Building Resilience By Understanding Digital Skills

The Heritage Alliance Introduces the 2021 Digital Attitudes and Skills for Heritage (DASH) Survey.

After the year we have all just faced, the knowledge that digital skills are critical to your staff’s needs in building a resilient organisation is foremost. So how do you go about supporting your team, and understand the digital skills gaps and strengths, to futureproof your organisation?

The Digital Attitudes and Skills for Heritage (DASH) Survey 2021, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, in partnership with Heritage Alliance and Timmus Research Limited, has been developed as a free service exclusively for UK heritage organisations. The survey report offers vital insight – both for individual organisations and The National Lottery Heritage Fund – into how heritage leaders can support their staff, trustees and volunteers.

Put simply, by completing this survey you can gather and respond to feedback from your people and identify the opportunities you need to futureproof your organisation.

Why DASH Survey?

Results from last year’s survey, the first of its kind, show that:

  • 46% of volunteers say that they never discuss their digital skills with others
  • Only one in six heritage sector staff get the chance to share their digital practice with others.
  • Staff want time to practise digital skills, mentoring from experienced colleagues, and the opportunity to swap skills and collaborate with others.

The DASH survey helps you to improve the ways your organisation works digitally by:

  • Highlighting the digital strengths and skills gaps of your people
  • Identifying issues that could be improved to enable better ways of working digitally
  • Highlighting where to focus training or funding efforts

As well as feeding into a collective picture of the heritage sector, the information that the DASH Survey will gather is freely available for your organisation to use in developing a robust digital strategy. It will help you to assess the digital requirements in your organisation and create steps to improve skills and performance for the future.

How can you get involved?

After completing the initial sign-up form, each organisation nominates a ‘DASH Champion’. Each champion is then responsible for identifying, coordinating, and encouraging everyone within your organisation to take part, from staff through to volunteers, trustees through to freelancers.

Once the survey closes on 7th November 2021 your DASH Champion will receive the raw data for your organisation along with access to the data dashboard and information on how to analyse it which can then inform your future strategies.

Find out more about the DASH Champion role here.

What the DASH creators are saying about the project

This year, Timmus Research Limited and the Heritage Fund are teaming up with the Heritage Alliance to make the survey bigger and better. We’re aiming to get over 500 organisations involved with the survey for a more complete view of attitudes and skills within the sector and identify opportunities in which digital technology can support.

“We are excited to offer this service for free across UK heritage – this is the kind of service that organisations in other sectors often have to pay an annual fee for. We’re even more pleased to partner with The Heritage Alliance. With their connections we look forward to introducing DASH to even more organisations, and showing them how to quickly collect data that can be so very useful strategically”

Dr Tabetha Newman

Timmus Limited: Research Consultancy

“The DASH survey was an insightful and invaluable tool for the heritage sector when it was launched last year, and we are delighted to join Timmus to develop and promote DASH 2021 across the breadth of heritage this autumn. In addition to capturing an organisation’s own unique insight into their own digital capabilities, the survey will enable every voice in the sector, from tiny volunteer-run groups to large scale national players to fit into a collective picture of the heritage sector across the UK. This will help the National Lottery Heritage Fund and sector bodies like ourselves understand and advocate for the needs and challenges faced by UK heritage more effectively.”

Lizzie Glithero-West, CEO, 

The Heritage Alliance

Are you a UK heritage organisation? Or know of a heritage organisation that would benefit from this activity, research, and support? Visit the DASH survey via the link below. You have until 7th November 2021 to complete the survey.

Sign up for the DASH Survey here.