About The Audience Agency's Open Data

The Audience Agency exists to give people better access to culture, for the public good and the vitality of the sector. Our purpose is to lead insight-driven, audience-focused practice and policy. We put our knowledge and skills in creating and using insight at the disposal of the sector, as agents for positive change.

Why do we publish open data?

As part of our commitment to sharing our acquired knowledge, we regularly publish large sets of anonymised and aggregated data. What is important for us at The Audience Agency is that our data forms the basis for narrative of human behaviour in the arts. Each time someone books a ticket at one of our client organisations, their (anonymised) information is recorded and added to the overall picture; where approximately do they live (‘unitary authority’)? What type of performance/event (‘artform’) did they book for? On what date did they book? Once you start adding large numbers of these records together, collective behavioural trends can rapidly emerge. Often done for the retail sector, once you start to compare this set of behaviours with other data, the narrative can get even stronger, opening the possibility for research into some interesting questions regarding causation versus correlation. What are the relationships between attendance and say, the weather, exceptional events, the economy, political structures…

What we publish

Every month we publish transactions from organisations participating in Audience Finder, for a one-month period that occurred 18 months prior to publishing. These are a snapshot of that data; any organisations that were part of Audience Finder at that time, as well as those who joined within the 18-month lag period will be included. To understand exactly what you're looking at and gauge the rate at which the Audience Finder data pool has grown, you can refer to each dataset’s introduction which states the specific number of organisations included within that month.

What makes data open?

Open data is the idea that some data should be freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, free from copyright restrictions, patents or other mechanisms of control. According to the Open Data Institute:

Open data is data can anyone can access, use and share. Open data has to have a license that says it is open data. Without a license, the data can't be reused. The license might also say:

  • That people who use the data must credit whoever is publishing it (this is called attribution).
  • That people who mix the data with other data have to also release the results as open data (this is called share-alike).