Dashboard Introduction and Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the Smithsonian Dashboard!

As a public trust, the Smithsonian is committed to using data and empirical evidence to assess its performance. The Dashboard presents metrics that tell the story of this performance across the major programs and functions of the Institution.

Metrics are organized under four major areas where the Smithsonian carries out its mission of "the increase and diffusion of knowledge":

  • Research: Smithsonian researchers contribute to the increase of knowledge in a broad range of science, art, history, and culture fields.

  • National Collections: Smithsonian collections preserve the national heritage of the United States, the natural heritage of the planet, and aspects of arts and culture from across the globe.

  • Public Engagement: The Smithsonian engages with the public onsite, online, across the nation, and around the world through compelling exhibitions, events, educational offerings, and media products.

  • Virtual Smithsonian: The Smithsonian seeks to bring its collections, exhibitions, research, educational resources, and other offerings to every home and classroom in the nation, and to audiences worldwide, through a variety of digital channels.

The Dashboard also covers two additional areas:

  • People and Operations: Metrics that detail the behind-the-scenes, mission-support aspects of the Smithsonian such as employees, volunteers, facilities, and finances.
  • One Smithsonian: Examples of activities, events, and initiatives that bring Smithsonian museums, research centers, and other units together to inform and engage the public, and to address big issues.

To learn more, see the Smithsonian Strategic Plan.

Navigating the Smithsonian Dashboard

Navigation aids

The navigation bar at the top of each section page will take you to any of the other five sections of the Dashboard, or back to the Dashboard home page.

navigation bar showing 5 sections: Metrics Dashboard, Research, National Collections, Public Engagement, People & Operations, and One Smithsonian

Smaller navigation bars below the introductory text in each section will take you to the individual performance areas in that section. For example, in the National Collections section, you will find the following navigation bars for that section's four performance areas:

Smaller navigation buttons showing example for Collections Holdings, Collections Digitization, Collections Care, and Collections Loans

After you have begun to scroll down on any page, clicking on the “up” arrow located at the lower right side of the page will take you back to the top.

Red circle button with arrow pointing up to signify 'Back to Top' of the page

How can I get more information from the displays? 

In many cases, the Dashboard provides more information than initially appears on the screen.  

  • You can link to related Smithsonian websites by clicking on the light blue hyperlinks in the text.

Sample text showing regular font and hyperlinked font

  • Graphics that show overall Smithsonian figures may provide the option of filtering by Smithsonian unit or in other ways. Click the “down” arrow on the right in the field(s) below the graphic title to see drop-down selections.

Example showing dropdown for filtering options

  • In some performance areas, you can find additional maps, graphics, figures, or other information by clicking on the gray buttons below the main graphic.

Example of a button that opens a new window with a graph

  • If you see a “pointing hand” icon when you mouse over an object (number, text, or graphic), this indicates there is more information related to this object. To access this information, simply place your cursor over the object (or click on the object if you are using a mobile device) and it will appear in a text box.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Smithsonian Unit?

For administration purposes, the Smithsonian refers to individual museums, research centers, education centers, and offices as "units." A list of the units that are referenced in this Dashboard, with their acronyms, is provided below.

What is a Fiscal Year (FY)?

A Fiscal Year (FY) is the 12-month period that defines the U.S. government budget. It runs from October 1 through September 30 and shares the calendar-year number of its last nine months. For example, FY 2020 began on October 1, 2019 and ended on September 30, 2020. FY 2030 will run from October 1, 2029 through September 30, 2030. Most of the "headline numbers" in each Dashboard performance area refer to the most recent Fiscal Year for which data is available.

What is a Quarter (Q)?

A Quarter (Q) is a three-month period within the Fiscal Year. Thus, the four Quarters of the U.S. government budget are October through December (Q1), January through March (Q2), April through June (Q3), and July through September (Q4). Many of the figures presented in Dashboard graphics are updated quarterly. 

Other Questions?

