Providing Audience data insights for Arts Organisations

Audience Finder currently handles data for about 1000 arts organisations from across the UK, ranging from small, local theatres to large multi-venue organisations. The Audience Agency wants to continue to grow the number of organisations that use Audience Finder, and this will require larger data-processing capabilities, and web hosting that can meet higher demand at peak times.

Audience Finder provides a number of deep insights into an organisation’s audience using data visualisations that can be queried by the user. The data required to produce these charts, tables, and maps is aggregated from audience surveys and ticket purchasing data of hundreds of organisations. In addition, this data is enriched with other census and digital datasets.

Screenshot of the User Interface of the Audience Finder Application
Audience Finder Interface

 

Audience Finder is built using the PHP language, and is primarily based on the WordPress software platform. Its use of WordPress has been heavily customised to meet the demands of the Audience Finder application. It uses custom PHP code to produce other parts of the application. It runs with an Angular JS front-end to provide the data dashboard interface.

Audience Finder is currently hosted on a large AWS EC2 instance in order to provide enough resourcing power to meet occasional high demand.

Audience Finder currently handles data for about 1000 arts organisations from across the UK, ranging from small, local theatres to large multi-venue organisations. The Audience Agency wants to continue to grow the number of organisations that use Audience Finder, and this will require larger data-processing capabilities, and web hosting that can meet higher demand at peak times.

Audience Finder is currently hosted on a large AWS EC2 instance that is large enough to respond to high-load during peak hours without slow down. However outside of those hours, the Audience Finder application server is barely used and the resources provided by the server are under-utilised. As the number of users grows, the application will need to be run on larger and larger servers in order to meet demand at peak times, increasing the cost of hosting.

Hosting Audience Finder on flexible, scalable hosting that can respond to the needs of the application and make better economic use of available resources to help reduce costs.

Furthermore, as the Audience Finder includes more arts organisations, it will need to process more and more boxoffice and survey data in order to provide these results to their users. As the data increases, either the time needed to process the data goes up, or the cost of resources used to process the data goes up. In order to provide useful data to their users, Audience Finder will need to increase the resources required to process their data, increasing the costs of hosting further.

Using MICADO can help to reduce some of the costs related to this by ensuring that the number of resources needed to complete the data processing is matched as closely as possible to the size of the data being processed, limiting wasteful provisioning of server resources when they are not required.