Open data foresight

August 12, 2010

I regularly report on the outcomes from the ACSI E-government Satisfaction Index , but the latest one for Q2 2010 reports a drop in satisfaction following some fairly consistent improvements over the last few quarters, although there have been some declines in particular areas.

Why might this be? Larry Freed of ForeSee and the analysts attribute this to some confusion in navigation and search brought about by the US Open Government Initiative and the need to provide data sets.

Hence the title of the piece. If the US is experiencing navigation issues with the presentation issues of open data now, with the UK only just getting on that bandwagon, we need to think in advance where and how to present that data to the best advantage, without burying it in the web site.

We also need to think about our home and landing pages a lot more anyway. With increasing volumes of information, pressures from services to be where they want to be on the web site and adherence to navigation standards all fight for precedence.  In practice, however, it should be the citizen who decides where the data might be and some understanding of how they will approach it is required.

So, don’t bury your light under a bushel, bury the data that nobody wants.


What’s the use of satisfaction?

May 6, 2010

Following on from the earlier post about the Pew Internet survey, there is also the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index- E-Government Satisfaction Index from Foresee, dated 27 April 2010, to compare it with.

The need to compare is because I believe that the two values on their own don’t tell us as much as the two can do when employed together.

Whilst Foresee identify increased satisfaction with individual US web sites, there appears to be a drift away from the Internet shown in the Pew survey. This could be down to the types of government web sites most Americans use – are they local or federal, state or other jurisdiction? The sites Foresee examine may only be used on an annual basis, so whilst these national sites may be getting their act together, are the others remaining or becoming too complex and requiring a personal visit or ‘phone call to sort out the issue?

It’s good to know that satisfaction with key sites, and we’re not talking portals here, is improving, but being personally unaware of the transaction volume split in the US between local, state and federal business, I’d still like to bet that the most regularly used, as in the UK, is the local government site delivering local information and services.

Again, useful data but more so when able  to triangulate with the other sources and information.


February 21, 2010

Larry Freed strikes again! Foresee have published his latest analysis, in this case a special piece of work entitled “The Inaugral ForeSee Results’ E-Government Transparency Index.”

The report, nearly a year in the making, studied more than 36, 000 US citizens in the fourth quarter of 2009. Freed proposes that it provides evidence that online transparency is a key driver for online satisfaction, which in turn drives trust in government and onto future participation and collaboration.

Freed had started out by stating that (p.2) “there aren’t any measures in place to assess citizens’ current perceptions of federal transparency, collaboration opportunities, and their trust in governmnet, much less any clear direction on how to improve those things.” He’s then extended the ACSI question set to handle this and as a result believes the study provides evidence that citizens perceiving a federal website to be highly transparent are also more likely to participate, return in future, recommend it, use it as a primary source and trust government in general!

Another area highlighted on page 5 is that different elements are key on the different web sites, which can only be discovered by research them individually. For some, it’s transparency, for others it’s the navigation, whilst search and other elements may have a part to play depending upon the site.

As usual, more grist to the e-government-thinking mill. Thank you Larry for your hard work.

Foreseeing the future

November 3, 2009

Foresee have published their latest analysis of citizen satisfaction with US government web sites. I always pick up on this because of the employment of satisfaction, be it the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) or otherwise.

In case no one has ventured further on their web site when I’ve blogged about these reports before, Foresee publish a whole stream of studies about metrics and qualitative data in relation to business and government, including podcasts by their CEO, Larry Freed.

What it does point out is the increasing satisfaction in the USA of citizens with government web sites, particularly where they offer transactions. Further the reviewers state that “there is a clear relationship bewteen the length of time federal websites have measured satisfaction and their ability to make significant score improvments.”  They then identify the need for long term investment in measurement to show real returns.

If we want to know what the key improvment is, Foresee identify it as improved navigation, so let that be a lesson to you all!

The only sad part is that e-government is shown to have taken over from the other channels, not that there is an ACSI measurement of this other than once a year. This also demonstrates the need to measure all channels in parallel  to assist in improving them all, otherwise we are likely to get serious exclusivity problems.