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The Digital Culture Award’s Data Driven categroy celebrates innovative use of data collection and analysis to steer decision making and drive impactful long-term change.

The 2022 Judge in this category was Rishi Coupland, Head of Research and Insight at BFI.

2022 Winner

Sound and Music for ‘Using data to understand barriers to, and create opportunities for, new music’

When the purpose of your organisation is to reach as many people as possible and maximise the opportunities for them to create new music, it’s vital you know who these people are, how you’re reaching them, and how you can learn from those who aren’t interacting with your work.

The word 'equality' written above a row of blocks in different colours.
Sound and Music’s Equality Poster

Sound and Music quickly adapted how they used data to understand the needs of their audiences; some of it was collected from a new survey, delivered in collaboration with Musicians’ Union and the Ivors Academy, to find out how composers had been affected by the pandemic. This data showed that composers outside of London had been disproportionately affected, so Sound and Music were able to act quickly and ring-fence funding for composers living outside of London.

Through regular KPI reporting and by digging into the data they already collected as an organisation, Sound and Music saw they had a low number of D/deaf, disabled and neurodiverse applicants to their New Voices 2021 programme. This meant they could make changes to their application forms to ensure they were accessible to these groups, and quickly saw an uplift in applicants.

How you can use data like Sound and Music to improve outcomes for your audiences and organisation:

  • Ensure you have clear KPIs agreed across the senior management team and board, with regular reporting to keep you on track.
  • Use this reporting to spot any areas for quick wins. Are you trying to reach a particular demographic, but your reporting shows your social media content is only being consumed by audiences you’re not targeting? Think about who isn’t consuming your content, visiting your website or in-person projects, or engaging with you as an organisation. Is there a reason these groups feel excluded, and can you change anything about how you present your content to make it appeal to them?
  • Audience surveys are useful to get a snapshot of who is engaging with you, but these can be expensive. Consider collaborating with partners, or taking a deeper dive into the data you already have at your fingertips.

We won the Digital Culture Award for our data-driven activity: our work addressing knowledge gaps and commitment to better understand the needs of our communities, to produce meaningful change.

Sounds and Music, 2022 Using Data Winner

2022 Shortlist

2022 Longlist

  • BH Live – Data Driven Organisational Change
  • Coventry City of Culture Trust – Coventry Cultural Place Profiler
  • Manchester Collective – Building audiences for new music experiences using data
  • ZU-UK – DATUM – Addressing inequalities, human rights and sustainable consumption through augmented audio and game-design

Want to learn more about how you can become more data-led? Our network of Tech Champions can help.

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