23 March, 2020


A few days ago, the Carrousel du Louvre Paris was the meeting place for museums around the world coming together for SITEM. The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC) and the Museo Guggenheim Bilbao, invited to the workshop organised by GVAMreflected on their digital transformation and, more specifically, on the value of their data intelligence in order to improve visitor and user experience at their museum.

The distinction between visitors and users is the starting point for defining the current “digital awareness” stage.  Montse Gumà, responsible for MNAC’s digital department,  pointed out that the “museum user” is thought of as someone who “accesses” the museum through a digital tool (online, social network, app, multimedia guide, etc.). In order to define the global strategy of the organisation, the digital user is as significant as someone who buys an entry ticket Diego Cenzano, responsible for digital transformation at the Guggenheim, explained how the programme “Community” collects and analyses the information on all types of public visitor.


Key elements of the workshop on data intelligence at SITEM

For both invitees, talking about “people” instead of “public” is key to being able to offer information, activities and products of interest to museum users. Dealing with the challenge of effective and real segmentation was the main focus of the 45 minutes that the session lasted. In the following 5 minute video, we summarise the key elements of the workshop.


As Montse Gumà pointed out, the time when museums mistrusted the usefulness  of big data is now passed. The analysis of information gained from visitors (always deliberate and consensual) of value to the majority of departments, not just marketing. According to Gumà, the multimedia guide is the tool which offers most information of the apps implemented by MNAC.

In the current phase of transformation, Diego Cenzano acknowledges that, combining and verifying the numerous sources of data generated by the museum is complex but necessary.This will be the main challenge of any institution that decides to approach data analytics from a strategic perspective.

The director of GVAM, Jaime Solano, reiterates the importance of focusing on the actions to take after the data analysis, which is the real reason why such information is being extracted. For this reason, it is important to remember that the interactive guides are used by approximately 15-20% of the museum visitor total.  Furthermore, in the majority of cases, they are used inside as well as outside the museum. We like to call them “interactive” because they are more than simply multimedia devices but are also two-way communication tools.

In order to incorporate the information provided by the interactive guides into the dashboard or reports currently produced by various museums, it must be possible to export the data in real time, to standardise it and to adequately extricate it from “noise” (information which is invaluable to the intended objective). To achieve this, it is essential to apply the knowledge of the museum and the specialised providers of each service and analytical tool.

To conclude, specialisation and multidisciplinary function are key to these highly digitalised environments. As real spaces of exchange, museums experience the evolution of forms of communications in their day to day. Therefore, the more those of us who work to improve their services are connected, the greater the results from our efforts to improve visitor experience.