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Assessing Digital Maturity

Many arts and culture organizations have been working on adapting to COVID-19 by pivoting to some sort of organizational strategy that places digital at the forefront of meeting their mandates and of fostering audience relations. The first step in this process is an assessment of digital maturity. In other words, forming a comprehensive understanding of all the digital tools in use already and how well they are used. Put simply, the assessment focuses on “what is.”

To accomplish a digital maturity assessment requires:

  1. a comprehensive inventory
  2. an assessment of adoption and use
  3. an evaluation of where the greatest opportunities for improvements, efficiencies.

In my practice I have adopted the following framework to assess an organization’s digital maturity:

  • 1. Managing the Organization
    1. Human Resources
    2. Financial Management
    3. Record keeping
    4. Internal / Board – staff communications
    5. Compliance with CASL, Do Not Call, Privacy
    6. Security
    7. Information Technology / Information Management infrastructure procedures
    8. Risk management
    9. Project management


  • 2. Supporting the artistic process
    1. Creation
    2. Production
    3. Presentation/Dissemination
    4. Archiving
    5. Training
    6. Project management


  • 3. Audiences, Marketing and Engagement
    1. Audience behaviour re: analog and digital processes
    2. Ticketing and ticket scanning
    3. Marketing tools and processes
    4. Engagement tools and processes
    5. Measurement and Evaluations

The digital maturity assessment typically then includes:

A) The inventory: what it the tool, what is it for, how has it been used, who are the users, who is the target/beneficiary, what works, what doesn’t work, costs (subscription) and any other notes.

B) Website Search Engine Optimization and Semantic Mark-up Report

C) Website Usability Heuristics Review

D) Social Media Integration, and comparison of number of followers, subscribers to relevant organizations within the same geography or similar organizations in similar geographies.

E) Key work flows to help see whether and how the available digital tools are used and how well they work




Canada Council for the Arts provided this conceptual view of a digital maturity assessment. Digital Maturity Assessment

Here is a web service that provides a free Search Engine Optimization report. SEO Site Checkup

Google has this Structured Data Checking Tool for site that do use structured data designed to generate rich answers on search engines.

I have recently enjoyed using this Psychological Web Usability Heuristics review tool created by @jordisan based on work by Susan Weinschenk @thebrainlady

The human factor

Any assessment has to consider how well staff adopt and adapt to new digital processes and tools. Without diligent implementation the promise of improvements in performance may never be realized.