About the Dashboard

The Smithsonian Dashboard presents a selection of metrics related to the Institution’s broad range of activities in support of our historic mission “to increase and diffuse knowledge.” By making this data available to the public, we hope to spark even greater interest in the Smithsonian’s important work. Please share your impressions of the Dashboard, and let us know how you are using the data. Write us at info@si.edu.

For those who may not know…

A dashboard is a web interface that presents metrics on an organization’s activities and performance.

What types of metrics are included in the Smithsonian Dashboard?

The Dashboard presents metrics related to our core activities of maintaining collections, conducting research, and sharing knowledge with learners of all ages, as well as the infrastructures of people, facilities, and funding that make the Institution run.

How are the metrics organized?

The metrics are organized into categories, each represented by a different color and icon:

Collections & Research

Metrics associated with the Smithsonian’s vast collections and global research enterprise.

In-Person Engagement

Measures of our efforts to share Smithsonian resources with the millions who visit our facilities and others who experience Smithsonian programming in their local communities.


Measures of our work to digitize Smithsonian collections, share our content online, and engage remotely with tens of millions of people around the world.

People & Facilities

Metrics related to the Smithsonian's infrastructure – both human capital and physical plant.


Measures of Federal Appropriations and other types of funding that fuel Smithsonian operations.

By Museum / Zoo

Interested in a particular part of the Smithsonian?Use the drop-down menu to learn more about your favorite venue.

How are the data collected?

In a variety of ways! Data for some metrics are gathered on-site by Smithsonian personnel.As examples: “People served by educational programs” are counted by our educators and volunteer docents; “Collection Holdings” are counted by collections managment staff in our museums, archives, and libraries.For others (e.g., social media metrics), we use the latest software tools. Smithsonian staff also use traditional management information systems to keep track of human resources and budget and finance matters.

How current is the information?

It depends on the metric. A few examples: Counts for collection holdings are reported annually; web visitors are reported monthly; and the research publications count is continuously updated.

Why so many references to "Fiscal Year" or "FY"?

The Smithsonian operates on the federal government's calendar, which runs from October through September. Fiscal Year (or FY) 2015 began on October 1, 2014, and will end on September 30, 2015. Annual totals for most metrics on the Dashboard refer to the Fiscal Year reporting period. "Peer-Reviewed Research Publications" is one metric reported by calendar year or “CY.”

Questions? Please send to: info@si.edu.