Civil servants advised not to rely on Google Analytics for performance analysis

Government performance analysts should create more performance measures than those in the digital service standard and look beyond Google Analytics reports, a performance analyst at the Home Office has said.

Think outside the Google Analytics box, performance analysts told – Photo credit: Pexels

Writing on the Home Office Digital blog, Jenny Huynh said that a team’s performance analyst should not just be a “Google Analytics (GA) puppet”.

She wrote: “GA reports are quick to set up but can only measure web goals, so use the analyst to help you develop metrics across the whole service that can’t be tracked on GA.”

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In addition, she advised teams to look beyond the four performance measures listed in the Government Digital Service’s digital service manual, especially in areas that Google Analytics cannot capture.

For instance, the business unit might have internal measures or service level agreements that the digital service could make an improvement on – in which case they should put the right processes in place to measure this before the service goes live.

“See it as an opportunity to test hypotheses about user behaviour or service improvements, and this will help shape future iterations of the product,” Huynh said.

The performance analyst team at the Home Office is now looking to work with service managers to create better measures that go beyond the four digital service standard measures, she said.

Huynh also stressed the importance of having performance analysts involved from the start of the project and that the team runs performance framework workshops early in the process, ideally before the alpha assessment.

“If you find that the session at alpha isn’t sufficient, repeat the process at beta, when you will have more research to work with,” Huynh said. Teams should also keep repeating the workshop once the service has gone live, until the right performance indicators are found to help measure the right things.


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