Jack Perry
Written by

In our first video interview from our Open Forum, we get to grips with what Digital Transformation could mean for Scotland's cultural sector.

A Digital Transformation conversation

In our first interview from the Digital Transformation Open Forum, we speak to Eddie White, the Manager of Culture and Sport at South Ayrshire Council.

It was a lively event, so there is some background conversation. We’ve included captions to help you follow every word. If you prefer a transcription, you’ll find it below.

What area of digital transformation motivated you to come along to the event today?

Well I think the main thing for us is to try to find out who we’re working with and how effective we are at helping interventions whether it’s through culture, through museums. A lot of the stuff that we do we don’t actually collect data at the moment because it’s very difficult to collect data when they’re coming to your gallery or coming to your museum. And a lot of the time you want to try and understand the process between what we do and the impact it has on our experiences as individuals.

So today it’s really important to try to find out other ways, more creatives ways for us to make that link between the work that we do and the impact that has. Because although we’re all trying to collect the same data, and we’re just trying to get inspiration about what’s the most effective way of being able to do it.  So digital transformation for us is that there’s all these amazing technologies out there and people are chasing after them, because they want to be on particular platforms, they want to be part of it. But it’s not necessarily the chase. We want to see what’s the most effective way of spending our time with the limited resources that we have.

What have worked on that you felt was going in the right direction?

I think in previous places where I’ve worked before there has been some really good work that’s been done about understanding audiences, understanding where they’re based and collecting that information. The main thing is really getting that, but if you’re lucky enough to have a good box office team or a good marketing team (or if you work in a venue where you can collect that information) then you need to make sure that what you’re getting in is worthwhile. That you’re counting the right thing, and then use it to make decisions. There’s no point in collecting things unless you’re actually going to use it to understand what you’re doing. And to understand who you’re not reaching, because that to me is the gap between who you want to try and target and the effectiveness of targeting that comes through data, and unless you have that data, you’re not going to see those gaps.

Is there one piece of data that matters most to your organisation?

I suppose it’s very simple. It’s the demographic data about location, about postcode analysis – I think we’ve used that quite effectively with Culture Republic in the past on an Ambition project quite a long time ago outside Stirling when I worked there. Understanding where audiences came from, looking at Mosaic profiling and understanding a wee bit more in depth about what it is, about where these people live, how we can target people more effectively, what is it that folks come and see. And I think having that wealth of data is really important. You can collect everything now and it’s very easy to collect stuff sometimes, but unless you analyse it and understand what it’s about and make decisions based on that data then there’s no point doing it.


Thanks to Eddy White at South Ayrshire Council for taking the time to contribute to this video.

Theme music © Nilly Nell.

Information about Culture Republic staff members that had a hand in making this video can be found on our Team pages. Find Culture Republic on Twitter @culture_public.

  • Video productioen by Jack Perry
  • Interview by Ashley Smith Hammond

Watch on YouTube or Vimeo.

This Culture Republic video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.