This week at GDS
Highlights this week – we published our first quarterly progress report on the Government Digital Strategy, setting out what’s been achieved since it was published in December. Work is now well underway on the transactional “exemplar” services – 9 are in either alpha or beta versions, and 4 currently in the first “discovery” stage.
Traffic to GOV.UK hit an all-time high of 6.13m visitors in the last week of February, which will only increase as more departments move across to GOV.UK. Tom Loosemore’s blog post on whether we should use apps (including a copy of his presentation) proved to be our most viral blog post. We’re also doing more to measure how much engagement we’re getting through the blog and through Twitter.
The National Audit Office published their Digital Britain Two report – useful praise for government’s work in the digital space, but also plenty to keep us on our toes, and some very useful recommendations for areas of improvement.
Next week – more departments join GOV.UK, including Ministry of Justice and Defra. Not long now until all departments are on there.
(Full transcript below)
What’s been going on at GDS this week?
Well, it’s been quite a quiet week this week, post-Easter and in fact Mike [Bracken]‘s actually recovering, actually, from eating chocolate Easter eggs so he’s taken the week off this week to recover from that. But actually we have been doing quite a bit. So today we have published our first quarterly progress report on the Government Digital Strategy, so setting out what’s been achieved over the quarter since the strategy was published in December.
So some of the highlights from that: we’ve had 6 departments who’ve changed their digital leader this quarter – all very good news – actually most of them have been promoted to bigger and better jobs; that’s led to a bit of change in the system. And we’ve also done some more work on the transactional services; we’ve had work beginning on 15 of those services, and we now have 9 services in either alpha or beta versions, and we have 4 that are currently in the first stage of discovery – so good progress with those.
We’ve also been looking at our traffic on GOV.UK, which as of the end of February – the last week of February in fact – we had 6.13million visitors, which is actually an all-time high for GOV.UK. And as you know we are just expecting that to continue going up as more departments join the site.
The other thing we’ve been doing in terms of data is getting some data about the use of our blog and our Twitter feed – and that’s been, again, really good news. So you might remember last time I spoke I was talking about a presentation that Tom Loosemore had done to digital leaders about apps, and whether we should use apps or not, and Tom put that out as a blog post with a copy of the presentation, and that’s actually been our most viral blog post, which is good news – so lots of interest in that.
And finally, just on Twitter, the @gdsteam tag gets about 100 mentions a week, so that’s really good because that’s people either asking for some information or giving us feedback about some of our services, which helps us improve, so that’s really good news.
What else has been happening this week?
So I think Mike mentioned in his video last week that the National Audit Office were publishing their Digital Britain Two report, last week. That was a follow-up to their Digital Britain One report published in 2011. So some great data in there, some really strong praise for what governments been doing in the digital space, which is fantastic, but also keeping us on our toes – lots of recommendations of further things we could do to improve, particularly focusing on assisted digital and how do we help those people who are offline. So really important as we take that work forward, that we can build on their findings and recommendations; that’s really helpful.
What’s going to be happening next week?
Next week we’ve got some more moves to GOV.UK – we’re now on to Ministry of Justice, and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) – so they’re coming next week and then we’ve got 5 more sites to come by the end of April. So not long now and we’ll have all departments on there.
Have you seen anything interesting elsewhere this week?
People might have seen the Ofcom report which tied in with mobile’s 40th anniversary, so the 40th year since we had mobile phones. And you might be interested to know that in 2012, 20 gigabyes of data was consumed every month through mobile phones. So it just reinforces the message that we give out to all the departments about ensuring that their services are accessible through all sorts of user devices to meet the increasing user need for both mobile, tablet and similar use.
If Mr Bracken was here, which way would he be saying that we’re going?
He’d be saying a word beginning with O that I don’t talk about – so for me it’s “’til next week”.