2023 in review
6 min read

2023 in review

Reflecting on our 10 years journey, 2023 marks a decade of advancements since the debut of the Culture Counts Evaluation Platform. We released a variety of new features this year and users collected more responses than ever before! Read on to see how we’ve grown and to provide your feedback on our future direction.

Since the launch of our platform in 2013, we’ve grown our reach significantly – both across the sector, but also our dataset. As of today, Australian users have collected over 1.2 million survey responses for 17,000+ evaluations – that’s roughly 21 million data points. While COVID-19 certainly affected the numbers, today we’re seeing users evaluate more of their activity than ever before!

Survey and Responses Growth (Australia)

Combined with the 600K+ responses collected on our UK server, it’s amazing to see how the idea of evaluating outcomes and impact has grown since we first started doing this 10 years ago.

Product updates

2023 was a major year for us releasing new features for the Culture Counts Evaluation Platform. Those included:

  • Survey app refresh: Our survey app was rebuilt from the ground-up. Featuring a new look and new tech to improve the survey experience, it also now meets the WCAG 2.1 accessibility guidelines out-of-the-box.
  • Offline surveys: We new support the function to collect data for Interview surveys in ‘offline mode’, which are stored on the device and can be synced to the database when WiFi is available.
  • Analytics Dashboard: Our enhanced Analytics Dashboard offers streamlined and tailored reporting experience, with an array of new chart types and filters to help users dive deeper into their data.
  • Multi-user accounts: Up to three users can now be added to a standard account, along with three guest accounts. We also redesigned our evaluation sharing panel to make collaboration and sharing even easier.
  • Evaluation and Survey Templates: We made it even easier to get started on a new evaluation with templates for a range of activities including events, performances and workshops.
  • Dimension Selector: Users can build lists of dimensions to populate into their surveys, making survey development more efficient and easier to ensure consistent metrics are used over multiple evaluations.
  • Outcome Framework Refresh: A huge overhaul of our outcomes framework integrates all our dimensions into a clear and actionable schema, with descriptions for each associated outcome area and category type.

We’ve also been spent the later half of this year updating some of our core technology, so that we can deliver even more exciting features in 2024!

Client and Research Milestones

2023 also included a number of major client projects and milestones. We published some of these throughout the year, including:

  • APAX 2023 Audience Research: Our factor analysis for audience segmentation, in partnership with Merryn Carter and Geelong Arts Centre. We presented our findings at APAX 2023 and are looking forward to sharing more about this segmentation research next year.
  • CircuitWest Audience Research: This project was undertaken in collaboration with WA-based performing arts organisations. Combining ticketing data and population polling, the research uncovered fascinating results regarding audience attendance.
  • Creative New Zealand Evaluation Pilot: Creative New Zealand (CNZ) partnered with Culture Counts to conduct a year-long pilot study involving the Culture Counts Evaluation Platform. The study demonstrates how funding organisations can harness cohort-based evaluations to collectively understand the outcomes of their funded activities.
  • Local Government Benchmark Report FY22/23: Our second Local Government benchmark report was published this year, with local governments collecting 39,600 survey responses from more than 890 surveys throughout Australia using the Culture Counts Evaluation Platform.
  • Public Libraries Evaluation Network Report 2022 – 2023: the project has completed its fourth year with 33 participating libraries collecting 8,667 survey responses across 5 states in Australia.
  • Art Council England Impact & Insight Toolkit Relaunch: Our UK partners, Counting What Counts, relaunched the Impact & Insight Toolkit for Arts Council England’s Investment Program 2023-26 funded organisations.
  • Communicating the Arts Conference Singapore: We co-presented with Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts, sharing how Tai Kwun has used audience data to learn, change and improve the visitor experience in their cultural precinct over the past three years.
  • Education and Learning: We hosted a webinar for members of the Global Association of Literary Festivals (Making Data Count) and ran a series of workshops including our Outcomes Masterclass in Busselton and a Library Outcomes Workshop in Sydney. We are more workshops in the pipeline next year – if you are interested in finding out more, contact us.

Next steps

We’ve got exciting plans for 2024, but we also want to hear from you! Whether you’re an active user, or thinking about joining Culture Counts, we would love your feedback to help guide our future work. Let us know your thoughts in our short survey.

About the author
Jordan Gibbs is a Product Director for Culture Counts.