Weeknotes S2 E4

Once again not strictly week notes, more 2–3 week notes.

Photo by Banter Snaps on Unsplash

Today it was slightly cold and I finally feel a bit wintery.

Five things that happened

1 Local Government website data

We published our findings into the use of local government websites in Wales. I think we found some interesting if not totally surprising things… massive shift to mobile from desktop in terms of the devices people use, big increase in traffic to sites (over 5M more visits in 2018 compared to 2015), mobile use still high even in very rural areas with patchy mobile coverage and mobile use tends to be even higher the more income deprived council areas are.

We’re not stopping there. We’re surveying South West England next and will be rolling through the UK. We’re also modifying our FOIA request to ask for more useful data and to make it as easy as possible for people to provide the info. Thanks to Carolyne Mitchell, Sarah Turner and Jason Bennett for testing our new approaches.

If you’d like to get involved, use the data, ask us to collect different sorts of data or just generally chat about local government website data we’d love to talk.

2 Wales is where it happens

Interesting things are afoot in Welsh Government.

The WAO told local government it could do better with its data culture. Here’s my post on the subject.

The External Digital Panel chaired by Lee Waters AM published its report. It’s pretty sensible stuff. Before it was published we were concerned that it might focus a bit too much on hierarchical notions of leadership. We haven’t written our response to the full report yet.

Wales has a new First Minister (though you might not have noticed if you’re outside of Wales) and a reshuffled cabinet. Julie James AM was one of the ministers who commissioned the External Digital Panel. She’s had a long interest in data maturity and open data along with digital in public services. Now she’s in charge of housing and local government. This can only be a good thing surely?

3 Maps

We’ve got a small pot of money to do some more work on the Mapio Cymru / openstreetmap.cymru project. Thank you Welsh Government. Early in the new year we should have a more resilient, faster map with some improved functionality. We hope to increase the use of this Welsh language map on Welsh language pages and sites. If you’d like to find out how to use the map or contribute to the data please get in touch.

4 Projects

It’s been a few weeks of projects. We’ve initiated some projects with partners and we’re looking for funding. We’ve been asked to work with other partners on other projects. There’s something very satisfying about, well, getting some stuff done.

In the new year, I hope, we’ll be putting more of a focus on projects with open source outputs and structured to allow a wide number of partners to work with us and benefit from our work.

5 The data playbook

I just got off a webinar hosted by Heather Leson and Dirk Slater about the development of the Data Playbook within the IFRC. I’m still processing everything I learned but I guess the key takeaway for me is how they managed to co-create a resource across such a large and diverse organisation. Tailoring it and iterating it based on where people are and what their concerns and needs are. I’m specifically interested in the data aspect but this seems to me it could be a model for a wide range of toolkits, training and procedures and even policies across public services.

Also the playbook is available under a creative commons license. We’re working on a project around data skills and culture in public services right now and I’m already reflecting on how we can incorporate learning from the overall approach and the specific content.


Also Esko Reinikainen has been on at me about running our own webinars (maybe something on Google Analytics for public services. And now I see what he’s been getting at.

Also I am a late convert to Ghost and have been mucking about, fairly successfully, with nginx.

Also I have an iPad now.

I work at The Satori Lab we also host ODI-Cardiff.

We provide a range of services to help people deliver excellent public services in the connected age.

Please clap if you liked this, I really am that needy.

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