Talking Big Data With The SoundNotion Crew

Last Sunday, 3/9/2014, I had the pleasure of appearing on and in addition to talking about Minnesota’s CEO, Memphis’ future, and The Met negotiations, we also covered everything you wanted to know about the Orchestra 990 Database Project but were afraid to ask (because that’s how the crew rolls).

ADAPTISTRATION-GUY-165It was a great discussion and it went a long way toward covering what a number of folks have been most curious about or as one of the show’s co-hosts, David MacDonald, put it “you’ve got a really interesting project going on at kicker…and even the name I have to think about what exactly it means. So what is an Orchestra 990 and what does it have to do with your Kickstarter project?”

Add to that mix some great follow-up questions about who the data is for plus how it can be used and you have a terribly worthwhile interview. We go on to talk about how the project is very different from Guidestar (around the 8min mark) and the way it will take orchestra financial data and makes it useful in a more applicable sense.

It’s Like Having A Nutrition Facts Chart For Orchestra Financial Data

Around the 10 min mark, one of the show’s co-hosts, Sam Merciers, discusses how even though patrons have had “air quote access” to the data before, he’s curious to see how it would open up involvement.

Sam and his co-hosts were also curious to know what I thought about whether or not there might be some people in the field who would be very unhappy to see this level of access exist. You can hear my reply around the 13min mark.

But enough words, it is time to bring on the video!

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About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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