007.1 | Data is Forever

In future bulletins, we will be putting our International Agent (aka 007.1) to the test in revealing and exploring data about cultural engagement.

As we often say in our training workshops, there is plenty of ‘secondary data’ around without having to wield a clipboard and pen at unsuspecting members of the audience. Open public data can provide useful free insight into a range of topics. All you need is to know where to look and a mind for interpretation and analysis.

For starters, there’s The Audience Agency’s own open data, available free for all, which we will return to in future editions of International Agent.

Tourism Trends

For comprehensive and easy to follow results on tourism and visitor trends in the UK, it’s hard to beat Visit Britain which makes compendia of data sources including its own Great Britain Tourism Survey. You could spend many pleasurable hours investigating the excel spreadsheets considering the implications (for example) of why it is that married couples between 16 and 34 with no children are the demographic group that take the lowest proportion of holidays in the UK (2018) (your answers please to International Agent at this address).

Work-life Balance

While we’re on the related subject of work–life balance you probably want to know how this compares across EU countries. In which country are they most satisfied with this balance and which least satisfied? The ‘Eurobarometer’ researched this in 2018 with some interesting results.

It might not be a surprise to see, at the top of the table, that the most satisfied are in:

  • Austria (90% very or fairly satisfied)
  • Denmark (89%)
  • Luxembourg (87%)
  • Finland (86%)

But perhaps more surprising is which countries are at the bottom:

  • Spain (66% very or fairly satisfied and the highest proportion of not at all satisfied at 13%)
  • Romania (66%)
  • Greece (66%).

The UK comes in at just under the EU average (78% very or fairly satisfied and 7% not at all satisfied). France, again maybe surprisingly, which places a strong emphasis on work-life balance is only just above the UK and the EU average.

A Pinch of Salt

Of course, herein lies a danger of data interpretation, because this is a survey about perception of how satisfied people feel; it’s a comparison between what they perceive they have and what they would like or feel they should have. If the question was looked at in a different way, such as the number of days of holiday in year, hours worked in a week, days off for parental leave, flexible working hours etc you might get a different result (though not necessarily more valuable) and therein lies the delight of working in research and evaluation.

There’s more where this came from so send us your observations and questions for 007.1 to answer



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