Contact us at: dashboard@si.edu

Museums, Research Centers, and other Units/Locations

Acronym Full Name Short Name
Office of the Secretary
ODI Office of Diversity Initiatives Diversity/OEESD
OGC Office of General Counsel General Counsel
Board of Regents
OREG Office of the Regents Regents Office
OIG Office of the Inspector General Inspector General
Office of the Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer
Deputy Secretary
Office of the Under Secretary for Museums and Culture
Under Sec Museums & Culture
AAA Archives of American Art Archives American Art
ACM Anacostia Community Museum Anacostia
AIB Arts & Industries Building Arts & Industries
APAC Asian Pacific American Center Asian Pac American Ctr
CFCH Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage Folklife
CHSDM Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Cooper Hewitt
DWRC Donald W. Reynolds Center Reynolds Ctr
F|S, NMAA Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art Asian Art
HMSG Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden Hirshhorn
NASM National Air and Space Museum Air and Space-Mall
NASM-UHC National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center Air and Space-Udvar Hazy
NCP National Collections Program Collections Program
NMAAHC National Museum of African American History & Culture African American
NMAFA National Museum of African Art African Art
NMAH National Museum of American History American History
NMAI National Museum of the American Indian American Indian-DC
NMAI-NY National Museum of the American Indian–New York, the George Gustav Heye Center American Indian-NY
NMAI-CRC National Museum of the American Indian Cultural Resources Center American Indian-CRC
NMAL National Museum of the American Latino American Latino
NPG National Portrait Gallery Portrait Gallery
NPM National Postal Museum Postal
RC Dillon Ripley Center Ripley
RG Renwick Gallery Renwick
SAAM Smithsonian American Art Museum American Art
SAWHM Smithsonian American Women's History Museum American Women
SIB Smithsonian Castle Castle
SIE Smithsonian Exhibits SI Exhibits
SLC Smithsonian Latino Center Latino Ctr
Office of the Under Secretary for Science and Research
Under Sec Science & Research
MCI Museum Conservation Institute Museum Conservation
NMNH National Museum of Natural History Natural History
NZP/SCBI National Zoological Park/Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute National Zoo/Conservation Biology
SAO Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Astrophysical Observatory
SERC Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Environmental Research
SLA Smithsonian Libraries and Archives Libraries & Archives
SISP Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press Scholarly Press
SMSFP Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce NMNH-Fort Pierce
STRI Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Tropical Research
Office of the Under Secretary for Administration
Under Sec Administration
AS Access Smithsonian Access SI
OCIO Office of the Chief Information Officer Information Technology
OCon&PPM Office of Contracting & Personal Property Management Contracting
OF&A Office of Finance & Accounting Finance
OFMR Office of Facilities Management and Reliability Facilities Mgmt
OHR Office of Human Resources Human Resources
OPMB Office of Planning, Management and Budget Budget
OSP Office of Sponsored Projects Sponsored Projects
SE Smithsonian Enterprises Enterprises
SF Smithsonian Facilities Facilities
SG Smithsonian Gardens Gardens
SOAR Smithsonian Organization and Audience Research Org. & Audience Research
SOPS Smithsonian Office of Protection Services Protection Services
Office of the Under Secretary for Education 
 Under Sec Education
OET Office of Education Technology Edu Tech
OFI Office of Fellowships and Internships Interns & Fellows
SA/SITES Smithsonian Affiliations and Traveling Exhibition Service Affiliations & Trav Exhs
TSA Smithsonian Associates Associates
SSEC Smithsonian Science Education Center Science Education
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Communications and External Affairs and Chief Marketing Officer
Asst Sec Communication & External Affairs
OGR Office of Government Relations Govt Relations
OPA Office of Public Affairs Public Affairs
OSEP Office of Special Events and Protocol Special Events
OVS Office of Visitor Services  Visitor Services
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Advancement
Asst Sec Advancement
OA Office of Advancement & Philanthropic Giving Advancement
SEEC Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center Early Enrichment Ctr


Smithsonian Organization and Audience Research/OCIO