Since 30 September 2014, all National and Official Statistics produced by the Government Statistical Service (GSS) need to be pre-announced on the GOV.UK statistics release calendar.
There is still a backlog of prioritised improvements to be made to the new release calendar and these form the basis of ongoing work by the Government Digital Service (GDS) team. Proposed enhancements have been categorised into ‘must have’, ‘should have’ and ‘could have’ criteria and are shown below.Due to other GDS priorities leading up to the election, very few of these enhancements are likely to be delivered before June 2015.
‘MUST have’ enhancements:
- Geography by country filter option.
- Addition of ‘official’ statistics label.
- Clarity of the ‘National Statistics’ quality mark.
- Addition of RSS feed and e-mail alerting.
- Geography by sub-national filter option.
‘SHOULD have’ enhancements:
- Stop announcements with data range – show on specific date.
- Front end keyword search.
- Multiple organisations in announcements.
‘COULD have’ enhancements:
- Easy method for users to access/view all future and past releases for a series.
- Multiple topics in announcements.
- ‘Submit for second eyes’ process for announcements.
- Bulk uploader for batches or similar stats/announcements.
- Amend and add topics on gov.uk.
Prioritising work and having your say
The GSS Presentation and Dissemination Committee (PDC) has recently set up a GOV.UK sub group to ensure the GSS have the opportunity to comment on the existing enhancements to the release calendar and influence the future direction of GOV.UK.
The group is chaired by Sam Hall from ONS and the first meeting is scheduled to take place on 1 April 2015. The Terms of Reference and membership of the group will be made available on the committee and governance pages of the GSS website shortly.
The broad aims of the sub group are to:
- Build a strong working relationship between the GDS and the GSS, sharing information on priorities, agreeing future priorities and feeding back progress.
- Agree with GDS the future direction of statistical outputs on gov.uk, such as interactive data visualisations.
- Share website development experiences
It is proposed that future’ must have’ enhancements to the release calendar need to satisfy at least one of the following criteria:
- Viewable from the front end – it can be seen and is wrong and/or broken.
- User driven – an external user or users have requested this and we understand why they need it.
- Legal or Code of Practice requirement.
- High impact – a significant change which makes the site/content easier to use/navigate/understand.
If you have feedback or comments in relation to these criteria or have feedback from users that identify the need for additional enhancements, please email us.
BASECAMP – New online forum
GDS have set up an online forum for statistical publishers using the Basecamp app.
It has been set up so users can:
- get the latest information from GDS and share knowledge and best practice
- ask questions about statistical content
- announce and promote events about statistical content
- build a network of contacts
Recent discussions have focussed on:
- updates to the statistical release calendar
- tagging release announcements to countries
- training sessions
To access the forum, email Juliet Blomfield who can add you to the forum and you will be sent an invitation to log in. It’s as simple as that!
Publishing training and support
The majority of publishers who weren’t already publishing to GOV.UK have now been trained. The latest training opportunity ‘How to publish statistics on GOV.UK’ is being held in London on Thursday 10 September 2015. If you wish to attend, please contact Alex Gardiner
Training is not generally being offered to organisations who publish a handful of official statistics per year – these organisations are being encouraged to ask a main government department or devolved administration to publish on their behalf.
GDS approved guidance on editorial style when releasing statistical publications on the GOV.UK release calendar has now been launched and forms part of a larger document bringing together best practice in writing for the web.
Analytics on usage of the release calendar will also be available shortly. If you are interested in being added to this circulation list please email us.
Please see our Release Calendar Guidance page.
Make sure you stay up to date by checking the Latest Updates page.