On the 14th September, we carried out our conference titled “Big Data in Museums” in the Global Sports Innovation Centre (supported by Microsoft). This conference, which was the first of its kind in Spain, was directed at professionals working in monuments and museums of various kinds, particularly cultural and sport institutions. Experts in the area of management, public management, marketing, broadcasting and other departments debated over the use of Big Data to help facilitate the improvement of visitor services and the profitability of their institutions. Now we wish to extend the conversation to all of those who could not attend due to capacity or availability.
Interactive audio guides are a tool that can contribute hugely to Big Data in museums. They are one of the very few devices that keep the visitor connected to the institution, and the only one that can facilitate and extract an automatic sample of between 15-20% of the audience every day.
(English subtitles avilable)
“The ‘Big’ aspect of Big Data is not as important as the value of the data”, says Jaime Solano, Director of GVAM. This vision is shared by Jesús Serrano, architect of business development for Microsoft Sports. During his speech, Jesús stresses the importance of normalizing the data collected by museums through ticketing, audio guides, gift shop, etc. and then presenting this in such a way that it provides us with insights (a term in digital marketing that refers to key information that allows us to make find solutions and/or execute an action).
The cases presented were based on the experience of both of these technological partners: GVAM, specializing in interactive multimedia guides for museums and cities; and Microsoft, an expert in the processing of data for large sports clubs and developer of the Big Data visualization system used by several international organizations (Power BI). But…what were two entities with such different visions doing talking about Big Data in museums? As explained by Iris Córdoba, head of GSIC, “there are social trends and technological trends that apply to all sectors”. The objective of this session was to put the most cutting-edge and effective solutions on the table for all of these.
Due to the mainstreaming of the concept we call Big Data and the variety of the audience involved, the conversation has been growing in aspects: the usefulness of these systems for making strategic decisions (eg. how to attract more visitors, increase visitor spending, encourage repeat visits), as well as more specific uses. Interactive audio guide data provides valuable information that can increase the quality of visits, better segment marketing campaigns and improve decision making with regards to temporary exhibitions. All of this contributes to improved management and the achieving of objectives.
The conference was ended by giving examples of current usage in real institutions. Jaime Solano and GVAM’s content manager, Martia García-Muñoz showed live demonstrations of functionalities that can be used as inspiration to other institutions. These included: Agile A/B tests to determine which content strategy generates the most engagement, to identify the best content themes, to know where our visitors are moving at all times, to detect the best POS and advertising points for promoting the visit or downloading the app, and to detect the audience profiles that are most likely to participate with and interact with the institution.
Of course the uses of the data are multiple and there are many more than those mentioned previously. There are also countless possible applications depending on the nature and objectives of each museum. Institutions must think in an individual way… in what way could my department benefit from this? Do I have the resources currently to take advantage of this data?
Obtaining anonymous and valuable information from each visitor and their experiences is nowadays much easier. The key lies in making the proper effort to make good use of the data and propose strategic solutions to issues based off of it. This involves allocating the majority of the human and economic resources available to the decision-making process instead of the extraction and collating of data.
Interactive guides are today the first source of valuable data during the visitor experience. Why not utilize them conveniently and for the benefit of the millions of people who decide to share their time with us? If you wish to see real cases studies and learn more about the possible applications of Big Data in museums through the medium of interactive guides, please do not hesitate to contact us! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
More basic information about Big Data in museums
If you are new to the subject and wish to dig a little deeper in the concept, such as the pros and cons of using this technology in the cultural and tourist setting, don’t forget to read our earlier entries: