Meet the Heritage + Culture Finalists: City Radar
The City Radar Team at the Heritage + Culture Creation Weekend
In the final in our series of 3 Q&A blogs, we meet Heritage + Culture Open Data Challenge Finalist City Radar to learn more about their product, their team and what great things they are doing with open data.
What is your product?
The success of cultural and heritage organisations, and the policy behind them, is dependent upon reaching both a broad and targeted range of audiences. The challenge for these organisations is that the information - including open data - available to assist them is hard to find, collate, understand and use easily. In addition, numerous opportunities to collect information from visitors daily is missed.
To meet this need, we aim to develop a Software as a Service (SaaS) called City Radar that turns our existing audience development methodology into something more dynamic, that can be used on a daily basis by organisations and by funders. Each user will then add what data source is relevant to them onto their “radar”, by utilising three data sources:
- Open data, which can be visualised and interrogated easily
- Data generated from visitors across all city radar users on a dynamic basis
- Dynamic assessment of information on each city based on what is being talked about on social media
Who is on your team?
Ian Savage and Sarah McWilliams have extensive experience in the development of strategic plans, funding strategies and audience development within the cultural, heritage and tourism sectors. Before both set up their own consultancy businesses, they worked for Deloitte and Ian also worked for PA Consulting.
City Radar was set up to assist organisations in culture and heritage to get a better understanding of their potential markets and to ensure they can target - and track - their work with hard to reach groups.
How did you come up with the idea, when and what was the light bulb moment?
The idea itself developed through extensive work with local cultural, heritage and tourist organisations, all of whom expressed concern that there was no systematic way to better understand and target audiences. This was a particular problem for funders as well.
What open data are you using and how does it form an essential part of your proposition?
Open data is at the core of our audience development approach and it will be the main engine that drives City Radar.
Demographic data will include Census information, Noble indicators of deprived areas and school population data.
At a national level Arts, Culture and Heritage datasets will include Museums & Galleries Monthly Visits, Lottery Grants Database & the Taking Part Survey. However regional & local area open data will also be key. This will include information such as the NITB annual Visitor Attraction Survey, Visit Scotland statistics, ACNI grants & data collected by local authorities (e.g. STEAM tourism reports, visitor surveys).
This open data will be interrogated by us and provided to users in easy to use formats. They will also be able to use data visualisation tools to better understand the data.
How will your project help engage more people or more diverse people in UK heritage and culture?
Cultural, heritage and visitor attractions will be able to broaden their engagement by using the data to reach a more diverse audience base. They will be able to compare their current audience profile with City Radar data about audiences in their area. They can then identify audience segments (eg. ‘metroculturals’ or ‘heydays’) which are not represented and target these.
It will also be used to enable more efficient marketing and administrative spend, as potential users are targeted better and the marketing process is streamlined on one site.
Funders will be able to use City Radar as a decision making and monitoring tool that is dynamic, as opposed to waiting for annual evaluation reports. The "radar" will be set up to capture data in line with each funder's evaluation framework.
It will help to improve the targeting of funding to areas of need, thus helping to engage more people and diversify audiences. It will also be used to gain a more holistic understanding of the supply of, and demand for, cultural and heritage attractions, which should help to minimise displacement and to identify areas where supply is needed.
As the information in City Radar builds over time this will be of value to policy makers in the public sector (such as government departments, Arts Councils and local authorities) who will be able to draw on the information to both monitor the impact of existing policies and help to inform new policies. This will help to enable better, more proactive evidence based approaches to ensure that those who are hard to reach are encouraged to become more involved in culture and heritage.
Photo Credit: Joan Huang
The contents of this blog has now been transferred to our new website at www.opendatachallenges.org and this page will no longer be updated. Please head to the new website to access all our latest content.