Taming the numbers: automated and interactive reporting from heterogeneous data sources

Wednesday, April 5th: 1:00pm - 2:30pm


VP of Systems Development and Applications @ National September 11 Memorial and Museum

Paper Abstract

Modern museums rely on several disparate data sources to capture operational information such as visitor counts, revenue, ticket sales, demographics of visitors such as age and home location, times spent in different sections of museums, usage patterns of interactive exhibits, group/school visits, special tours, museum store sales, donations, and memberships. These data are of crucial importance to museums for tracking performance in terms of multiple metrics including financials, visitor engagement, outreach, etc. Analysis of forecast vs. actual numbers also feeds into tuning of predictive models used for planning and strategy development. These analyses play a crucial role in operations planning, future development, advertising, organizing of special exhibitions, etc. As such, these various data are of interest to several groups in museums including senior staff, heads of departments, finance, operations, collections/exhibitions, and information technology. Channeling and customizing the data sources to meet the needs of these several groups involves multiple challenges. Firstly, these data sources have vastly differing schemas and involve different \”types\” of data (ranging from dollar figures to people counts and time durations, numerical/categorical data, complex interrelationships between data feeds, different temporal granularities, etc.). Furthermore, the different groups interested in the data are diverse audiences requiring different granularities and levels of detail. While some audiences prefer automated reports, others prefer interactive dashboard interfaces to perform their own analyses. Automated reports for different audiences could capture different types of data and from different viewpoints and be generated with auto-formatting to provide easily understandable summaries of key metrics of interest to the particular audience. Desirable functionalities in interactive web-based dashboards include graphical plotting, analysis of historical trends, con

ID: 11085