Calling all heritage organisations: address your digital needs by taking the DASH survey

A graphic showing different types of heritage organisation feeding into the DASH survey, accompanied by the words "DASH Survey: Helping UK heritage learn more about their people's digital attitudes and skills"
All types of heritage organisation can take the DASH survey
Taking the Digital Attitudes and Skills for Heritage (DASH) survey helps heritage organisations understand and address their digital needs – and helps us understand them too.

What is the DASH survey?

Graphic with the words "Digital Attitudes, Digital Practices, Organisational Support"

Developing digital skills can help heritage organisations weather the COVID-19 pandemic and move towards a more resilient, creative future. But understanding how best to use digital can feel like a large and daunting prospect.  

The Digital Attitudes and Skills for Heritage (DASH) survey breaks digital down into a series of simple questions that cover a range of key areas. By asking your staff, trustees, board members and volunteers to take just 5-10 minutes to complete the survey, you can paint a clear picture of the digital skills across your heritage organisation. You will also discover what attitudes and motivations your people have towards using digital.

After the survey closes, research specialists Timmus Limited will send you your data and provide you with an online dashboard summary. Guidance will be provided to help you understand and use this data. This professional-level service is free.

DASH is run by Timmus Research in partnership with The Heritage Alliance. It is funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of our Digital Skills for Heritage initiative

How the data from DASH helps heritage organisations

The survey’s results show heritage organisations how best to spend time, energy and resources putting digital to work.

Taking the survey can help organisations to:

  • identify digital strengths and gaps
  • provide a clear framework for staff and volunteers to discuss and understand digital
  • compare their digital strategy with what’s really happening within the organisation
  • find out how their people feel about the support they receive
  • identify untapped digital skills
  • focus training efforts
  • provide a clear benchmark to build on and measure against

Asking staff and volunteers to take the survey also sends a clear message that digital is valued in your organisation.

DASH is open to all types of heritage organisations, of all sizes, operating anywhere in the UK.

Who is the survey for?

Two people using a computer tablet whilst smiling
Photo: Manchester Museum.

DASH is open to all types of heritage organisations, of all sizes, operating anywhere in the UK – from local voluntary-led organisations to large nationals. The results support heritage organisations at all stages of their digital journey, from beginner to advanced. Larger organisations can ask different departments to complete it to provide a nuanced picture across the organisation.

Sign up for the survey

The deadline for signing up has been extended to 21 November 2021.

Please help us steer a course for heritage

A total of 4,120 staff and volunteers at 281 heritage organisations took the DASH survey in 2020. See last year’s report for the findings.

The results, taken as a whole, were vital in helping us understand the digital needs of the heritage sector and effectively respond to these through our Digital Skills for Heritage initiative.

The last 12 months have brought many changes. Understanding heritage organisations' digital needs today will help us identify our priorities for supporting the sector during the next three years.

Understanding heritage organisations' digital needs today will help us identify our priorities for supporting the sector during the next three years.

Not only does it support our planning and strategy, it also informs our conversations with government.

Why 2020's survey takers should take DASH again

We are really keen to hear again from organisations that took the survey in 2020 (see last year's results). Not only do they have a valuable opportunity to compare their results to last year, measure progress and re-focus efforts – but by taking DASH again, they also show us how needs have changed over the last year.

Hearing from as many organisations as possible

DASH gives us the opportunity to survey the heritage sector as a whole. Your voice is important in this – we want to hear from as wide a range of people and heritage organisations as possible so that the results reflect the diversity of the sector.

Josie Fraser, Head of Digital Policy at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “This year’s results will be vital for all organisations who support and work with the sector – and for the sector to continue to build on how it makes great use of digital.”

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