Benchmarking FAQ | The Association for Cultural Enterprises

Benchmarking FAQ

Check the list of questions below as a first step if you have any queries or concerns. If you can't find what you are looking for get in touch: or

Do I have to be a member of ACE to join benchmarking?

The simple answer is no, all you have to do is to register on the site first and then register again as a benchmarker. Naturally we hope that you begin to see the benefits of becoming a member of ACE – and it’s very easy to join, just follow the link.

How do I join benchmarking?

If you haven’t registered to use the ACE website first then you must do that. Once that is done you'll find the benchmarking menu at the top of the page, and follow the instructions from there. Firstly, you will be asked to register as a benchmarker- then link yourself to a venue.

How do I find my venue?

From the venues menu you will be able to find, edit or add a venue. Initially start typing the name of your venue and if know to ACE it will appear. The data is case sensitive, and if your venue normally has a "The" in front of it then include this. If this doesn’t happen then click add on the menu and follow the questions. To add a venue, you will also need to add some basic information: name, paid or free entry, annual retail turnover (inclusive of VAT), annual visitor numbers if you count them. It will also ask you to specify what type of venue you are (from a drop-down menu- select what you feel is most recognised by your visitors)

Why do I have to link myself to a venue?

To enable you to add data to the benchmarking tool

How do I input the data?

As an initial benchmarker we ask you to load previous year data on a month by month basis, saving as you go. This is because the tool will use this data to make your comparisons with. 
Once the previous years’ history is inputted you can bring the tool up to date with this year. You do this month by month. Data can be inputted 2 weeks after the end of the previous month. If you do not have data for a specific week always add 0
You will be sent an email reminder to add the month’s data.

When do I have to input the data?

Data can be inputted 2 weeks after the end of the previous month. If you do not have data for a specific week always add 0. You will be sent an email reminder to add the month’s data.

Can anyone else see my data?

The only people who can see (and edit) your data will be anybody who is associated with your venue, and the ACE benchmarker admin.

Can anyone from my venue also join benchmarking?

Yes, they can. They must register as a benchmarker and request to be associated.

I don’t count visitor numbers- can I still join?

Yes, you can. The information that you can see will be limited.

How often do I input data?

After the initial input of data to bring your venue up-to-date it will be once a month.

We were closed last year- what do I have to do as I don’t have data for last year?

In order to be able to see a dashboard you will have to enter 0s for each week and each month of the previous year. This is a bit tiresome, so if you wish, contact and we can do that for you!

. My Dashboard doesn’t look right- what should I do?

Firstly, have a quick check through the data you have entered to make sure some numbers haven’t gone awry- it’s easy to put visitor numbers in the transaction box and vice versa. If that does not resolve the problem then contact us and we will investigate it.

. Is data entered inclusive of VAT?

No, data should exclude VAT.

How do I download data?

On the dashboard page you will have the opportunity to download in 2 forms- one is the data results in excel- allowing you to use them as you wish. Graphs will only be available as a pdf.

How do I date filter to get the information I want?

The date filter is very versatile and will allow you to look at your results at any given week (provided you have put data in. Select the date option from the filter box on the right-hand side and then choose your date from the calendar- or select from the pre-selects in the drop down.

What is a group for?

A group enables you to see grouped results from a variety of organisations according to the filters you request

How do I create a group?

By using the drop-down menu at the bottom of the page. For example, you could choose to see paid, visitor numbers under 50k, turnover over £20k and choose galleries.

Can I save my group settings?

Don’t know yet

Can suppliers see my data?

No, suppliers do not have access to the tool.

I’ve entered the wrong data, what do I do to change it?

Easy, if you know where it is, go to weekly data, edit, select year, then month – edit the data and save!

Can I download the “what if “calculator results?

No, that’s not possible- you can always print screen to save the results!

How accurate is the group and sector data?

The data is accurate given the data inputted is accurate. The tool relies on as large a number of entries as possible to give out the best results and to be up-to-date.