Overview of the bookThe GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives and museums) sector strategises to gain the attention of those senior decision makers who act as gatekeepers to the limited funds that exist to support the cultural, educative, creative and heritage sectors as a whole. Wherever funding comes from, there is an imperative to demonstrate that digital content delivers widely felt benefits by innovative and efficient means within a reduced budget.
Delivering Impact with Digital Resources introduces a fresh way of thinking about strategy and a mechanism to provide evidence of benefits that extend to impact. The book proposes an updated Balanced Value Impact Model (BVI Model) to enable each memory organization to convincingly argue they are an evidence based operation, working in innovative modes with digital resources for the positive social and economic benefit of their communities.
The digital presence of memory institutions has the power to change lives and life opportunities. It is essential to understand the different strategies and their modes of digital value to consider how organisational presence within digital cultures can create change. Impact assessment is the tool to foster understanding of how strategic decisions about digital resources may be changing behaviour within our communities.
- a guide to using the BVI Model and a wide range of data gathering and evidence based methods
- exploration of strategy in the context of digital ecosystems, an attention economy and cultural economics
- working with communities and stakeholders to deliver on promises implicit in digital resources/activities
- major case studies about Europeana’s Impact Playbook, the Wellcome Trust and the National Gallery of Denmark, amongst other impact exemplars from many sectors and geographies to show how they are explored and applied.
Delivering Impact with Digital Resources is available directly from Facet Publishing, and other book stockists, in print and ebook formats. A sample chapter (Chapter 2) will be uploaded and available here in due course.
Structure of the book
Chapter 1: the context of measuring impact to deliver strategic valueThis chapter articulates the demand for impact assessment, its history and context. The term ‘impact’ is defined and mapped to the roots of impact assessment in other fields of investigation. There follows an exploration of the early impact evaluations and methods focused on memory institutions or digital content. The intellectual and administrative journey to deliver the BVI Model 2.0 is sketched out.
Chapter 2: The Balanced Value Impact ModelThe BVI Model is applied in five core functional stages:
- Stage 1: Set the context
- Stage 2: Design the framework
- Stage 3: Implement the framework
- Stage 4: Narrate the outcomes and results
- Stage 5: Review and respond.
The prerequisites for applying the BVI Model are explained.
Chapter 3: Impact in libraries, archives, museums and other memory institutionsThis chapter expands on the definition of impact through specific exemplars and case studies of impact assessment in memory institutions such as libraries, museums and archives. The Wellcome Library, first implementers of the BVI Model for their digitisation programme, is an extended case study.
Chapter 4: Finding value and impact in an attention economyThis chapter focuses on how the attention economy influences digital culture. In a response to understanding the influences and motivators in an attention economy, the chapter then considers how the selection and creation of digital content lead towards impactful resources.
Chapter 5: Strategic Perspectives and Value LensesStrategic Perspectives and Value Lenses are foundation stones underpinning the BVI Model. The chapter addresses the theoretical background and analytical reasoning for adopting these concepts in an impact assessment. The core of this chapter explains the way strategy interacts with values. It ends with a focal case study from the Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK, National Gallery of Denmark) to illuminate these strategic issues.
Chapter 6: Planning to plan with the BVI ModelSet the context, Stage 1 of the BVI Model, is shown in detail. The importance of context, ground truths and baselines to the success of impact measurement is emphasised. Methods of investigating the digital ecosystem, stakeholders and situation analysis using SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) are described. Guidance on pairing Strategic Perspectives with Value Lenses is provided. Further advice on how to use stage 1 for strategic goals not associated with impact assessment is also provided.
Chapter 7: Implementing the BVI FrameworkDesign the BVI Framework (stage 2) is the focus of this chapter. The reader will learn how to set objectives, decided on good indicators of impact and about assigning them to stakeholder groups. The guidance on completing the BVI Framework includes a critical analysis of useful data-gathering techniques and tools.
Stage 3 is introduced and the practicalities of this stage are detailed.
Chapter 8: Europeana case study implementing the BVI ModelThis chapter presents a user’s perspective on implementing the BVI Model through a case study provided by Julia Fallon of the Europeana Foundation.
The issues focused on in this case study are:
- a reflection on Europeana’s implementation of impact assessment, with a focus on one complete cycle;
- the ideas driving how Europeana developed the Impact Playbook;
- how these integrate with the BVI Model.
Chapter 9: Using the outcomes of the BVI ModelThis chapter explains stage 4 of the BVI Model and how to narrate the outcomes and results of implementing the Model. The chapter focuses on the means of transferring the outputs of data gathering into outcomes that are meaningful demonstrators of impact, to be used effectively by decision makers. Outputs are evaluated and outcomes prioritised. Communicating the results involves storytelling, visualisation, marketing and public relations methods. The next section considers engagement with communities. The National Library of Australia’s Trove is critiqued as a case study. The chapter ends with advice on engaging with decision and policy makers.
Chapter 10: Impact as a call to actionA case having been made for the digital resource through the presentation and communication of the outcomes and results of the impact assessment, review and respond (stage 5) is the moment to follow through and ensure that the purpose of the impact assessment reaps its fullest benefits. It is important to reflect continually on what will be measured, why this is worthwhile measuring and the purposes that measurement serves.
The book ends with a conclusion that brings the threads together and provides a definite call to action. Embedding impact into evidence-based management thinking and culture, avoiding comfortable metrics and celebrating success are all linked to this author’s belief that memory institutions can play a pivotal role in the digital future of society.
About the authorSimon Tanner is Professor of Digital Cultural Heritage in the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London. He is a digital humanities scholar with a wide-ranging interest in cross-disciplinary thinking and collaborative approaches that reflect a fascination with interactions between memory institution collections (libraries, museum, archives, media and publishing) and the digital domain.
As an information professional, consultant, digitisation expert and academic he works with major cultural institutions across the world to assist them in transforming their impact, collections and online presence. He has consulted for or managed over 500 digital projects, including digitisation of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and has built strategy with a wide range of organisations. These include many national libraries, museums and government agencies in Europe, Africa, America and the Middle East. Tanner has had work commissioned by UNESCO, the Arcadia Fund and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. He founded the Digital Futures Academy that has run in the UK, Australia, South Africa and Ghana with participants from over 40 countries.
Research into image use and sales in American art museums by Simon Tanner has had a significant effect on opening up collections access and OpenGLAM in the museum sector. Tanner is a strong advocate for open access, open research and the digital humanities. He is part of the founding group behind the ArtforAll campaign. He was chair of the Web Archiving sub-committee as an independent member of the UK government-appointed Legal Deposit Advisory Panel. He is a member of the Europeana Impact Taskforce that developed the Impact Playbook based on his Balanced Value Impact Model. He was part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council- (AHRC) funded Academic Book of the Future research team.
Tanner teaches on the Masters in Digital Asset and Media Management and the BA in Digital Culture at King’s College London. While writing this book he was Pro Vice Dean for Research Impact and Innovation in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.
He is now the Vice Dean, Humanities (People & Planning). The Humanities Cluster of 4 departments are Classics, History, Philosophy and Theology and Religous Studies within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at King's College London. There are approx. 180 academics in the Humanities Cluster. The Vice-Dean (People & Planning) role is to provide managerial, planning and budgetary oversight and support at Cluster level. He works closely with each Head of Department and the Executive Dean to implement strategic aims and objectives with a particular focus on budgets and human resources.
He tweets as @SimonTanner and blogs at http://simon-tanner.blogspot.co.uk/. He owns and runs the BVI Model website.