The ADI project will embed the first ever Data Scientist-In-Residence for the Arts at the Barbican, English National Opera (ENO) and National Theatre to interrogate their ever-growing data resources. In addition, a national data warehouse will be created to enable more comprehensive collection and sharing of data across the arts and cultural sector. ADI is delivered by The Audience Agency.


ADI is one of four projects that will examine the potential of big data – high volume, high velocity, high variance information – in the arts and culture sector, having been selected for funding through the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts.

The projects were developed in response to an open call by Arts Council England, the Arts & Humanities Research Council and Nesta for big data proposals and will explore how the industry can utilise data to grow reach and develop new business strategies.

The ADI project will support arts organisations to make data-driven decisions by in-depth analysis and improvement of current approaches. This will be delivered via consultancy and through the employment of an embedded data scientist-in-residence (DSIR) for six months in partner arts organisations, to learn from and teach data-driven techniques and organisational change.

The project will deliver an open data platform based on but significantly augmenting Audience Finder adding “digital only” and non-arts-specific data to the current datasets. By the end of the project, this platform will be based on an enhanced Audience Finder database including a set of web tools and an API allowing open access to the core data.

A toolkit of data visualisation and data-storytelling techniques will be delivered in partnership with leading arts organisations, beginning with three major national institutions:Barbican, ENO and National Theatre, and rolling out across the country to large, small, ticketed and non-ticketed organisations.

The project will also explore business models for the larger scale roll-out of ADI as an open arts insight platform.

Core Partners

The Audience Agency, Magic Lantern (Anthony Lilley) and Professor Paul Moore at the University of Ulster, working with the Barbican, English National Opera and National Theatre



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