Storytelling with Data: How to Use Data to Tell a Compelling Story

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Community Behavioral Health Centers (CCBHCs) play a crucial role in providing mental health and substance abuse services to individuals, families, and communities. However, showcasing the value and impact of your CCBHC to the community requires more than just anecdotal evidence. By using data-driven storytelling techniques, you can effectively communicate the value your CCBHC provides. In this blog post, we explore the process of using data to tell a compelling story about the value your CCBHC delivers to the community.


What is Data Storytelling?

Data storytelling involves using data to communicate and illustrate the impact, outcomes, and experiences related to your services and programs. It goes beyond presenting raw data and instead involves crafting a compelling narrative using data to convey meaningful insights and information about the effectiveness and importance of the services you provide. Data storytelling can help stakeholders, policymakers, and the public understand the value of your agency in providing comprehensive behavioral health care and addressing mental health and substance use challenges in communities.



Identify and Collect the Appropriate Data

  • To begin, determine the key metrics and data points that reflect the impact and effectiveness of your CCBHC.
  • Consider metrics such as the number of clients served, types of services provided, changes in symptom severity, and improvements in overall quality of life.
  • You may also collect financial metrics such as billing data, claims paid, cost of services, and aging accounts receivables.
  • Ensure that you have a reliable data collection system in place to accurately track and document this information.



Analyze and Visualize the Data

  • Once you have the necessary data, analyze and evaluate it to highlight the most significant findings.
  • Identify trends, patterns, and notable outcomes that demonstrate the effectiveness of your CCBHC.
  • Consider using data visualization techniques, such as charts, graphs, and infographics, to make the information easily digestible and compelling to the target audience.
  • Leverage your EHR’s reporting and dashboards to find easily digestible and actionable metrics.



Craft an Engaging Narrative

Data alone can be overwhelming and challenging to comprehend. In addition, to tell your organization’s full story, you’ll be weaving together financial, clinical, performance, and other types of data. To tell a compelling story about the value your CCBHC provides, connect the data to real-life experiences and individual success stories. Integrate anecdotes and quotes from clients, staff members, and community partners to bring the data to life and make it relatable. This human element adds depth and emotion to your narrative, evoking compassion and understanding from your audience. It also helps people unfamiliar with the type of data or service make a connection.


Focus on Impact and Outcomes

  • Rather than simply presenting numbers and statistics, emphasize the impact and outcomes that your CCBHC has achieved.
  • Highlight how your services have improved the lives of individuals and families, strengthened the community, and contributed to the overall well-being of the population you serve.
  • Showcase success stories and provide concrete examples that demonstrate the positive change your CCBHC has brought about.



Tailor the Message to the Audience

Different stakeholders may have distinct priorities and interests when it comes to understanding the value of your CCBHC.

  • Tailor your data-driven narrative to resonate with each group. Consider what matters most to potential clients, community members, funders, and policymakers.
  • Highlight how your CCBHC addresses specific community needs, contributes to public safety, reduces healthcare costs, or supports economic development.



Use Multiple Communication Channels

Expanding the reach of your story is crucial to properly showcase the value your CCBHC provides.

  • Leverage various communication channels to share your data-driven narrative effectively.
  • Use your website, social media platforms, newsletters, and local media outlets to disseminate your story to a wide audience.
  • Consider hosting community forums, participating in public events, and networking with other healthcare providers to increase awareness and engagement.


Data plays a pivotal role in demonstrating the value that your CCBHC brings to the community. By effectively using data-driven storytelling techniques, you can paint a compelling picture of the positive impact your CCBHC has on the lives of individuals, families, and the community as a whole. By following these tips, you’ll be able to convey the value of your CCBHC and engage stakeholders in supporting your important work.


EchoVantage understands the power of data visualization; we know that when we make data visual and more actionable, your organization thrives, and so does our community. That’s why, instead of talking about our solutions all day, we’d much prefer to show you what we can do. Schedule a discovery call today to see EchoVantage in action.




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