In search of art: rapid estimates of gallery and museum visits using Google Trends

Published on 2020-06-06T03:37:28Z (GMT) by
Abstract Measuring collective human behaviour has traditionally been a time-consuming and expensive process, impairing the speed at which data can be made available to decision makers in policy. Can data generated through widespread use of online services help provide faster insights? Here, we consider an example relating to policymaking for culture and the arts: publicly funded museums and galleries in the UK. We show that data on Google searches for museums and galleries can be used to generate estimates of their visitor numbers. Crucially, we find that these estimates can be generated faster than traditional measurements, thus offering policymakers early insights into changes in cultural participation supported by public funds. Our findings provide further evidence that data on our use of online services can help generate timely indicators of changes in society, so that decision makers can focus on the present rather than the past.

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Botta, Federico; Preis, Tobias; Moat, Helen Susannah (2020): In search of art: rapid estimates of gallery and museum visits using Google Trends. figshare. Collection. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.5010368.v1