|@BushCatMarley approves of digital data management.|
Some arts and culture organizations embrace these ideas with open arms and encourage employees to make time in their day to work on process improvements. At others, employees are under so much pressure to complete the tasks required to fund, produce, and market their art that they do not feel they have the luxury of taking any time away to improve the technology and processes that will help them better manage and engage with their data. Suggestions to do so are at best put in the lowest priority queue and at worst ignored. On one hand, I get it: making art is the most important goal and with a limited budget and staff, there's a lot to do just to get the show on stage, make sure it's funded, and let people know about it. But based on my experience at non-arts non-profits and for-profit enterprises, I firmly believe that investing time and resources in data management provides an extraordinarily high ROI, including a less-stressed, more productive staff!
A Quick and Dirty Example: Data at a Small Non-Profit Theatre
|Paper files also provide excellent kitty seats.|
@Bush_Cat_Pirate, keeping the Bush's
files under control.
It's also important to keep in mind that managing data doesn't just mean storing it. It also means organizing data in a meaningful way, so that it can be accessed and analyzed to provide powerful information about how audiences, donors, and artists are responding to the organization's programming, marketing, and fundraising efforts. That's the kind of information that helps arts organizations build audiences.
Coming up in Parts 2 & 3...
- How do these organizations manage their data?
- What challenges are they facing?
- What can small arts organizations do to organize their data in a more meaningful (and sustainable) way?