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!

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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Introducing a simple, helpful tool for decommissioning websites

This is a post by Jono Ellis, our Social Media Manager

Websites within the Scottish public sector portfolio that are out of date, duplicating information available elsewhere or are no longer maintained help sustain a poor experience for citizens. Through working with our partners, we are spotting candidates that display these poor attributes and are thus low hanging fruit for transitioning to www.mygov.scot. This should be a seamless process for all involved.

It’s important that we get our approach to transitioning right to ensure users have a seamless experience when moving from a legacy website to www.mygov.scot. Redirecting and decommissioning is the bane of many people and is usually victim to corner cutting – resulting in wildcard redirects to the homepage.

Since our team will likely have to transition several websites in partnership with other teams over the next few years, we have decided to build something that will make life a little easier.

Why is it important to redirect legacy websites?

We redirect old/broken URLs for two reasons – to retain search value (e.g. in Google) and to benefit our users; few things are more frustrating than discovering that the page that you are trying to find in search or via a bookmark has gone missing. Broken links don’t instil trust from users or from search engines – and since search is such an important way for users to find content on any website we want to make sure that we handle transitioning legacy websites and URLs correctly.

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Introducing beta.mygov.scot

This is a post by Peter Smith, Product Owner for alpha and beta

From today you can see the beta version of mygov.scot. This marks the start of a phase in which we will continually add content and features to the site, making use of the tools and processes we have been developing since the release of alpha. Care Information Scotland (CIS) and the Scottish Business Portal are amongst the first to work with us on content and we would like to thank them for working alongside the team on this early beta release.



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