Implementing 18F’s Digital Analytics Program (A Guide) — Part 1

Web Traffic — Raise the Wage LA — 9:47 AM — Tuesday, Aug. 23rd, 2016

The City’s first real time open display of web traffic across its services is officially live! The City Web Analytics Dashboard is based on the open source work by 18F, the U.S. Digital Service (USDS), and the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The dashboard is part of an effort to highlight transparency, build collaboration across departments, and encourage user-driven web development. You can learn more about the program’s vision of openness and transparency from the White House blog on this topic.

Dashboard Insights

Examining web traffic in Los Angeles, you can discover things such as:

  1. A majority of users visiting the main City homepage are seeking job related info, nearly 50,000 unique visitors went to job related links in the past month.
  2. MyLA311 and InsideLA Mobile are frequent downloads on lacity.org.
  3. Some departmental agencies such as Los Angeles World Airports and Department of Water and Power tend to experience steady traffic after 6 p.m — a period of traditional traffic decline for most City departments.
  4. With a significant portion of referrals coming from social media, LA Zoo Lights is the regular destination for the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens during the holiday season.
  5. Top outgoing clicked links on the City’s homepage go to Personnel, MyLA311, Sanitation, GovernmentJobs.com, and jobsla.org, respectively.
  6. Developers should design for all devices. Over a third of traffic from the City of Los Angeles homepage are from mobile iOS and Android.
  7. Modern browsers are the norm. Seven out of ten users are coming from Chrome or Safari.
  8. Web services and applications are a strong asset. Websites that provide services and dynamic content are frequently utilized across the board. Examples of these services include getting real time flight info, paying a parking ticket, or submitting plans for permitting.

Next Steps and Caveats

webanalytics.lacity.org is still by no means is an exhaustive hub for all City of Los Angeles web traffic. The current dashboard displays data on 28 of 44 City Offices and Departments. Additionally, Google Analytics does not guarantee that the hourly report will be timely at all times, and there can be an occasional delay in the hourly histogram.

In Part 2, we will go through step by step on how to build this for your organization. If you would like to contribute, have suggestions, or would like help deploying this tool for your organization, view our Github account or email us at mayor.opendata@lacity.org.