Would you like your organisation to better understand how your staff and volunteers currently use digital, audit their digital attitudes and skills, and identify opportunities for improving digital ways of working? DASH 2021 is a free service that allows you to gather this information and identify your strategic priorities and future funding requirements.

Due to COVID we have become more reliant on digital communication than ever before. This applies to the heritage sector more than ever as we use it to reach staff and volunteers, supporters, visitors, and stakeholders. To reach these audiences, it is important that the sector has the right digital skills and tools, and that staff and volunteers feel able and confident to adapt their digital practice in order to harness the potential of better or transformative digital opportunities. 

Organisations using DASH tell us it is helping them by: 
  • Identifying digital skills gaps
  • Acting as the starting point for a new digital strategy
  • Identifying skills gaps for recruiting new trustees
  • Supporting staff training and development
  • Supporting their organisation’s move to convert content / resources to digital formats
  • Creating a baseline set of data for informing digital policy
  • Providing reassurance about current practice and a structure for progression

Can you be a DASH champion?

To help with this process the DASH survey is in need of champions! The ‘DASH Champion’ is a critical  role within the organisation taking part as they will  be responsible for identifying, coordinating, and encouraging that staff, volunteers, trustees and freelancers to take part. They also receive the organisation’s raw data and data dashboard when DASH 2021 closes on 7th November 2021, together with information on how to analyse it. They can then compare your organisation’s summary data against the national dataset when this is published byThe National Lottery Heritage Fund in December.

All data collected through DASH is confidential, and we do not ask for individual names (only job role) Data is collected and securely stored and all organisational information is private and confidential. The national report will analyse by staff and heritage organisation types, but it will not identify individual organisations and their results.  

How the DASH survey works

The DASH survey (designed and managed by Timmus Ltd and the Heritage Alliance with the generous support of an advisory board of industry experts) collects information across an organisation’s staff and volunteers which helps them to better understand and support their people now and in the future.

The DASH Process
The seven steps of the DASH Survey process. These are described in detail below.

Step 1. One person from each organisation working across heritage – ideally the digital lead – signs up on behalf of their organisation via these links:

The sign-up page also enables organisations to describe their digital support needs over the next two months. Organisations that have the ability to volunteer to share their own digital expertise and practice can also let us know via the form. This information will be triaged across the Digital Skills for Heritage projects.

Step 2. The lead contact is sent a web link, via email, from the DASH support team. It takes up to one week from submitting your sign-up form to receiving your email. The web link is only for people in their organisation to use (do not share with others outside of your organisation). This link allows an organisation to collect data only from their people.

Step 3. The lead contact shares the web link to their copy of the survey – ideally by email or text – to their organisation’s staff and volunteers, ensuring that everyone knows DASH is:

  • Voluntary to complete
  • Completely anonymous (it asks for age category, gender and broad job role area, but no personal details)
  • Can be completed easily on a smart phone, tablet or computer

We recommend sending it to as many people as possible in order to collect data that represents a broad and balanced view of digital skills and attitudes.

Step 4. Staff and volunteers in an organisation complete the DASH survey. Surveys will close at midnight on Sunday 21st November 2021..

Step 5. Once an organisation has collected enough responses the lead contact will also be given access to a live data dashboard which allows them to view their organisation’s summary data as it comes in. This will not include answers to free text questions; these are shared at the end of the project. It will take us up to one week to email the dashboard link to the lead contact.

Step 6. Once surveys close, the lead contact of each organisation will be emailed a file containing all of the data collected from their people. It will take up to two weeks for the DASH team to send these emails.

Organisations can use their data for strategic planning, tracking annual trends, and benchmarking with the national dataset. We will provide them with a ‘How to use your data’ document.

Step 7. We will analyse all data collected and use the information provided to summarise digital attitudes and skills across the heritage sector, identify gaps, and highlight great practice. We will share a sector wide report on the findings in January 2022.