work force starts in school. So, we started an internship program to empower our youth to use Analytics, plan Strategy and Present their insights… ASP!

When not training current and future analysts, you can find Dan championing the use of analytics to empower data-driven citizenship. His latest causes include supporting a 3rd Party initiative called the Service America Movement — SAM (, a non-profit providing legal assistance for immigrants  known as RAICES and  ( and Immigrant Families Together – an effort to unite immigrant families (

Looking Ahead To The Most Awesome Analytics Year Ever

A little over 5 years ago my Analytics Story begun.

The first year was all about validating my business plan of being an analytics resource to Filipino schools, companies and to a large number of Filipinos themselves.

The 2nd year was taking the concept, basic analytics training, and getting it in front of a variety of audiences to see what where the biggest needs in the marketplace.

Year Three saw us start focusing on the things that gave me both profit and satisfaction. Trainings for groups of professionals who were hungry to get more analytics into their businesses.

By the 4th year my priorities evolved to firming up the foundation of the business to ensure smooth operations so that I could focus more on what I do best; empowering analysts to use data to drive decision-making.

Last year saw it all come together. Year 5 was all about building a network to take my passion and do much more with it then my small team could take on alone. I trained more Filipinos across a wider range of need then I could have imagined. And yeah, we made a nice profit too. Also got my first analytics book published.

img_7910Now, as I look at year six I see the fruits of our blood, sweat and tears and I see nothing but growth. More and more Filipinos empowered to use data, across an even wider swath of backgrounds and in an ever increasing footprint.

2017 is going to be the most awesome analytics year ever, not just for me. Not just for my business. But for my beloved adopted home, the Philippines.


No Two Days Alike…

I’m the kind of person who craves change.

I get bored kinda easily if I’m doing something routine.

But once I hit a spot where my passion can intersect with a new task, I go all in.


It’s not really a short attention span.

I just like trying new things.

Thats why analytics is so amazing to me.

Looking at ever changing data to discover patterns and answer questions.

Helping people get turned on to a career as an analyst or helping a business in need of some analytics guidance is among my favorite things.

As I look towards the road ahead, I see lots and lots of  new experiences, new places and new challenges.

For me, no two days are ever the same.

And I love it!

My Take Aways for the Big Data Conference 2016

Had a blast at the Big Data Conference at Enderun College yesterday. Lots of things to discuss in upcoming blogs, but here are a few takeaways that I notated.

There is a strong hunger for a national umbrella organization for analytics, big data and data science.

Engagement at the C-Level of Filipino companies outside the IT-BPO sector to eliminate the biggest adoption roadblock.

Restart of the Government, Industry and Academia collaboration on analytics needs to happen.

More hands on experiential learning for both students and faculty involving the industry.

Both traditional training and certification models as well as mentoring and self-guided training opportunities.

The speed and consistency of the internet is a huge threat.


Advocacy for fixing culture before spending on costly technology and high priced talent.

Conversion of up to 70% of Customer Facing BPO Workers to doing analytics and data science as a hedge against automation and political decisions.

Im convinced that a lot of good can come out of the conference as the analytics and data  science industry is at about the same point the call center industry was 10 years ago.

However, given the global demand for data savvy talent and the exponential proliferation  of data, we need todo in 3-5 years what the BPO industry did in 10.

More to come!

News & Events- DMAIPH is a highly engaged leader, sponsor and participant in analytics events across the U.S. and the Philippines. As an Analytics Champion I write, blog, speak and lecture about analytics in a wide variety of forums. I authored several publications on analytics including my latest book, Putting Your Data to Work. Contact DMAIPH now at or connect with me directly to learn more about where I will be talking about analytics next.

Being A Great Analyst > Attribute #2: Visualize Your Data

Most people learn by seeing something… that’s definitely true when it comes to using data. They not only learn more, but data visualization also a quicker sharing of information and also enhances communication.

Here’s an example. My management team was discussing how to enhance our coaching efforts with the team and since each of my direct reports has a different area of responsibility; production, quality and schedule adherence, they were having trouble agreeing on which analysts needed the most coaching. They each produced reports that were stand alone documents that would be shared via email or dropbox.

So I suggested we build a simple business dashboard. A business dashboard looks something like this:

It’s a simple collection of visuals built on top of a data file.

I created a simple Google docs spreadsheet and shared it. Each of the key performance indicators used to evaluate employee success was given a column and I put each employee a row. I then had each of my directs input the relevant data points and quickly we had a rudimentary business dashboard and I now I have a much more in synch management team.


Simple analytics solutions like this are at the fingertips of any business. You just need to know when, where, and how best to implement them. Something so simple as a place to share data is so often overlooked by even the most successful businesses.

Analytics Culture – The key to using analytics in a business is like a secret sauce. It is a unique combination of analytics talent, technology and technique that are brought together to enrich and empower an organization. A successful analytics culture is not easy to create, but DMAIPH can show you how. Contact DMAIPH now at or connect with me directly so we can build a strategic plan to turn your company into analytics driven success story.

