When site usage stats are really important…

We’re not brilliant at analyzing site user stats in our department for a number of reasons; we don’t really have the expertise for sophisticated drilling down into the data, we don’t have enough people to dedicate a single person to the job, we’re too busy keeping our sites afloat, when people higher up the food chain or in parliament ask us for information they invariably want to know how many ‘hits’ and how much it all cost.

We also have various commitments and undertakings as part of government to make information available online so in that context, how important are topline figures?

The answer today was ‘more important than anything else you are currently doing’. Right in the middle of preparing for the most important site launch my team has worked on in the last three years I received a request for information that cannot be ignored.

Although we regularly log and interrogate data for our main site, we don’t need to look at the stats for some of our smaller sites on quite such a frequent basis – until someone demands to know. So I spent a great chunk of today wrestling with our web statistics application trying to answer the question – and so avoid dragging any of the team away from more important activities.

Ho hum, all part of the service!

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