Finding new users and measuring our impact

How do we identify and attract new users to our data and how do we measure our impact on a new community?

I attended the JISC Content and Discovery meeting, which focused on three main issues common to the JISC programmes. These are: building a business case, addressing issues with open data and then the very general issue of technology.

Being a data manager, I decided to attend the open data sessions to explore what exactly ‘open data’ meant. As the other people in the session had diverse backgrounds, it turned out everyone had a different definition of ‘open data’.


The main thing I wanted to get from the meeting was an answer to the question: ‘How do we identify and reach out to new user groups who aren’t in our traditional user community, and therefore make greater use of our data?’ Our main users are the oceanographic community – scientists, students, commercial organisations or just interested members of the public. However, working within the JISC programme has made us think about reaching out to groups such as social historians, medical historians, or artists. Ideas the group came up with were sending out questionnaires (to get user feedback) and achieving the holy grail of good search engine ranking (via the black magic of analytics and SEO).

This blog is a new avenue for us and is one way of reaching out to a new community. However, we are looking into other ways and are always welcome to suggestions.