Wylie, M., Sculthorp, M, Gagnon-Turcotte, S., and Chatwin, M. (2021). A promising path to developing data governance in the performing arts sector: Exploring charters and principles for data governance. Open North and Canadian Association for the Performing Arts (CAPACOA).

“Who is able to share what type of data with whom?” and “Who should have authority over which data?”

Since CAPACOA started delving into digital transformation as a means of fostering data re-use in the performing arts, these two questions have kept surfacing. In July 2020, along with Open North, we undertook exploratory activities to seek answers to these and other data governance questions. A year later, we are happy to launch the report “A Promising Path to Developing Data Governance in the Performing Arts Sector”.

What did we learn?

  • The real question isn’t so much who can share data with whom, but rather why. The value of data sharing is not well understood within the performing arts sector. Besides this central obstacle, other persistent challenges include a lack of digital capacity and the absence of standards for interoperability in the performing arts sector.
  • Focusing on tangible use cases (i.e., real-life use of data) makes it easier for stakeholders to arrive at a common understanding and to achieve a shared vision.
  • There is agreement in the sector that principles and charters can provide a foundation for data collaboration and help guide implementation of data sharing initiatives.
  • “Operational” principles centred on the data itself need to be complemented with “values-based” principles centred on people and on purpose of data use.
  • There is strong interest in developing a set of data principles for the performing arts.

This exploratory research can help to inform organizations and individuals within the sector wishing to advance efforts of sectoral data governance, to gain understanding regarding data charters and data principles, as well as to understand perspectives from the performing arts sector regarding open data and data sharing.

What’s next?

Open North and CAPACOA are planning a report launch event to share our findings & discuss the next steps of the project this Fall. Stay tuned.

In addition, CAPACOA is currently implementing findings from the report and putting data principles at work in its new CAPACOA Membership Open Data Strategy. Members joining the association are from now on invited to share their organization across the web of linked open data.

We thank the Government of Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts for their continued support of this foundational work.

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