TRG blog: Prediction for 2013: Big Data means Big Changes
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Prediction for 2013: Big Data means Big Changes

Rick Lester | December 19, 2012 9:49 AM
Yesterday You’ve Cott Mail asked readers for predictions about the arts in 2013. Rick's prediction was published in today's edition.
Photo via flickr
In 2013, Big Data will radically change the shape of arts management. The reelection of Barack Obama in November marked a tipping point for the arts, but not because of a change of public policy or a shift of power in Washington.

We reached a milestone because of HOW the President won. He won because of the power of big data to identify individual voters, understand their attitudes and then encourage their behaviors. Big Data tools got the President's supporters to the polls and assured the needed votes on a neighborhood basis in all-important swing states.

Big Data is radically changing the shape of business. The arts will be no different. After decades of a guildhall mentality, new managers' training will forego traditional wisdom. Data and facts will find their place at the conference room table. Management decisions that now rely upon the HIPPO theory (Highest Paid Person's Opinion) will begin to fade in 2013. Instead, smart (and probably younger, not-yet top earning) managers will arrive at meetings armed with facts. Who is our audience? Who is not our audience?  How do we put the needs and expectations of our patrons at the center of our organizational planning?

In 2013, data will win - just like Obama did.


Related Articles
Data vs. Message: Which wins arts patrons?
Post-Election Lessons for the Arts

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Case Study: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma

Annual operating budget up 32% in 5 seasons

Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma 
 Photo: Joseph Mills

After a poor year for earned revenue in 2012, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma (LTO) had rebounded and was experiencing a growth spurt. In 2013, Director of Marketing Danyel Siler had turned her attention to single tickets.

Her hard work had paid off, but season tickets were still a challenge. “Season tickets were steadily declining,” she said. “The season ticket campaign had been done the same way for years, maybe even decades. And we blamed the fall on the trend that subs were declining everywhere. Our executive director, artistic director, and I all knew something needed to change, but we didn’t know what.”

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