David Ellis and Laura Roberts, along with colleagues John Jacobsen and George Hein, are the project team for Assessing Museum Impact (AMI), a year-long initiative with the New England Museum Association. They are working with eight museums in eastern New England to sharpen their thinking about goals and intended impacts, identify metrics that might demonstrate those impacts, and develop affordable data collection strategies. The project has five goals:

  • Build institutional capacity to identify, gather and use data
  • Improve decision making and case‐making using data
  • Improve performance using data
  • Networking with peers and advisors
  • Fun, pride & visibility of a pilot project

The participating museums are currently working on what data they want to collect; the project team will then mentor them on collecting strategies. Midway through the process, in February or March, participants will reconvene to think about how to use what they have learned from the first phase of data collection. AMI will wind up in the late fall of 2018 with a report to be distributed by NEMA to the field.