On Friday 22 September Culture Counts welcomed 30 guests from Victorian arts organisations for an educational event dedicated to cultural evaluation.
The session was initiated following a series of ongoing discussions with organisations about how to understand and demonstrate the important outcomes that they achieve. We wanted to share our knowledge to help the sector build stronger cases for support and investment.
The session covered three key areas:
- Knowing what to measure – designing a meaningful evaluation strategy
- Knowing how to measure – tips for best practice data collection
- Knowing how to use the results – analysing and reporting on impact
Traditionally evaluation has focused on audience profiling and satisfaction, which doesn’t provide evidence of outcomes and offer deep insights that can be used to learn or improve. Choosing metrics or survey questions becomes much easier and more meaningful when they’re aligned with outcomes relating to the organisation’s key objectives.
Through our work with the cultural sector over several years, we’ve identified the best data collection methods to suit many different organisations. We also have simple guides to sample sizes, and suggestions for templates and schedules that make the evaluation process much easier when it comes to event time.
Giving context to data adds an extra layer of insight that can help it all make sense. Comparing a program of events highlights trends and differences in outcomes, and standardising language enable collegiate organisations with common objectives to share data and learn from one another. While deep analysis can assist with internal reflection and decision-making, it is also important to design reporting in a way that suits the intended audience. Check out our blog on data visualisation below for some interesting ways to demonstrate your impact on external parties.
The response from the event was overwhelmingly positive and we’re planning sessions in other states. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like to access any of the materials from the session or speak to one of our staff about your evaluation needs.