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Curation Costs Exchange

Understanding and comparing digital curation costs to support smarter investments

Defining your activities

Break down the curation lifecycle

Activities are a critical component that must be taken into account for any cost assessment. Operational processes in any organisation may be large scale and complex, so breaking them down into specific activities is important. Activities should relate to a measurable amount of work performed by systems and/or people to produce a specific outcome.

Costing exercises should reflect the full range of activities over the curation lifecycle - from the point of creation through to access and reuse. Remember that these activities may occur within different operational units and budget centres. As such, you may need to collaborate with other operational units within your organisation to get an accurate snapshot of your current spend.

Take account of adjustments

When costing activities, you should include any service adjustments that may affect the overall cost of operation. Such adjustments may relate to the quality of the services you are providing - that is, the levels of service and support on offer. Additional quality considerations may need to be factored in such as any costs relating to external audit and certification processes that your organisation undertakes.

You should also consider adjustments that are made in relation to the assets themselves. Asset-related adjustments include the quantity of assets expressed as numbers of items or by data volume, and the properties of the assets in terms of their type and complexity. Identifying the quantity of assets being costed at a given point in time is important. In addition, being able to estimate the potential increase in the number or volume of assets is vital for supporting forward planning. In this respect, you may need to initiate requirements gathering exercise with both internal employees and external stakeholders.

Next steps

Now you know about activity cost concepts, continue with our description of how the core cost concepts fit together.