Turning Data Into Action—DigitalGov Summit Recap

Jun 3, 2014

At the DigitalGov Citizen Services Summit last Friday, more than 200 innovators across government and industry came together to share how digital services can improve citizen services and reduce cost. Four panels convened to share information on performance analysis, customer service across channels, public private partnerships and inter-agency work. We have a recap of the Performance Analysis Panel below.

DigitalGov Citizen Services Summit Expo - Panel 1: Performance Analysis - Steve Lewis USTDA; Sarah Kaczmarek GAO; Silvia Salazar NCI; Ilene France HHS

How do you show and track performance in 21st century digital government? Do people like our services? How do we really know? In gov digital services we are drowning in data – visitors, bounce rate, tweets, search logs, impressions, key performance indicators, and more. How do you turn that data into something manageable, meaningful, actionable? The Performance Analytics panel explored this.

Steve Lewis, Digital and Social Media Manager, U.S. Trade and Development Agency, discussed how his agency uses analytics tools to help them minimize drop rates. They review their data to see where visitors are exiting the site to determine what can and should be done to keep them on the site. They also use other tools to identify the popular content being tweeted/retweeted.

Sarah Kaczmarek, Digital Communications Manager, Government Accountability Office, shared how metrics can and should be used to gauge content consumption. Analytics allow you to dig deep into why, and how, and who, etc. Three goals are:

  1. Measure how visitors are getting to your site, what content are visitors looking and looking for, then ask, why is this content important.
  2. Analyze how the metrics relate to one another. Obtain customer feedback and do usability testing to tell the full story of how the site is performing.
  3. Act on the data that is collected. Use the data and information that is collected to improve the site.

Silvia Salazar,**** Public Health Adviser, National Cancer Institute, Department of Health & Human Services, talked about why visitor input is critical. They were able to identify why their blogs or social channels were not getting the traffic they were expecting. Not everyone with cancer wants to share their story with the world. This was an eye-opener and helped to manage expectations for social media usage.

Ilene France, Digital Information Specialist, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Department of Health & Human Services, explained how the Digital Analytics Program (DAP) allows for cross agency collaboration. Agencies that are just starting to measure visitor satisfaction can learn from agencies that have a mature DAP in place. Analytics should be used to examine trends over time. Analytics should also be used to examine user behavior via search behavior, mobile sources and social sources.Darlene Gamble is a Web Analytics Specialist at the Administrative Office of the U. S. Courts. Thanks to our special Summit blogger, Darlene, who took up the Open Opportunities challenge. You can find more opportunities to participate.