Nowadays, the BCO is involved in two ambitious projects: a new edition of the Statistic of Cultural Habits and Practices, and the extension of the Statistic of Arts and Cultural Industries to include the creative industries. They are not totally new projects since they come from previous statistics. However, in both cases, new answers are needed before new research challenges. For example, in the first case, the statistical operation was carried out 10 years ago, but the changes arisen by the growing leisure time spent in the digital environment require a deep reflection.
By way of example, 49.6% of Basque youth aged 15 to 29 enjoy digital leisure activities on a daily basis, according to the Basque Youth Observatory indicators on digital entertainment data from 2016. Along the same lines, as argued by the Digital Culture Report 2017 published by Nesta and Arts Council England – among other quantitative and qualitative studies, “Digital technology has changed the way that we engage with arts and culture, (…) From viewing museums’ collections online to buying theatre tickets via mobile phone”.
The introduction of new elements in the consultation – such as the digital dimension, but not only – poses a double challenge: how to approach “new”, complex issues, on the one hand, and how to do introduce them and yet keep the basis of the statistics so that they are comparable with previous versions. This is the main question underlying the discussion with experts from other contexts, convinced that the experience of others in quantitative research, the exchange of information and the validation of working strategies can facilitate and enrich the development of the BCO´s work, as well as re-inforce other observatories’ work.