Last month Public Service Digital published an article around the data that council digital teams share and how, this being 2016, we really ought to be making better use of the tools available for doing this. Further, the article raised the idea that perhaps there ought to be some form of standards around the publication of the data in order to make it comparable.
This raised some discussion in our team around what we are currently doing, and how we could improve the provision of data for our public website.
Like many councils, we use Google Analytics to monitor our website performance. We already publish some basic statistics on a monthly basis, but it is limited.
GOV.UK have some really interesting presentation of their website statistics, and whilst we are not there yet, it is something to aim for in terms of data publication.
Instead, we have opted for something quicker and simpler to get us moving in the right direction. We have used the Google Analytics Spreadsheet add-on to put together a new website statistics page.
This page currently shows some of our key website statistics in the shape of interactive graphs, like the one below.
We’ve added what we think are some of the key metrics for looking at website performance, but we would be interested to know what others publish, and whether providing more information would be useful. It would be great to have a discussion around what data councils should be publishing in this area and whether there ought to be some form of shared standards for publication so making comparisons becomes easier.
Finally, thanks has to go to Croydon council’s web team as their website statistics page and spreadsheet really helped us understand what we needed to make this work. Using this, plus the tutorial videos available from Google, we managed to put this page together quite quickly. The whole process is simple and these videos are a great starting point if you want to make something similar out of your statistics.
Over the coming months we will look to improve on this initial offering and share further data for our website performance. Is there any particular data you think we should share on this page? Let us know in the comments!