I believe data created on behalf of the field should be shared with the field. Whether samples from the broader population, or samples of museum-goers, if data isn't used, it is of little value.
But data for data's sake is a futile exercise as well. There is a lot of data "noise" out there, and sifting through all of it to find the relevant information that can inform your decision-making takes time, knowledge, and critical, contextual thinking. To use data effectively, you have to consider the source, sample bias, how data is framed, and whether the finding matters at all in the first place.
And if it passes those tests, then why does it matter for your museum, your situation? What is the context of the data, the broader trends it may fit in with … or confound?
That's where I come in. With this blog I plan to do three things:
So join me as we explore the role of museums in our society, through data, research, and critical, contextual thinking.