Data storytelling

Course Images

Data storytelling


Data has become the most important resource for every organisation – but the insights gained from data analysis will only ever be truly valuable if they can be clearly expressed to other people. 

This course is for anybody who works with data, and needs to communicate the meaning that's in the numbers to colleagues, customers, bosses or external stakeholders. 

It will give you or your team the confidence and skills to translate raw data into compelling visual stories for your key audiences. The principles and skills covered apply to the simplest PowerPoint chart, to more complex interactive visualisations. 

We’ll work with you before the course to ensure that we understand your organisation and what you’re hoping to achieve. 

Sample learning content

Session 1: What makes a great data-driven story

  • The key elements of a successful infographic or presentation.
Industry best practice, and discussion of good (and bad) examples.

  • A simple framework for identifying the Audience, Story and Action.

Session 2: Data in context

  • How to balance function and aesthetic appeal. 
Identifying the right graph, chart, infographic or other visual. 

  • Framing the data and providing contextual information. 

Session 3: Designing for the human brain

  • Using colours to add emphasis and meaning. 

  • Design and layout principles, and creating hierarchies of information.

  • The principle of ‘self-sufficiency’, and removing clutter. 

Session 4: Navigation and narrative

  • Tailoring visualisations for different types of communications. 

  • Structuring presentations and longer reports. 

  • Thinking in layers to create interactive dashboards.


We deliver our courses over Zoom, to maximise flexibility. The training can be delivered in a single day, or across multiple sessions. All of our courses are live and interactive – every session includes a mix of formal tuition and hands-on exercises. 
To ensure this is possible, the number of attendees is capped at 16 people. 


Alan Rutter is the founder of Fire Plus Algebra. He is a specialist in communicating complex subjects through data visualisation, writing and design. He teaches for General Assembly and runs in-house training for public sector clients including the Home Office, the Department of Transport, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Health Foundation, and numerous local government and emergency services teams. He previously worked with Guardian Masterclasses on curating and delivering new course strands, including developing and teaching their B2B data visualisation courses. He oversaw the iPad edition launches of Wired, GQ, Vanity Fair and Vogue in the UK, and has worked with Condé Nast International as product owner on a bespoke digital asset management system for their 11 global markets.


“I was familiar with Alan’s work as a Guardian Masterclass instructor on data visualisation and digital journalism, which made it easy for me to recommend him for onsite training at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.  We had a large group of people interested in honing their abilities to depict their research and stories in engaging ways.  Alan’s course provided great insight about common communication pitfalls and how to avoid them, how to become better communicators by understanding the audience diversity, and it showcased some great online tools for creating infographics.  This should be mandatory training for all students, academics, report writers and those involved with conveying research to the media as it will help increase the clarity and accessibility of our own research stories.”

Dr Lee Haines | Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine


  • Delivered Online

  • Full day

About Fire Plus Algebra

Fire Plus Algebra
Fire Plus Algebra

We deliver training in data visualisation, business storytelling, communications and content strategy. We've worked with clients across the private, public and charity sectors – including central government departments (the Home Office, Department of Health, DWP), universities (LSE, UAL, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine), tech companies (Trivago, Riskified, Kaltura) and large corporates (Standard Life, LEGO, General Assembly).  

Read more about Fire Plus Algebra