Dropping the ball, again.

Another year, another Arts Council evaluation thing to fill in. Once again the ‘digital’ section was very short and the questions that were asked were so pointless as to almost be insulting.

This tweet summed it up quite nicely:

@SamScottWoodThe six #digital Qs asked by ACE of NPOs in annual review. I despair. Q5 my particular favourite. pic.twitter.com/rwuPrNU5Za

This is, surely, ACE’s annual opportunity to gather meaningful information about all of the organisations that it funds. This in turn could then be used to carry out sector-wide analysis and could inform strategy and funding priorities in the future. SURELY!? Asking how many people have visited a website, or how long visitors have spent on your website does not fall into this category. This simply provides meaningless, contextless, useless information.

This is even more frustrating when you look at how much data ACE ask for throughout the rest of the submission (i.e. more than 6 questions). Given that ‘digital’ (a nebulous, catchall term of nothingness but the one that everyone uses to mean ‘stuff wot is on the internet and that’) is supposed to be a priority and ALSO an area of weakness across the entire sector you would’ve thought that ACE would be absolutely desperate to paint a meaningful picture and use this to – say – allow organisations to benchmark themselves against other relevant institutions and share best practice. No?

Oh well.

Wasted opportunity.


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