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Avoiding the Digital Death Spiral: Surviving & Thriving through understanding the Value and Impact of Digital Culture
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Avoiding the Digital Death Spiral: Surviving & Thriving through understanding the Value and Impact of Digital Culture

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Simon will consider how we can use a deeper understanding of value and impact to survive in an ever more competitive and confusing digital landscape. How do the cultural, heritage or creative sectors …

Simon will consider how we can use a deeper understanding of value and impact to survive in an ever more competitive and confusing digital landscape. How do the cultural, heritage or creative sectors cope with the twin challenges of meeting the public desire for digital content whilst maintaining their curatorial responsibilities within what could be considered an unfunded mandate? Simon will investigate the values and benefits of digital with a consideration of the risks we face in what he refers to as the Digital Death Spiral. Simon will propose one solution in particular, The Balanced Value Impact Model (BVI Model) that he has recently developed. The BVI Model draws evidence from a wide range of sources to provide a compelling account of the means of measuring the impact of digital resources and using evidence to advocate how change benefits people. Simon will argue that putting people at the centre of our strategic thinking is both the most challenging and satisfying action we can take in securing our digital futures.

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  • 1. Today’s Agenda! Why am I here? The Digital Death Spiral (duh, dah, daaah) Avoiding the Death Spiral Impact – understanding how you have made a difference Some thoughts on value
  • 2. The case for Impact We are more effective and efficient in delivering change and tangible benefits (Internal Impact); Our organisation is gaining strategic advantage through the innovation inherent in this digital activity (Innovation Impact); We are delivering a strong economic benefit to our community that demonstrate the worth and value of our endeavours in clear monetary terms (Economic Impact); and the community has been changed by the resource in beneficial ways that can be clearly identified (Social Impact)
  • 3. www.kcl.ac.uk/ddh/ Digital Humanities: the application of digital technology to humanities disciplines reflection upon the impact of digital media upon humanity > 50 academics & researchers ~ £2.5 million research income per annum 5+ million digital objects in 107+projects 200+ million hits over the last 5 years
  • 4. Digital Humanities methods for historical analysis of Irish Immigrants in 19th Century London, England http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tp4y-_VoXdA
  • 5. Data Sea 2.0: a real-time artistic representation of the Radiosphere http://bit.ly/datasea2
  • 6. The Midnight Run simon-tanner.blogspot.co.uk http://bit.ly/1cJBBDr
  • 7. Is the value in the wine, the glass or the drinking?
  • 8. www.kdcs.kcl.ac.uk/innovation/inspiring.html
  • 9. Measuring the Impact of Digitized Resources: The Balanced Value Model http://www.kdcs.kcl.ac.uk/innovation/impact.html
  • 10. A Digital Death Spiral?
  • 11. Signs you are in the Digital Death Spiral “digitisation = funding” “Digital is everything today” “who knows how much it’ll cost, but digital’s bound to be wonderful” “Planning is so 20th Century, let’s be Agile” “cos our competition / Google / my mate is doing it” “cos if we build it, they will come!”