Being A Great Analyst > Key Attribute #1 > Know A Lot

Often you here people in business talk about how it’s more important to be either a master at one thing or a jack of all trades. When it comes to being a great analyst, you see many who are great because they have mastered their subject or a certain analytics tool. On the flip side you see many great analysts who seem to know a lot about a lot and are proficient across multiple subjects and/or can use many analytics tools. So which is better?

From both my experience and my personal perspective, analysts who know a lot about a lot are rarer and more valuable to a business. Based on both an accumulation of knowledge and the ability to work in various environments, analysts who are considered to jack of all trades kinds are in general great analysts.

IMG_6912 However, I have also found that most business actually find more value in master of certain type of analysis work or someone who is great at using a certain tool. Specialization is something that is on the surface very impressive as it shows discipline and competency in a certain subject. They know a lot about their area of expertise and are recognized as such.

Occasionally you can even come across analyst who are both knowledgeable about a lot and even more knowledgeable about a specific subject matter. Now that is a rare breed.

So, no matter what type of analyst you are or want to be, the bottom line is you need to constantly read and connect and expand your knowledge… you need to know a lot if you want to be great!

Analytics Culture – The key to using analytics in a business is like a secret sauce. It is a unique combination of analytics talent, technology and technique that are brought together to enrich and empower an organization. A successful analytics culture is not easy to create, but DMAIPH can show you how. Contact DMAIPH now at or connect with me directly so we can build a strategic plan to turn your company into analytics driven success story.

13 Months in the Philippines – Lesson 11 – March 2013 – Missed Opportunities

420Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines

March was lined up to be a very big month. We had 4 different training on the calendar as we continued to diversify our offering to get access to different types of clients and trainees. I continued to do media events and speaking engagements to push the brand. On paper the month should have led us to a very prosperous outcome and we would be well on our way to a healthy business model.

However, I underestimated a couple of things and overestimated our capabilities. This is exactly where so many small business efforts fail. Trying to do too much to soon. We did four different types of training; recruitment analytics, English for call center jobs, sales and marketing analytics and analytics for business leaders. If everything would have filled up I would have made over 100,000 PHP. But in the end I lost money on all four after costs of staff and venue were factored in. It’s the last time I did trainings without the help of a dedicated marketing partner.

I also overestimated my staff. One of my biggest weaknesses as a leader is that I tend to over trust and over challenge. I tend to treat employees as I wanted to be treated myself, but I forget they do not have the same level of experience and depth of passion I have. It sets them up for failure. And we failed miserably in our marketing, our recruiting, the quality of our product and our execution of strategy. I just got too excited and lost my discipline.

I also continued to do media events, but wasn’t capitalizing on them. Promoting myself is not easy. I can talk all day, but I forget the little things. Trinkets for the host, Shout outs to key business partners, mixing in a little Tagalog, staying on script. All valuable things that I can see now in hindsight I should have done better.

I really had uncovered a niche for training that I want to focus more on in the future. Recruitment Analytics training is something I am good at and something there is a dire need for in the Philippines.

Analytics Tool > Bullhorn >

Analytics Concept > Recruitment Analytics >

YouTube Resource >

Analytics in the Philippines – The Philippines is at the center of the action when it comes to solutions to the global need for analytics. Blessed with a solid foundation of young, educated and English speaking workforce, companies around the world are look for Filipino analytics talent to fill analytics positions. DMAIPH was set up to facilitate these solutions and bring the talent and the business together. Contact DMAIPH now at or connect with me directly so we can help you take advantage of this unique global opportunity.

Lesson 10 – February 2013 – The Future is Bright

What Analytics Can Do!

Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila, Philippines
In February, for the first time in ten months I made a profit. You hear that the typical new business takes a year or more to make a profit. I had been a very flexible and nimble business leader and let my business evolve as opportunities came up. It seemed like all the hard work, sacrifice and money spent has been worth it. To take a quote from my all time favorite book, The Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of time.” It was all a matter of perspective.

I was encouraged by several things. We had our most successful training event in February making a nice profit on my first public training geared towards young professionals and entrepreneurs. We also turned a profit with my first training focused on recruitment analytics, which was my first attempt to do something besides the basic analytics intro class. We had a couple of lucrative consulting gigs in the works. I was set for several media appearances and there was a lot of buzz building on our social media sites. I had a couple of speaking engagements lined up as schools to help set up more trainings down the road. The people I had hired earlier started to get into the swing of things and for the first time I thought we had enough people to fine tune our story and tell it to the world. Basically I was executing every aspect of the business plan I had set forth back in November.

As an analyst I felt pretty good about the ROI on our trainings, we had young and hungry staff willing to work for cheap to get the experience, my revenue was diversified and we were meeting our training head count expectations. I took on another trainee to work with a client’s marketing efforts and I was doing all this without the overhead of an office. We started getting into infographics. A fairly new trend in analytics and data visualization. I found a free info graphics tool and went crazy! A picture is worth a thousand words and a good infogrpahic is worth a thousand rows of data! Hehe!

