Telling Stories with Data

Next Workshop: TBC

There are two skills every planner and strategist needs if they’re going to thrive: The ability to interrogate and make sense of data, and the ability to use the insights from data to persuade others to take action. At its simplest, the equation underpinning modern business impact is this: Analytics + Storytelling = Influence.

Humans are hardwired to respond to stories and story structure. Stories are how we make sense of and navigate the world. We respond best to stories that are based on evidence; stories that are rooted in genuine, data-driven insights and examine an aspect of the human condition. But storytellers need to use data, facts, and evidence as the foundation of their stories, not instead of stories or as the actual stories themselves.

The ability to bring analytics and storytelling together is a defining characteristic of the impactful planner. Being able to see – and articulate – the forest from the trees. Being able to wade through all kinds of different data sets – qualitative, quantitative; numeric, verbal, visual – and develop a coherent story. Being able to do the “Where’s Wally?” thing.

What is the Workshop like?

Over the course of three hours, delegates learn how to enhance their data-driven storytelling skills with practical exercises including:

  • The Killer Stat – how to identify and use truly relevant data and statistics in impactful elevator pitches

  • The Five Whys – how asking why repeatedly helps you to find statistics that make your storytelling sing

  • What’s the Story? – working with real, blended data to build a powerful and compelling story

  • The Numbers Behind the News – how to read the news from a statistician’s point of view

  • The New Scientist test – how best to combine the rational and the emotional


Real examples of data-driven storytelling will be used throughout.

Workshop Information
Date & Time



APG Members = £130+vat
Non Members = £250+vat

*Please note these tickets are non-refundable


This workshop will now be run online.

Workshop Enquiries
If you are interested in attending a Training Course, please e-mail Alison at
Sam Knowles APG Trainer

Sam Knowles

Dr Sam Knowles combines long and varied communications agency experience with a planner’s facility for turning relevant data into campaigns and narratives that resonate and deliver. Originally a classicist, he also has a doctorate in Experimental Psychology, a source of both his understanding of human motivation and behaviour and his love of telling stories with data.

In 2013, Sam founded corporate and brand storytelling consultancy Insight Agents. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a member of both the Market Research Society and the Public Relations & Communications Association. He is part of 26, an organisation that exists to inspire a greater love of words, in business and in life.


Sam has recently written a book on data-driven storytelling, also called Narrative by Numbers. This was published by Routledge in April 2018. For more information, see Sam is co-founder and co-host of the podcast.

About the Trainer
APG Training Course Cancellation Policy

Workshop tickets are non-refundable.