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We helped the Cleveland Museum of Art use WiFi data to understand how their visitors engage with the space

As one of the most technologically advanced museums in the country, known for ARTLENS Gallery and Open Access, with an internationally respected encyclopedic art collection, The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) continues to focus on ways in which digital technology can enhance the museum experience for all its visitors.

Leveraging Cisco’s Meraki solution, the Cleveland Museum of Art can track anonymized WIFI traffic across its 800,000+ visitors a year, resulting in billions of error-prone pings that are cumbersome to analyze. While each individual ping was noisy and prone to error, we used machine learning techniques to reconstruct how visitors navigate the space.

We built an interactive dashboard for the Museum to explore these behavioral trends. One of our most exciting findings is that visitors who engage with ARTLENS for at least 5 minutes are likely to spend up to an hour longer on average than other museum visitors. These key insights, paired with the intuition of the Evaluation Team allows experimentation and insight into visitor motivations at scales not previously possible.

Why is this important?

Traditionally physical engagement is limited to small samples and highly structured studies to answer the question “Is it working”? We were able to amplify intuition by understanding visitor behavior at scale.

Update: We are now able to leverage this same data to inform social distancing policies during COVID-19.

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