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Project KIWI: Part 1

Selma Willcocks, Marketing Officer, gives a brief catch-up on Artsadmin’s Small Capital project for digital infrastructure, Project KIWI…

In February of this year Arts Council England awarded Artsadmin with £125,000 through its Small Capital fund to “turn its existing data into a key strategic asset, from which it can improve its own performance and help build capacity within the sector.” So Project KIWI was born.

Why KIWI? Well, Digital Transformation Project isn’t exactly very catchy. So, taking inspiration from the DIKW model of data strategy (credit to Nathan Shedroff), we set about trying to find an acronym that would help us explain what it is we’re trying to actually DO with our data – during the project and beyond. It’s about getting information, that leads us to knowledge that enables us to develop insight (wisdom). Above all, this process allows us to be more creative – knowing more about the people we work with, and the audiences and artists we engage, gives us inspiration.

And so KIWI (yes, we jumbled it up slightly!) was born! 

There is an actual kiwi too, a mascot of sorts…

Some headlines on what we have we achieved so far

We’ve articulated Project KIWI’s vision and purpose

The vision is “to turn our data – and the relationships and knowledge that it represents – into a strategic and organisational asset.” This will help us achieve our creative and charitable ambitions, as well as be more economically sustainable. We aim to: 

  • Create an interconnected way of gathering and understanding the many types of data that we collect, from box office sales and donor lists, to cafe customers and studio hirers…
  • More effectively connect the people we reach (e.g. sector partners, public audiences, beneficiaries) to the activity we deliver (e.g. touring productions, artist opportunities and individual experiences) locally, nationally and internationally
  • Build better connections between our networks and facilitate data sharing (high on the priority lists for us arts marketers). 

We’ve established a way of working

We’re working with the wonderful team over at Golant Media Ventures, who worked with us at the start of 2015 to help us create a vision and strategy for data. This gave us an invaluable insight into what data was currently doing for us, and more importantly what it could do. From this, Project KIWI – including the idea of pursuing ACE Small Capital funding – came into being.

Project KIWI is delivered by Artsadmin and GMV in partnership, led by Jennifer Tomkins (Head of Marketing and Development) and with key members of staff leading each strand of our activity.

Photo of Jennifer’s desk. The team have gone KIWI mad.

We’ve mapped out the benefits

Artsadmin is a well-connected organisation: almost all of our projects are made in collaboration with arts venues, sector partners and networks – and of course, with artists. It is important to us that the learnings from Project KIWI will benefit not only us but also these multiple stakeholders. In the future we will be sharing our experiences and knowledge sector-wide.

So we thought about the groups of people we have relationships with

GMV came to Toynbee Studios for an afternoon of flipcharts and felt-tips, helping us to identify the types of people we interact with, how they connect with us and where along that journey do we collect data already (or want to collect data in the future).

We have carved out our initial information architecture

Splitting the relationships we have into our ‘Visitors and Audiences’ (e.g. event audiences, café customers and building visitors and ‘Professional Relationships’ (e.g. promoter, partner, hirer and artist relationships) was a very useful task for us. 

We don’t need to talk to both groups in the same way or have the same amount of information on them. That’s why we’re now looking at perhaps having separate database systems that will populate a shared dashboard. We have developed schemas to map the breadth of our relationships and their interconnectedness.

If you’re keen to find out all the things I can’t fit into this blog, or generally want more in-depth insight into what we’re up to please send me over an email on Otherwise do check back here where we’ll be sharing updates on how the project is progressing…