Guide | Data collection in Audience Finder

What types of data are collected in Audience Finder and how is it collected?

One of the key aims of Audience Finder is to support organisations with simple, appropriate and standardised data collection methodologies. In a world where data is growing exponentially, those organisations and individuals who can collect, understand and apply useful data will reap the rewards.

The ways of collecting this data vary depending on the organisation, but our commitment to the highest standards in data protection and quality insight apply no matter what the size of your dataset or organisation.

For information on data management and data protection, please see the Data control in Audience Finder article.

Quantitative survey data

Survey data gives us the opportunity to collect information on a sample of the audiences to any of the participating organisations. Quant surveys are excellent for understanding audiences on a broad level and provide opportunity to not only understand audience behaviours, but also their attitudes, motivations and preferences.

The survey data is collected by the participating organisations using one of two primary methodologies:

  • Face-to-face – where an audience member is surveyed in person by a fieldworker during a visit to a cultural event or site
  • E-survey – where the organisation collects email addresses and permissions for audience members to be sent an e-survey

No matter which methodology is used, the data is inputted directly into a survey database through a secure password protected website, that only restricted staff of The Audience Agency and the organisation themselves have access to.

The data we collect from each organisation depends on the questions that are asked, but we encourage organisations to standardise their surveys as much as possible. All Audience Finder surveys contain a set of core questions, to allow at least a basic level of comparison between any organisations in Audience Finder. To find out more about collecting audience surveys with Audience Finder click here.

Box office data

Data is automatically extracted from box office systems using our Data Extraction Client (DEC), a small piece of software which extracts the required source data and transfers it securely to our data warehouse. The data is protected during transfer to the database server via File Transfer Protocol using SSL encryption (FTPS).

Once the data is in our warehouse and is in a standardised format, we are able to provide analyse to help organisations compare their data to national and regional comparators.

We also provide analysis of web data, but we do not actually capture any of this data ourselves.

Administrative data

In the course of running Audience Finder, we do collect information about the participating organisations and

representatives thereof. We use this data in a number of ways to help us plan and improve our services to clients. We also use aggregated admin data to report on our progress to Arts Council England as our major
funder, but we never provide data that would identify any participating organisation or individual, except with the permission of said party.