Analytics Tool > Info Graphics >

Analytics Concept > Data Visualization >

YouTube Resource >

My Analytics Story – My passion is solving problems by bringing together the best talent, cutting edge technology and tried and true methodologies. DMAIPH is all about empowering people towards better Decision-Making through the use Analytics and business Intelligence. This is what I do best. Contact DMAIPH now at or connect with me directly for a free consultation about getting more analytics into your career and your business.

13 Months in the Philippines – Lesson 8 – December 2012 – Holidays in the Philippines

IMG_1114 Kalookan, Metro Manila, Philippines

As 2012 came to a close, things really started to slow down. I took full advantage of this to prepare of a big launch of DMAI in January. We didn’t go home for the holidays, and ended up just staying in Makati to enjoy Christmas and New Years. And boy was it memorable.

The Winter Holidays in the US start with Thanksgiving. That’s when the malls have huge sales and you start seeing Christmas lights and hearing Christmas music in the malls. However in the Philippines that starts in September. So, but December I was pretty fatigued from hearing and seeing the Christmas cheer and looking forward to finally seeing the day come and pass.

There were a couple of additional interesting lessons I learned. From the period between Christmas and just after New Years, all movies show in Manila are Filipino made films. No Hollywood blockbusters or international films. It’s both good and bad, it allows Filipinos to relish in their own productions and guarantees viewing for films that might otherwise be missed. However, they are of course all in Tagalog. I went to one and got some of it, its was a romantic comedy so most of the jokes don’t need translation, but boy wouldn’t it be nice if they had subtitles.

The other one that really stands out is the fireworks. In the US we do fireworks in a big way on July 4th. There are also some on New Years or Veterans Day or Memorial in places, but fireworks really cant be enjoyed when its cold so for the most is just Independence Day. In the Philippines in Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Years Day. Staying on the 10th floor of a corner condo in Makati I could see fireworks all around from Pasay to Manila to Makati. Big and Small. It was amazing. And after the smoke was so thick it was like fog. It was truly amazing.

From an analytics standpoint I took away a couple of things. Know your holidays. For example, if you are an American company doing business in the Philippines know the holidays so you can keep your people happy. The second is that someone needs to do some analysis on the lost revenue of just showing Filipino films. They still make good money, but it has to be tough on the cinemas to sacrifice profit for art over a two-week period where everyone is at the malls.

Analytics Tool > Enchantment >

Analytics Concept > Business Partnership >

YouTube Resource >

My Analytics Story – My passion is solving problems by bringing together the best talent, cutting edge technology and tried and true methodologies. DMAIPH is all about empowering people towards better Decision-Making through the use Analytics and business Intelligence. This is what I do best. Contact DMAIPH now at or connect with me directly for a free consultation about getting more analytics into your career and your business. 

13 Month in the Philippines – Lesson 5 – September 2012 – Cracks in the Pavement

IMG_0994 Clark, Pampanga, Philippines

In September we stated working for a client that at first seemed to be a wonderful opportunity. They asked us to help them set up a manpower staffing business in Clark, Pampanga. It was a very interesting proposition. We would go out and sell the business and get a 50% commission on any business we brought in the door. We were given an office space, internet access, business cards, a business proposal and we found a list of potential clients to market too. We started doing a multi channel sales campaign with an e-mail blitz, phone call and in-person meetings. We also did some deep dive competitor research including mystery shopping. And we networked with the government agency in charge of the Clark Freeport Trade Zone. But we made a lot of assumptions and mistakes and after about three weeks of travelling from Makati to Clark (about 2 hours each way), things hadn’t worked out the way we had hoped for. Let’s look at a couple of the issues and analyze them.

1. We decided to set up shop in an area we were not at all familiar with. To mitigate this we hired a local with manpower experience.
2. We had to spend a lot of time travelling, so we had a small window for meetings. So we made sure all appointments where confirmed the day before.
3. We wanted to get to know the way things worked. So I networked with several key people via LinkedIn and in person appointments.
4. We didn’t have any upfront revenue. We got our client to pay most of the upfront costs for marketing and promotions.
5. We need to get our name out there. We sponsored a job fair and I got a speaking engagement at the event.
6. We had to assess the market opportunity. I had a couple of trainees build a prospective client database and map out locations.

So all things looked good. We had a great opportunity, I had applied a lot of analysis and we were ready to go.

But there were crack in the foundation and they had nothing to do with my analysis or our strategy. They had to do with people.

Even the best laid plans don’t work our if you cant count on the people to execute the plans. Partners got distracted, staff had to deal with personal challenges and personal life started to suffer from professional stresses. By the end of September there were more cracks in the pavement then I had cement to fill them with.

But it was still so much fun, so much adventure, so much excitement I just rolled with the blows and kept pushing forward!

Analytics Tool > Tableau Public >

Analytics Concept > Competitor Landscape >

YouTube Resource >

My Analytics Story – My passion is solving problems by bringing together the best talent, cutting edge technology and tried and true methodologies. DMAIPH is all about empowering people towards better Decision-Making through the use Analytics and business Intelligence. This is what I do best. Contact DMAIPH now at or connect with me directly for a free consultation about getting more analytics into your career and your business.