Arup Report: Museums in the Digital Age

The report ‘Museums in the Digital Age’ (Author: Josef Hargrave) published in October 2013 by the consulting engineering firm Arup envisages a dynamic future for museums.
Moving beyond static objects in glass cases, the report outlines how future museums will see personalised content, new levels of sustainability and a visitor experience extended beyond present expectations of time and space. This report highlights a number of key trends that will continue to have a significant impact on the user experience and design of future museums.


Happy Museums are good for you – New Research report. #heritagefutures

From The Happy Museum blog entry 10/04/13

The Happy Museum Project wants museums to play an active part in a sustainable future, by fostering wellbeing that doesn’t cost the Earth. So it’s helpful to have the proof that museums do make you happy, in the form of a report from ‘Happiness Economist’ Daniel Fujiwara of the London School of Economics.

Happy Museum used funding from the Arts Council to commission the analysis. It follows two years of action-research with twelve museums commissioned to develop wellbeing that’s fair on people and planet. The findings show that museums improve people’s happiness and perception of good health, even after you’ve accounted for other factors that might be influencing them. The report shows that people value visiting museums at over £3,000 per year.

As a result, the analysis concludes that it is crucial to make sure more people can visit museums and it learnt that the biggest reason people don’t is that they were not taken to museums by a parent as a child. Those people are 17% less likely to visit than others, a much bigger effect than say, being from a low-income group. The people who are most likely to visit museums are the more educated, and price and accessibility are important too.

Measuring what matters is a core principle for the Happy Museum Project. The director Tony Butler says, “counting visitors tells us nothing about quality, or wellbeing. Museums are adept at storytelling, but we wanted the longitudinal or quantitative evidence that might influence policy makers”.

To read Fujiwara’s full report download it here: Museums and Happiness – Research Report

Research Article: Making Sense of Numbers: A Journey of Spreading the Analytics Culture at Tate. #heritagefutures

Making Sense of Numbers: A Journey of Spreading the Analytics Culture at Tate
Elena Villaespesa, Tijana Tasich, Tate, United Kingdom
Museums & the Web Conference 2012.
Measuring online performance has been one of the hot topics for museum online professionals in the UK. Tate was one of the participants in the Culture24’s action research project, which focused on measuring online success. All participants agreed that reporting purely on the number of visits and time spent on the website fulfilled the governmental requirements, but has not necessarily helped to evaluate online presence against institutional objectives. We realised we had to start using the large amount of available metrics in a more intelligent way. In this paper we would like to present the steps we have taken to increase the benefits that analytics can bring to other institutions and have brought to Tate, and the challenges we met on the way of spreading the analytics culture across the organisation.
Keywords: metrics, analytics, evaluation, maturity model, organisational culture.