  • 12. Digital Death Spiral: the shocking & stealthy
  • 13. Curation Challenges & Unfunded Mandates Digitisation Digital Preservation Virtual heritage Intellectual heritage Web Archiving Material heritage Born digital Collection Development Preservation & Conservation Web 2.0 / Interactive heritage
  • 14. “the measurable outcomes arising from the existence of a digital resource that demonstrate a change in the life or life opportunities of the community” www.kdcs.kcl.ac.uk/innovation/impact.html
  • 15. The case for Impact We are more effective and efficient in delivering change and tangible benefits (Internal Impact); Our organisation is gaining strategic advantage through the innovation inherent in this digital activity (Innovation Impact); We are delivering a strong economic benefit to our community that demonstrate the worth and value of our endeavours in clear monetary terms (Economic Impact); and the community has been changed by the resource in beneficial ways that can be clearly identified (Social Impact)
  • 16. www.kdcs.kcl.ac.uk/innovation/impact.html
  • 17. www.kdcs.kcl.ac.uk/innovation/impact.html
  • 18. Impact taskforce Simon Tanner
  • 19. Aggregated • 2200+ content providers • 173 aggregators • 26.9 million objects
  • 20. Network • 600+ individual members, working in taskforces and on strategy Breakdown Galleries: 2 Libraries: 111 Archives: 26 Museums: 60 National Aggs: 22 Publishers: 2 Creative Ind: 5 Research: 78 Ministries: 9 Other: 174
  • 21. www.kdcs.kcl.ac.uk/innovation/impact.html
  • 22. PERSPECTIVE + VALUE DRIVER OBJECTIVES STAKEHOLDERS AREAS MEASURED METHODS INDICATORS CURRENT USE (SOCIAL) Those with an interest in the intellectual content find it useful to their research Users of the 1. Discovery Google Code2. Engagement Analytics review breakers 3. Usefulness Site surveys resource. sampling users on the Codebreakers microsite. Tracking of recommendatio ns to others or reviews. Users User panels. Citations of content on the site. 1. a. b. c. Discovery of resource: Web visits/visitors Views to digitised content Relative use to historical use figures (where applicable) 1. Engagement with resource: a. Average time spent on digitised content b. Repeat visitors to Codebreakers c. Downloads of content d. User journeys across Codebreakers 1. Usefulness of resource: a. Site surveying to collect reported usage and utility of Codebreakers resource b. Citation indices – this can only be a very long term measure due to research and publishing timescales c. User panel – recruited from actual users of the Codebreakers resource. Engage in enquiry of the function, content and discoverability of Codebreakers. d. Desk research to find innovative use of the content e. Online media monitoring to capture people’s mentions and recommendations of Codebreakers.
  • 23. PERSPECTIVE + VALUE DRIVER OBJECTIVES STAKEHOLDERS AREAS MEASURED METHODS INDICATORS CURRENT USE (SOCIAL) Community Peer organisation s and members of our professional community have changed their policy or practice concerning digitisation projects. Practitioners 1. , peer organisation s and 2. members of our professional community 3. who have been influenced by the project Awareness of the project Take up of methods/ approaches / standards Impact of take up on partner and peer organisatio ns Survey of partner organisations who worked on the project Survey of event attendees / key peer organisations Desk research 1. a. b. c. d. 1. a. b. 1. Awareness: Number attending digitisation open days/events held at Wellcome Library Contacts from peer organisations/practitioners Online media monitoring for blogs, conference presentations, events, workshops, open days, social media etc. Citations/references to the project Take up: Survey of partner and peer organisations, and practitioners identified in stage 1. Desk research to identify stakeholders influenced by the Codebreakers project (e.g. Ronan Deazley work on archives and copyright) Impact: a. Survey of partner and peer organisations, and practitioners identified in stage 1. b. Desk research
  • 24. PERSPECTIVE + VALUE DRIVER OBJECTIVES STAKEHOLDERS AREAS MEASURED METHODS INDICATORS POTENTIAL USE (INNOVATION) Users The Codebreakers project has enabled new potential activities and research methods for those interested in the intellectual content. Potential users of the Codebreakers resource 1. 2. 3. Community The extent to which Codebreakers has created new possibilities for organisations and professional members of the cultural heritage community. Practitioners, peer organisations and members of our professional community who may be influenced by the project 1. 2. 3. 4. Delivery of the planned functionality/ usability of the Codebreakers resource. User understandin g of the new research enabled by Codebreakers . Unforeseen potentials for new research. Evaluation of functional capabilities of the finished site against our initial goals. Heuristic evaluation of Codebreakers resource. Site survey. Focus group with potential users 1. a. Desk work to determine accessibility of technical and process developments. Awareness of Qualitative access to measures such as developments questionnaires, . desk research, Uptake of structured practices interviews. A initiated in the comparison of our project as initial goals with the industry final site. standard. Unforeseen 1. a. The accessibility of technical developments . b. 1. a. b. c. d. 1. b. 1. a. 1. a. 1. a. b. Delivery: Desk work to check the functionality of the site against our initial specification. Heuristic evaluation of usability User understanding: Site survey of users on Codebreakers microsite Focus group research Usability research with potential users Heuristic evaluation Unforeseen potentials: Staff interviews to discover where unexpected benefits occurred during the build of the site. Focus group recruited from potential Codebreakers users to discuss new opportunities for researchers. Accessibility of developments: Desk work to check accessibility of technical developments to the peer community Availability of documentation of process/organisational developments Awareness of access: Survey of partner and peer organisations, and practitioners identified in Current Community Awareness. Uptake as industry standards: As described in Current Community uptake Unforeseen potentials: Survey of partner and peer organisations, and practitioners identified in Current Community Awareness. Staff interviews to discover where unexpected benefits occurred during the build of the site.
