"We're using numbers wrong" - How to Give Stats and Numbers Real Value Through Storytelling

Gina Martinez

Hatched by Gina Martinez

Aug 31, 2023

3 min read


"We're using numbers wrong" - How to Give Stats and Numbers Real Value Through Storytelling


In our quest to make our case, we often focus on finding the biggest numbers to impress others. However, big numbers alone are just cold statistics. The true power lies in translating these numbers into stories that resonate with people. As the saying goes, "one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic." Let's explore the importance of storytelling with numbers and how it can make a significant impact.

The Power of Stories:

Numbers may mean nothing on their own, but when woven into a compelling story, they come to life. For instance, let's consider the statistic that most Americans drive 40 miles a day. If you were to drive a fuel-efficient car like a Prius instead of a standard car, you would save 50% in gas. While this statistic may sound impressive, it lacks personal relevance. However, when you transform it into a story, it becomes more relatable.

Imagine replacing your car with a Prius. In just a month, you would save enough money to treat yourself to a fancy dinner date. In six months, your savings could cover a rejuvenating weekend getaway. And within a year, you would have enough to pay for an annual gym membership. By connecting the statistic to concrete examples, we make it more meaningful and relatable.

Transforming Numbers:

To give stats and numbers real value, it's essential to convert them into different forms. Consider expressing them as ratios (e.g., 1 in 5), percentages (e.g., 20%), and inverses (e.g., 80%). By exploring numbers from multiple angles, we gain a deeper understanding and can make more informed decisions.

Personalizing the Savings:

If your product or service saves people time and money, it's crucial to personalize the potential savings. Highlight what individuals can do with the extra money or how the saved time can enhance their lives. By illustrating the tangible benefits, you inspire change and make your offering more compelling.

Scaling Up the Impact:

When presenting numbers, it's helpful to scale up the impact. Instead of focusing on short-term gains, consider the long-term effects. How will the change you're proposing affect people's lives for weeks, months, or even years? By emphasizing the lasting impact, you create a sense of urgency and motivate action.

Comparisons and Dominance:

Sometimes, numbers can be challenging to comprehend on their own. In such cases, it's effective to compare them to categories that people intuitively understand. Better yet, find the largest category that your number can dominate. By providing context and framing the statistic in a relatable way, you make it more accessible and impactful.

Answering the "Why":

Throughout your storytelling with numbers, always remember to answer the fundamental question: why should people care? Help your audience understand the significance of the statistic and how it directly relates to their lives. By addressing this question, you create a sense of relevance and engagement.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Create Compelling Stories: Instead of relying solely on numbers, weave them into captivating narratives that resonate with your audience. Connect the stats to concrete actions or benefits that people can relate to.
  • 2. Personalize the Impact: When presenting savings or benefits, make them relatable and personal. Highlight how the extra money or time can enhance someone's life, inspiring them to take action.
  • 3. Provide Context and Comparison: To make numbers more accessible, compare them to familiar categories or find the largest category your number can dominate. This helps your audience grasp the significance and relevance of the statistic.


Numbers are just numbers until they are given life through storytelling. By incorporating stories into our data, we can create a deeper connection with our audience and make our case more compelling. Remember to convert numbers into different forms, personalize the impact, scale up the benefits, and provide relatable comparisons. Ultimately, the key is to answer the question of why people should care. Through effective storytelling with numbers, we can truly make a difference.

Hatch New Ideas with Glasp AI 🐣

Glasp AI allows you to hatch new ideas based on your curated content. Let's curate and create with Glasp AI :)