This is a guest post from our [much more than a] Business Analyst Alison Sarioglu –>
It is well know that one of the major problems with the current website is the unreliability of 09.30 publishing. In fact many of our users rely on other sites to access our headline figures at 09.30 because they are more punctual!
If the Beta site can crack this it will be a massive win for our users in terms of equality of access to our statistics. This is one of our critical success factors and there is no way we will consider going live until it has been proved time and time again – unless of course we are happy to receive negative criticism from the outset along the lines of:
Research carried out with users has proved there is still demand for a standard publishing time and the majority are happy with the current time of 09.30.
As proof of concept for the Beta site we have been publishing at 13.30 the following day, but applying a similar load to 09.30 publishing, in terms of concurrent users. The reasons for choosing this time mostly relate to internal resources, but also the fact that we want to avoid the critical busy times on the current live site.
If this works, the time will move to 09.30 on the day of release – so true concurrent publishing to the Beta and current live site. Again this will be heavily tested before the decision is made to switch the Beta to live.
By building a simpler, bespoke system that can cope with large volumes of data, we are confident we will be able to solve this problem.
We are still very much in the experimental stage, however so far publish times have been promising, with National Accounts (6 outputs, with 7,723 files) publishing in just over 13 seconds and Labour Market Statistics in just over 10 seconds.
So, watch this space!!