weeknote [α]

This is the second volume of the ONS Digital blog weeknotes. The vast majority of volume one were written by Lisa [thanks Lisa!] but she has gone off to add a number to next years population statistics so it seemed a good time to refresh things a little.

The Digital Publishing team has seen a few changes recently and has some interesting projects in play. Some of which, like the addition of the Data Visualisation team and the work on a data storytelling website, have already been represented on this blog. There is a lot going on and much more of it is going to be visible in the coming months.

Sam recently wrote a guest post over on the GDS blog about about the work her team have been doing to support the transfer of some of the key ‘Publications Hub’ functionality over to GOV.UK. This was a deceptively complex undertaking and has been a great success and hopefully bodes well for collaborations with GDS in the future.

The Digital Content team came back from the Graphical Web conference inspired and have immediately started brain storming new ideas and approaches to integrate what they learned in to the work they do for the organisation. This ties in nicely with our ambitions for the WordPress platform we have been working on with DXW which moved in to the final sprint this week with a planning day on Wednesday.

Our work in experimenting in the open data space has been getting some attention recently with some supportive words from the community. This week we had some interesting conversations with some of the ScraperWiki team following up on conversations sparked at CSVConf.

From my point of view the biggest undertaking at the moment is the start of our ‘Alpha’ project. I wrote a bit about what this means last week but now we are getting to the sharp end of things.

As of Monday [15th] an ‘agile delivery team’ will be co-located with the Digital Publishing team in Newport. Provided by Methods Digital it is an experienced team of developers who will be working with us (and some additional suppliers like CX) to start building on top of all the research we have done so we can test some working prototypes as quickly and comprehensively as we can. It is an exciting, and nerve-wracking, time.

Hopefully I can maintain the high standards Lisa set in writing these weeknotes and I look forward to sharing our ups and downs with you in the coming months.