Using the Place Profiler for Commissioning Partners

The West Midlands Cultural Place Profiler was created by Baker Richards and Indigo in 2021 for the following Commissioning Partners: Arts Council England, Birmingham 2022 Organising Committee of the Commonwealth Games, Birmingham City Council (BCC), Culture Central, Coventry City of Culture, DCMS, Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP, West Midlands Combined Authority, West Midlands Growth Company.

A simplified version which does not show captured (ticketed) engagement is available to all cultural organisation in the West Midlands. Due to data licensing restrictions, this full version is available to the commissioning partners only.

Unlocking the cultural makeup of the West Midlands

What is the WM Cultural Place Profiler?

Created by Indigo and Baker Richards, the WM Cultural Place Profiler in an interactive tool designed to examine cultural engagement levels across the West Midlands.

Both at a local level and for the region as a whole, the Place Profiler allows for interrogation of the demographic and geographic factors that may influence cultural engagement in a place and how they relate to each other. It shows where areas across the region share similar characteristics and may therefore have similar challenges, as well as the huge disparities and differences from place to place.

It allows for comparison of ‘expected’ cultural engagement, derived from attitudinal data, with ‘captured’ cultural engagement from ticket sales.

What data is included?
  • Attitudinal data – data relating to population attitudes to culture used to create the measure of ‘Expected Cultural Engagement’. This is from multiple sources including TGI, Audience Spectrum and the Active Lives Survey.

  • Captured data – records of tickets sold by cultural organisations in the West Midlands, captured in Audience Finder and supplied by third party providers including The Ticket Factory.

  • Census data – demographic and population estimates released in September 2019 by the Office for National Statistics. These include age, ethnicity, employment, social grade and more.

  • Cultural Infrastructure map – supplied by Hatch (2021) this includes all the cultural infrastructure – such as theatres, arts centres, community spaces, concert halls – throughout the West Midlands.

These are presented in various tables and maps which can be filtered by different criteria.

What geographical areas does it cover?

The Place Profiler covers three geographic areas:

  • Area 1: Birmingham

  • Area 2: West Midlands Combined Authority area (minus Birmingham) – includes Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, Wolverhampton

  • Area 3: Wider West Midlands area (minus WMCA and Birmingham) – includes Bromsgrove, Cannock Chase, East Staffs, Lichfield, North Warwickshire, Nuneaton and Bedworth, Redditch, Rugby, Stratford-upon-Avon, Tamworth, Warwick, Wyre Forest

You can select each of the main areas and also drill down into the Local Authorities included.

What will I be able to do with it?

The Place Profiler is designed to empower cultural organisations in the West Midlands to more fully understand their local population, to better target their work and serve their communities.

It enables you to focus on a particular geographical area to understand both the level of cultural engagement in that area and how the demographics of that area’s population compare with the West Midlands as a whole.

Navigation & functionality

Finding your way around the WM Place Profiler. An overview of the information available, and tips for exploring it.

Population and expected engagement

Explore the varied demographic and attitudinal profile of areas, and make comparisons to regional and national benchmarks.

Focus on Artform

Check how attendance varies by artform in different areas, either looking at attitudinal data from TGI Leisure and Active Lives, or looking at ticketing data from Audience Finder. 

Captured Engagement

What is the captured level of engagement and how does it vary by geography? Explore a range of metrics and how they map on to the West Midlands area, and find correlations between captured cultural engagement and different demographic and attitudinal measures. 

Expected vs Captured Engagement

Are there commonalities in the areas with a high, medium or low level of expected cultural engagement? Is the ticketing data capturing a similar story or are there discrepancies between what is expected and what we have captured? And how important is the existing cultural infrastructure?

Access to the Place Profiler

To request access, contact Culture Central at specifying the email addresses you would like to have access.

If you do not already have a Power BI Pro license, you’ll be prompted to start a free trial (no payment details required) when you first access the Profiler*. This will give you access for up to 60 days.

After 60 days, contact your administrator to purchase a Power BI Pro license. If your organisation does not have Microsoft 365, you may find it easier to sign up for a personal Power BI Pro license.

When your request is approved you’ll be notified and you will be able to log in the dashboard with your Power Bi credentials straight from this page.

* If you have previously had a Power BI Pro 60 day free trial, you will be prompted to purchase a valid license.

Unlocking data to support decision making

Do you have questions?

For support on using the Place Profilers, please contact

Baker Richards and Indigo are working extensively with organisations like yours to create audience and income strategies for 2022 and beyond.