Media Release: Dexibit puts the R into Art with data science
Tuesday, February 21 2017
Museums, galleries and cultural institutions worldwide are turning to big data and analytics to increase visitation, optimize programs and evidence funding. Thanks to museum analytics company Dexibit, the industry now has another hot tool at its fingertips: data science language R.
Named the ‘Sexiest Job of 21st Century’ by Harvard Business Review (not usually a word used to describe museums), the pursuit of data science hasn’t escaped the cultural sector as it looks to find ways to advance arts, heritage and culture in society. Dexibit CEO Angie Judge explains, “In many ways, culture is now competing with the couch. When it comes to entertainment, even education, brands such as Facebook and Netflix all vie for public attention alongside our cultural institutions. By embracing the power of big data, museums are now arming themselves with the same tools that make these companies successful.”
At Dexibit, big data helps museum executives understand visitor behavior. In the museum, the technology takes a digital snapshot of visitor presence by gallery every few seconds, using WiFi. This data, alongside online traffic, social media, commercial transactions and even the weather outside, develops a picture of visitor experience. Dexibit provides the museum with personalized dashboards, automated reports and opportunities to collaborate over data. “Museums increasingly have to do more with less,” explains Judge. “With Dexibit, data driven decisions help these institutions remain sustainable, relevant and innovative.”
The sector dove head first into the big data challenge, demanding increasingly advanced analytics. As a result, Dexibit has expanded its solution – originally designed for the business user – to now include an integration framework aimed at more technically advanced users in large institutions. This framework enables Dexibit to leverage notebooks to enable self service data facility for power users, integration with third party reporting (such as Tableau and QlikSense) for data analysts and utilization of R for data scientists – an instant advanced analytics ecosystem for the museum.
A programming language for data science, R is one of the most popular development languages in the world, enabling statistical computing. Dexibit’s own data team were the inspiration behind the development, having used R since the beginning. “We were looking to dramatically cut our time to market for insights innovation when building our integration framework,“ explains Judge. “When our clients started asking for access too, we realized this ecosystem would be powerful directly in the hands of the museum.” The company will be rolling out introductory R training for budding museum analysts in the coming months.
“Over a billion people visit the world’s 75,000 museums each year” says Judge. “At Dexibit, our mission is to help museums inspire even more visitors through the door. We’ll be using every tool in our arsenal to make that happen and with R, we’ve just made another giant leap forward.”