2017 Year in Review

News : 5 February 2018

It's officially February and 2018 is well underway. We thought we'd use this newsletter to pause and take a moment to reflect on 2017. While 2017 was a dramatic year for world events and international politics, at Culture Counts we were steadily working with an increasing number of clients to quantify the impact of their important work. Let's take a look back at some the news and events that shaped Culture Counts in 2017.

Partnerships
We worked closely with a range of partners across the private, public, not for profit and academic sectors including:

  • The Ian Potter Foundation (IPF). The IPF encourages strong evaluation practices and supports the use of Culture Counts by Australian arts organisations.
  • Arts Queensland. Arts Queensland offered subsidised Culture Counts memberships and enabled all Queensland arts organisations to utilise Culture Counts services at a discounted rate.
  • Department of Culture and the Arts WA. The department's innovative public value measurement project hit an important milestone, with the completion of the 10,000th Culture Counts public survey. Standardised measurement over several years has contributed to a large data set that demonstrates the significant breadth and impact of arts and culture in WA. 
  • Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA). Culture Counts was selected as a preferred supplier on WALGA's Panel for Business Systems Software.
  • Trendwise. A new partnership with Trendwise gave us increased insights into visitor behaviour to complement Culture Counts' impact evaluation. 
  • The Cultural Development Network (CDN). Culture Counts continue to work with CDN to connect metrics to the measurable outcomes framework, enabling measurement across cultural, social, civic, environmental and economic domains.
  • School of Culture and Communication - University of Melbourne. We worked closely to identify digital methods of data collection and define metrics for measuring engagement with cultural activities in the public realm. 

New team members 
The Culture Counts team grew in 2017 and we welcomed three new members: 

  • Alison Lasek. Alison commenced in March as Culture Counts' Marketing and Client Manager. She is based in our Melbourne office.  
  • Monika Bognar. Monika joined the Culture Counts team in November as Client Relationship Officer and also works from the Melbourne office. 
  • Jeremy Hunt. Jeremy is Culture Counts' new Practice Manager, based in Perth.

Clients and projects
2017 saw Culture Counts working with a broad range of new clients across arts and culture, sport, libraries, community, health, digital literacy and place-making.

  • Telstra. Culture Counts is working with Telstra to evaluate the outcomes of the Tech Savvy Seniors Program, which supports digital literacy and inclusion amongst Australian seniors through library-based training programs.
  • Sports evaluation. Queensland is host to a major sporting event in 2018, and Culture Counts is evaluating the impact and visitor experience of the sporting and cultural programs. 
  • WA health pilot. Standardised dimensions have been created to evaluate health and wellbeing outcomes along with the effectiveness of health message promotion.
  • Library pilot. Culture Counts users are evaluating important library outcomes in alignment with ALIA, APLA and NSLA guidelines, with best-practice tools and methods identified to capture and analyse feedback from the community.

Development
Our development team was hard at work with extensive improvements to the dashboard and website including:

  • Question logic. We were very excited to launch question logic on the platform, which allows users to hide or show questions based on whether they're relevant to particular respondents. This allows more targeted questions, keeps surveys short and increases response rates.
  • Dimension set customisation. We can show or hide dimension categories in the survey builder based on user needs. This makes it easier for our clients to find and use dimensions relevant to their needs.
  • New ways to download charts. In the reporting dashboard, users can download all their pre-analysed charts as a PDF or in a neatly packaged zip folder for ease of reporting. 
  • Faster assessor invites. Inviting above 40 peer or self-assessors now happens much faster thanks to a new update. 
  • Website updates. We're continually adding new resources to our website. Visitors are now able to download cheat sheets free from our homepage, full of practical and helpful tips to support successful evaluation.

2018 Priorities
Some of our key priorities for 2018 include:

  • New charts in the dashboard. To help you gain more insights from your data, we're adding six new charts to the dashboard.
  • Reporting on big data insights. We have been analysing and looking at trends in the big data and the way audiences engage with arts and culture across regions and artforms. We will be sharing these fascinating insights with our clients in the coming months.
  • Training /support videos. We're creating a new series of training videos to support our clients with helpful tips for using the platform and getting the most from their data.
  • Website updates. We're developing sector-specific content for our website, with sample metrics, case studies, useful resources and example reporting relevant to the broad range of industries we work with.

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank our customers and partners for their continued support. Here's to another great year.

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