Some institutions funnel their data entry down to a few users who transcribe information into TMS. When I started at the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA), curators entered acquisitions justification in TMS, while other staff transcribed the object tombstone information. Over the last three years, we turned on the faucet—curators now enter all object and constituent data for acquisitions as well as update that information for existing object records in the collection.
“Funnel to Faucet” outlines how this paradigm shift was achieved. The transition involved several conversations to assess the prior work flow, a presentation explaining how this change would transpire, seemingly endless web based instructional writing, testing the process using departments for data entry control, and training staff members. Additionally, the TMS security structures required an overhaul and data cross checking mechanics became vital.
Since the shift to numerous TMS editors, the museum added researchers to expand collection information, putting this new structure to good use. What’s next? Faucet to Flood. I am currently developing how the DMA can incorporate similar concepts into exhibitions planning in TMS relying heavily on the use of departments for data entry control and work flow.
Brian MacElhose, Collections Database Analyst, Dallas Museum of Art