GDS this week: Sprint Share and Performance Platform update

On Thursday 7 November we hosted Sprint Share in Birmingham, the latest of our Sprint events for people in government to share their experiences of transforming UK digital services. Phil Buckley, GOV.UK Performance Platform Product Manager, also gives an update on the most recent releases of performance data for the car tax renewals and Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) services.

Follow Mike Beaven and Phil Buckley on Twitter:

Mike Beaven (Transformation Programme Director): @MichaelCBeaven

Phil Buckley (Performance Platform Product Manager): @philbuckley5


Walking the talk in New York

Today is the election for the next Mayor of New York City. Mike Bloomberg cannot stand for a third term, and there are more than a dozen challengers competing to take his place.

Whoever wins, I hope they support the great work that Mike Flowers, Chris Corcoran, Nick O’Brien and their data analytics team have been doing to join up information across the city to improve the way that the city fights fires, reduces crime, and administers child support payments. (more…)

Latest data on government transactions

Today, we’ve released an updated version of the Transactions Explorer, our tool for publishing performance data for the government’s transactional services.

Our list has expanded to include over 700 services, from 17 government departments. For 83 of the biggest services, we’ve published additional data on costs and digital take-up; we also have more data for some of the ‘exemplar’ services now being redesigned and rebuilt. (more…)

Comparing transactions, step by step

For almost the first time, we are using conversion funnel data to improve government transactions. The comparisons between services are fascinating.

When you are browsing books on Amazon, the pages are full of links. Want to see a bigger picture of the cover? Click on the thumbnail. What do other people think of this book? There are pages of reviews to explore. More from this author? Just click on her name.

The second you Proceed to Checkout however: everything disappears. The picture of the book cover is removed, even the Amazon logo no longer links back to their homepage. The only thing you can click is the nice friendly button labelled ‘Continue.’

Amazon browsing (top) vs Amazon checkout (bottom)

Amazon browsing (top) vs Amazon checkout (bottom)

At this stage, Amazon just want to get you through the necessary steps to complete the sale. The statistics of how many people make it from one step to the next is called the conversion funnel. (more…)

Visualising Foreign Travel Advice

It’s the holiday season, and as millions of people head off on their travels the importance of a single source of authoritative and accurate travel advice becomes particularly relevant.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) completed their transition of content to GOV.UK back in March, and their detailed foreign travel advice for 225 countries and territories gets around one hundred thousand pageviews every day from users all over the world.

Figures like this, along with recent developments in the Middle-East and Africa, prompted me to investigate how people are accessing this information and how users’ behaviours and concerns might be reflected in the aggregated pageviews. With this in mind, I built a tool to show me more. (more…)

This week at GDS

Mike Beaven talks about how GDS has been helping Technology in Business fast streamers learn about coding and design, the beta release of the employment tribunal fee service and the ‘GIST’ spending tool, which provides data visualisations of government spending. Next week we’re hoping to publish performance data from the lasting power of attorney application.

Mike also welcomes new starters, and congratulates James Taylor on completing the Trailwalker 2013 challenge.

Read the full transcript