Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Prediction for 2013: Big Data means Big Changes

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.

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