  • 25. PERSPECTIVE + VALUE DRIVER OBJECTIVES STAKEHOLDERS AREAS MEASURED METHODS INDICATORS INTERNAL How have the staff of the Wellcome Trust had their skills, abilities, capacity and knowledge Development enhanced by developing Codebreakers Inheritance / Bequest How does Codebreakers represent the inheritance of the Wellcome Trust Library’s activities since collecting began and how does it prepare the Library for the future and bequeath benefits to future generations? Staff of the Wellcome Library and Trust. 1. 2. Changes in individual knowledge or skills. Changes in working practices and behaviours 3. Staff and members of the Wellcome Trust. Change in usage enabled by Codebreaker s resource. Value for future digitisation activity Benchmarkin g against peer organisations . Comparison to historical strategic direction of Library. 2. 3. 4. 1. a. b. 1. a. b. 1. a. Changes in organisation al capacity or ability. 1. Survey of Trust staff connected with the project. Interviews with line-managers. Interviews with senior managers. Google Analytics Interviews with senior managers Review of peer organisation activity Desk research Individual knowledge: Survey of Trust staff connected to Codebreakers activity. Interviewing line-managers of staff involved in the Codebreakers project. Working practices and behaviours: Survey of Trust staff connected to Codebreakers activity. Interviewing line-managers of staff involved in the Codebreakers project. Changes to organisation: Interviews with senior managers. Change in usage: a. See Current Users usage Value for future digitisation activity: a. Interviews with senior managers b. Data from Internal Development Benchmarking: a. Review of peer organisations – desk research and interviews to compare the Wellcome Library’s digital status in comparison with its peers worldwide. Comparison to historical strategic direction: a. Desk research b. Interviews with senior managers
  • 26. PERSPECTIVE + VALUE DRIVER OBJECTIVES STAKEHOLDERS AREAS MEASURED METHODS INDICATORS Google Analytics review Site survey User panels. This will be based on methodology developed by the British Library in their 2013 economic evaluation. The full British Library report is available here. It will include: 1. Comparison of Codebreakers usage with archive usage records over the last 5 years with an assessment of the cost of use. 2. User time spent on the Codebreakers resource 3. Users’ geographic location. 4. Equivalent cost implication for users consulting across collections previously held in physically separate locations. 5. Contingent valuation questions included in site survey and user panels. ECONOMIC What is the net economic effect of making the content freely available online? Users Users of the Economic gain Codebreaker to individual s resource. users of the resource. Economic value generated for organisations that are endusers of the resource.
  • 27. Thanks! Thank you to all the folks at the Wellcome Library for allowing me to share this with you. Contacts Alexander Green Email: A.Green@wellcome.ac.uk Christy Henshaw Email: C.Henshaw@wellcome.ac.uk
  • 28. www.kdcs.kcl.ac.uk/innovation/impact.html
  • 29. http://simon-tanner.blogspot.com/
  • 30. http://simon-tanner.blogspot.com/
  • 31. “That’s the first time, in that room, that I’ve written what I feel, responded to those questions and left it up there for anybody else to read – for the first time in the last 10 years. I didn’t let myself worry about being judged or whether it was good enough, whatever, I just left it out there. And there was some peace came with that.... I just allowed myself to be and I feel enriched, I feel energised by that and empowered by that.”
  • 32. With thanks to Alice Maggs for the Impact illustrations alice.100@hotmail.com