Multi-Venue Audience Analysis


A Leading American Museum Organization


Education Data Gathering and Evaluation (EDGE) Method & Technology Development


This museum organization approached PappasVolk to collaborate on a multi-year plan to evaluate the relevance and effectiveness of their education programs.

The goal was to create quantitative and qualitative methodologies that measured pan-institutional volume and patterns of attendance, develop a greater understanding of the demographics of participants in educational programming, and assess whether and to what degree the institution's educational programming had met internal objectives. This project was designed to assist in determining whether investments in education programming are able to engender meaningful change in various constituencies and to change future education programs for the better.


Phase I of EDGE (Education Data Gathering and Evaluation) identified education program delivery methods (e.g., tours), target audiences (e.g., students), and environmental conditions (e.g., open space vs. enclosed room). Surveys and personal interviews were conducted to frame the program types, conceptual and operational measures, and both extant and desired data collection methods to be included in a new, institution-wide measurement program. Educators, researchers, and administrators discussed more than 150 programs, their experiences and insights incorporated into a comprehensive method for assessing the quantitative performance of the client's education programming irrespective of geography, content, or other factors.

Phase II developed technological and procedural solutions to key operational challenges, including a Web-based data collection and reporting system. This phase also took steps to normalize data collection and reporting across the entire institution, including significant training at the management and operational levels to ensure that data would be appropriately captured, reported, and evaluated.


  • Worked with nearly 30 distinct museum units to adhere to project timeline and budget requirements;
  • Developed and deployed measurement framework and online data collection system;
  • System successfully adopted by staff at all levels of the organization; one of few pan-institutional projects to overcome internal resistance, flourish, and provide high ROI;
  • Museum units from North and Central America successfully track and assess visitor data on a daily basis, recording many tens of thousands of educational interactions;
  • The completed system provides unique insight into institutional performance, supports grant applications, makes a compelling case when soliciting funds from federal and state legislators, and provides crucial insight into the effectiveness of programs funded by philanthropic organizations.