DTA working to refine gov.au Observatory

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 08 July, 2020

DTA working to refine gov.au Observatory

The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has completed research into APS users of its gov.au Observatory analytics platform, and will use the insights to shape the future direction of the project.

The Observatory applies advanced analytics techniques to usage data about federal government websites to identify potential and actual problems people experience when using government services online.

The DTA conducted interviews with 18 APS analyst users across 13 agencies to help understand how they use the platform, how they incorporate analytics in their day-to-day work and the barriers and opportunities Observatory users saw in reaching their desired goals.

The research returned the unexpected finding that there are both primary and secondary users of the Observatory.

While data analysts are the obvious primary users of the platform, there are relevant stakeholders on the fringe that can be considered secondary users. These include executives, heads of business or line areas, content and product owners, as well as communications teams.

The DTA therefore plans to further research the stakeholder experience to better understand the needs and opinions of these secondary users.

Meanwhile, the research found that users of the Observatory platform remain unsure of what its role is and what it does, and remain unsure of the best way to communicate findings with their stakeholders.

Respondents cited a number of barriers to effective use of analytics to enhance services, including organisational culture, technology gaps, security concerns, low data literacy and a lack of resources or capacity.

According to the DTA, these barriers represent a challenge to the mission of digitising government services and will be further explored in order to better understand how to help users overcome these challenges.

Respondents also gave a number of suggestions for how the platform can be improved, with the top suggestion being the provision of analytics best practice guidelines, standards and advice.

Other suggestions include developing tools and templates for users based on best practice, developing an intuitive method of displaying data on whole-of-government analysis, and providing more training and learning opportunities.

The DTA is now starting to design, test and refine possible solutions to these issues, and is taking a dual-track agile approach to developing these solutions.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Sander Meertins

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