Data can tell us what people do, but not why they do it. They predict rational behaviour, but they can’t explain the underlying reasons behind these behaviours.
In 2002 Lego was facing a huge crisis. They started to use big data to understand how they could reverse the situation. They came to the conclusion that they had to focus on Millennials, and as Millennials have a short attention span and get bored easily, they started making bigger bricks and simpler designs. It was a catastrophe. It was not until they started going to consumers’ houses to see how they were using Lego that they could relaunch the company again.
Data can indicate trends, but stories are not facts.
If you just focus on data you appeal to the rational. When you focus on people, you appeal to the emotional.
Stories, as Brené Brown says, are data with soul.
Data cannot create a connection. People do.