AusStage Follows the Money: An introduction to the design and functionality of the new financial table in the AusStage database

Julie Holledge, Sean Weatherly, Alex Vickery-Howe, Tiffany Knight


After twenty years of working with event-based data, AusStage has turned its attention to economic data behind performing arts production; it is the first major Australian cultural dataset to store aesthetic and financial records in the same relational database. The new financial table was added to AusStage as part of the ARC funded LIEF 7 ‘The International Breakthrough’.

The first part of this article outlines the design, deployment, and workings of the new AusStage financial table.  Consultations with key stakeholders were central to the design as the aim was to capture figures deemed useful to researchers in the academy, industry, and government. 

The second part of the article focuses on a pilot project that integrates AusStage records from the new financial table with records in the pre-existing tables to analyse the workings of the South Australian performing arts sector between 2011-2022. The article introduces the methodology used in the pilot, and demonstrates how the new financial table contextualises economic data by linking them to data about performances, people, places, and organisations by means of the AusStage relational structure.


Cultural data; Financial data; South Australia; AusStage

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