WEST SUSSEX COUNTY COUNCIL
PROMOTING THE VALUE OF INSIGHT
At Insight Narrator we are passionate about storytelling because we’ve seen first-hand the impact it can have on the audience. Story driven reports and presentations result in highly engaged audiences who get the message and retell the story throughout the organisation to drive action and change.
About the client
West Sussex County Council is a local government organisation responsible for over 750,000 residents and millions of visitors. The increased complexity and demand of local government to look after communities and environments while funds are being reduced has raised the importance of using insight to ensure they design services that are fit for purpose at the right cost. The Performance & Intelligence team at West Sussex County Council plays a crucial role in informing the leadership board on how services are delivered and whether they make an impact on people’s lives.
The team were creating traditional academic reports and presentations that failed to cut through with the leadership board. The approach would produce lots of questions and debate around the numbers but very little conversation around recommendations and actions. With an average twenty minute Board meeting slot it became impossible for senior managers to see what they need to do and research became a lost opportunity. The Head of Performance and Intelligence wanted to improve the impact and perceived value of their insights and decided a new approach would be needed.
How we helped
After attending our 2 day commercial storytelling course delivered via The Market Research Society, the Head of Performance and Intelligence approached Insight Narrator to create a number of workshops to train the team of 40+ researchers, analysts and reporting specialist to build their storytelling capabilities and implement new ways of working in the team. The interactive training sessions were designed to help the team create unified insight messages, synthesise multiple streams of data and use creative engagement techniques. The team worked on live projects to develop real stories over the duration of the course.
Six months after the training the storytelling approach has drastically altered the way senior management at West Sussex County Council perceive and use data. The Board room is now silent as they listen to the stories and the senior team have space to think and work out the meaning for themselves, without being bombarded with information. The team have generated a number of case study examples of insight stories that have directly fed into local government strategy. In addition, the perception of the team, and their capability to act as advisors, has improved and the team itself are having more fun with the creative freedom of the storytelling approach.
“We were previously known as quite good at visualising data, the geeky people who can create nice infographics. But now they recognise the power in what we do, especially the Chief Executive. They know we can give them information which is useful and which can drive their understanding in how to look at the organisation from a different perspective. We can give an objective and clear understanding of where we need to focus our resources.
Perceptions of the team have increased. I would say we have definitely now got a seat at the board table through this approach.”
Dr Anuschka Muller,
Head of Performance and Intelligence
“Caroline delivered a series of inspiring training days for our team helping everyone that attended to understand the power of storytelling with data and teaching the techniques required to deliver them effectively. We've already taken that learning, put it in to practice and are really pleased that it is making a positive impact.”
Insights and Intelligence Manager