Web analytics update – December

With Christmas fast approaching, we thought it would be a good time to update you on our progress with the web analytics initiative. We blogged about our desire to understand aggregated statistics from the Scottish Government web portfolio a few months ago – explaining that our initial focus is on core websites. Core websites act as hubs for information provided by organisations.

You can find out more in the original blog post introducing the web analytics initiative.

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Introducing the web analytics initiative

This is a post by Rui Cardoso, Business Analyst and Calum Shepherd, our Head of Digital Strategy 

We’ve been thinking about how we can provide insight into the Scottish public sector web portfolio. The Scottish Government has a large web portfolio, with many organisations providing multiple websites – all with unique propositions. It’s important that we, as Scottish Government, increase our understanding of this landscape.

An exercise has already begun to understand aggregated statistics from this web portfolio. Our initial view focusses on a series of core websites – ones which act as hubs for information provided by organisations. This creates an initial list of websites that can be built upon in the future.

  • Did you know we provide over 6 million content items to users that are available to find in search engines (e.g. Google)?
  • Did you also know that over 31 million links point to these content items?

Launching the web analytics initiative

A few weeks ago our team began working on a new web analytics initiative to help us surface and gain access to web analytics data.

The initiative will help to provide:

  • a collated view of the web portfolio;
  • an opportunity to visualise the relationship between websites;
  • an ability to understand demand from users;
  • insight into the services we all provide.

We can also use the data to help educate our direction of travel for building www.mygov.scot.

The team
There is a small, part-time team working on the web analytics initiative. Communications and daily management are being handled by Rui Cardoso – so Rui will likely be an on-going point of contact for queries via performance@gov.scot.

Getting involved
The initiative has begun with requests being issued to an initial list of organisations from Scottish Government, alongside a number of other Scottish public sector organisations. We will grow this list over the coming months.

The activity to grant access to Google Analytics will likely need undertaken by an analytics manager, web manager or marketing team (depending on where Google Analytics control sits within the organisation).

Access will not be shared out-with Digital Public Services & Business Transformation in the Scottish Government. All access will be read-only as well, so there is no risk to the data itself. We would also like to identify a point of contact for web analytics and performance analysis within organisations – as we have ambitions for a future community to improve efforts across the public sector in this area.

If you would like to get involved and help us build a view of the portfolio of websites – get in touch with us via performance@gov.scot and we’ll let you know what you need to do next.

We’ll be sharing updates on this, and much more on social, so follow the team via @mygovscot on Twitter for more updates. Want to comment? Get in touch below!

Sharing the importance of improving public services (in Vietnamese!)

This is a post by Neil Campbell, our Information Security Officer

When the team arrives in the office every morning, I’d like to think they have three things on their mind: breakfast (who doesn’t?), the morning update and what they are going to achieve that day. However, a morning in late September also introduced an additional consideration for some of the team; the challenge of communicating through a translator.

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We’re celebrating women in tech with Ada Lovelace Day

This is a post by Kate Ho, our Product Owner

We’re not going to be talking about our progress or about new features as normal today. That’s because it’s the 13th October – an important day in the calendar for us to celebrate women in technology. It is Ada Lovelace Day.

It’s simple. Today is an opportunity to share stories about women working in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) that inspire you, so that we can start to raise awareness of role models for the next generation to look up to.

We’ve been incredibly lucky in the past few years; our list of potential role models in the tech industry, that are women, has grown exponentially. Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook), Marissa Mayer (Yahoo!), Meg Whitman (former eBay, now HP CEO) are just a few women in high profile companies that have become household names in the last few years.

This year, we wanted to highlight some people that are closer to home: the three women that work in our product and experience teams at mygov.scot. Their passion, drive and determination to realise our vision is inspiring not only to me, but also to those that want to work in the technology industry. On top of that, it also demonstrates that you don’t need to be a developer to work in tech; there are lots of roles that require technical skills, that don’t involve coding everyday.

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Browser compatibility during beta

This is a post by Calum Shepherd, our Head of Digital Strategy.

When thinking about our beta iteration of www.mygov.scot six months ago, we decided to firm up our understanding of which browsers we intended on supporting.

Compatibility decisions were based upon our understanding of who we thought would be using the website and their current browser choice and version. We used data from our alpha and a vastly more mature data set from www.gov.uk – allowing us to get the browser usage spread we needed to make some initial assumptions.

Compatibility decisions are split between the website and our publishing platform – as the intended audience is quite different. We know that people within Scottish Government will likely be running versions of Internet Explorer and don’t readily have access to mobile devices suitable for publishing.

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Programme performance measures – doing the right things

This is a post by Calum Shepherd, our Head of Digital Strategy.

We should be providing assurance that the strategic decisions we make are correct. We can do this by making sure that the things we do, create or build are all measurable and realise a series of benefits.

We’ve called these performance measures; they will be used by our team to assure everything from our direction of travel, through to individual features that are made available through released products or services.

Our programme level performance measures cover:

  • iterating on products (www.mygov.scot)
  • moving websites through transitioning (www.directscot.org)
  • future transactional services
  • future performance platform data sets

The programme performance measures are linked to our policy objectives within the measurement and benefits framework of “Scotland’s Digital Future: Delivery of Public Services”. This helps us ensure we are in sync with national objectives.

Individual performance measures are then linked to benefits contained within our business case – helping to ensure we are realising the specific benefits of the programme.

Our performance measures contain goals, KPIs, metrics, baselines, targets, target periods, review dates and list data sources.

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Supporting material through resources.mygov.scot

This is a post by Calum Shepherd, our Head of Digital Strategy.

We’re excited to mark the availability of resources.mygov.scot, which went live last week. It’s our first step towards putting live resources for better digital services.

The new resources area has two main aims:

  • to help you deliver clear content when publishing on mygov.scot
  • to help you, as a service provider, in building future transactional services that will appear on mygov.scot


What resources are available?

It’s providing a home just now to the service standard for transactional services, which is an expanded version of the Digital by Default Service Standard. It’s unfinished and we are missing some pretty fundamental criteria like user needs – but it’s a first run.

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