The Data-driven Museum: Data, Dashboards and Determination

Professional Forum

Thursday, April 04, 2019: 2:00pm - 2:50pm - Independence East West: Professional Forum: The Data-driven Museum

Heather Hart, The Huntington, USA, Jane Alexander, The Cleveland Museum of Art, USA, Douglas Hegley, Minneapolis Institute of Art, USA, Nik Honeysett, BPOC, USA

One of the most challenging transitions a 21st century organization will face is becoming data-driven – maximizing innovation and advancement while controlling risk by using real data to inform and take decisive action. We can implement an infrastructure to support the capture and visualization of data, but the heavy-lifting is in determining the best metrics, how to interpret their meaning, and most-crucially changing workplace culture to act on what the data and insights tell us. This session will explore how to become a data-informed/data-driven institution, with real world examples drawn from museum practice.

A data-driven organization needs trusted and useful tools, good data quality, and the ability to operationalize analytics to drive action – ideally with an elegant and easy-to-use dashboard that pulls most of that together in one place. That’s actually the easy part – becoming a data-informed or data-driven organization is considerably harder. We see resistance to establishing a data-driven culture in our organizations, including: data doesn’t tell the whole story, quantitative metrics can never be used to measure qualitative outcomes, using data to inform decisions means eliminating the human element that makes our organizations great. However, a data-informed organization is one that augments – rather than replaces – existing decision-making processes. By committing to a data-informed culture, an organization enhances its understanding of, and service to, its audiences.

During this session, panelists will discuss how their institutions are collecting and using data effectively, including: methods of data analytics, the questions being answered, data dashboards, and the difference between being data-driven and data-informed? Attendees will learn how various institutions are becoming data-informed/data-driven, with stories of successes and common obstacles they have faced, and plenty of room for questions from attendees.