Will Myddleton recently posted about Facing things as they are — as a fundamental of user research and an approach to life. As an analyst and as a meditator who works (sometimes successfully) to appreciate the moment, I really valued what Will has written. I said I’d try to respond from an analyst’s perspective. As analysts working in multi-disciplinary teams, we have a number of tasks: Gather and analyse existing evidence Identify a testable hypothesis Make sure the data we need is collected and is appropriate Do the analysis Tell an actionable story So this is a very parallel, indeed intermingled, journey to that described by Will.
Data sources, actions and blockers The UK Government Digital Service (GDS) leads digital transformation in government, collaborating with teams from other departments to help them build better public services. Alongside those departmental teams, GDS is transforming government together. GDS has a large and complex digital analytics implementation (currently using Google Analytics and Piwik). GOV.UK and other GDS websites and digital services generate over 500 million hits a year and there are around 1000 users, accessing data over a large number of properties and views.
An article about my local council’s worsening recycling rate sent me on a quick investigation of the data and to reflect on the context. “Cllr Jan Warwick, portfolio holder for environment, blamed a fall in the amount of newspapers being recycled.” Hum, what does that mean? I presume it means fewer newspapers in volume are being recycled - rather than the proportion of newspapers being recycled has fallen.