Museums around the world see thousands of people pass through their galleries every year, yet many administrators of cultural institutions have little insight into how visitors spend their time inside their venues and what factors affect their experience. Dexibit uses data to provide answers.
“Part of every museum’s mission is transparency,” explained Dexibit’s founder and CEO, Angie Judge. “They have a lot of reporting obligations to the government and the public. And our data helps solve that problem for them in a really cost-efficient way.”
Dexibit is a data analysis tool and dashboard that provides museum administrators statistics and analysis about museum-goer behavior and experience, noting where visitors go or don’t go, measuring how long they spend in particular locations and recording external information like the weather outside at the time of their visit. The company also sells a physical sensor that can be placed in galleries to understand visitor movement.
The company currently has customers in New Zealand, Australia and the United States. “Our Day One plan was to be global,” Judge said, but added that it took some time to adapt to cultural differences in the U.S. market and navigate different state-to-state laws given Dexibit’s size.
“Rightly or wrongly, we’ve done most of that work in-house. You suddenly need to become a bit of an expert in all the different states and different systems. That was a bit of a learning curve,” Judge said. She also suggested that, though the Internet offered a good deal of information, it was always useful to pick up the phone and call experts and officials abroad. “We found that the people on the other end of the line were very enthusiastic about helping us to come into the country to do business there.”
Judge credits New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), the government’s international trade development agency, for being very supportive of Dexibit’s international expansion. NZTE offered advice on compliance and cultural issues in the United States and included them in trade shows.
The company is now opening an office in Washington, D.C. Judge said she had difficulty trying to establish her business and obtain an Employer Identification Number without having a physical presence. “This is a big burden for a small business to face in any country,” Judge said. She suggested the New Zealand government establish a set of office spaces in key export markets that small businesses could use when launching there.
While the United States has been a focal point for Dexibit, Judge encouraged other new entrepreneurs not to limit their scope when founding their own companies. “We live in a completely different age: to stand up new businesses and explore new business models, to develop new services. Having that global mindset—to bake it in from the very beginning—is a recipe for success.”