Turnbull's Digital Transformers discover log files contain more than meets the eye

Splunk-as-a-service pondered in analytics push to improve government services


Hey government agencies, there's more than meets the eye in your data Malcolm Turnbull's legacy-hunting Digital Transformation Office (DTO) has discovered analytics.

The Office's latest blogged emanation explains that “The DTO's mission is to create digital services that are easy to find and use. Service analytics will give us the facts of what to fix, where to start and how we're doing.”

What's a service analytic? The DTO says they could be any or all of the following:

  • Web statistics from tools like:
    • Google Analytics, which is already heavily used across government
    • agency hosted tools like Urchin, SmarterStats or Net Info
  • Anonymised application logs for authenticated transaction services online
  • Social media and search statistics
  • Helpdesk, face to face and telephony statistics from various service desk and ticketing tools.

To show the rest of government how this gets done, the DTO is “... building a view of these analytics across the whole of government so we can improve the total experience of dealing with government.”

“The data will feed into our reporting, user research and design work and our ongoing improvements program.”

The post goes on to say “We're building a disposable demo environment where we can test different ideas, APIs, reporting approaches and what works best across the various types of data sources we will draw from.”

“Right now, we are focused on the data collection aspect, and are playing with Splunk, Sumologic and elastic search options.”

As with all things DTO, there's a call for input from other agencies and a promise whatever the Office delivers will be made available on GitHub.

It's hard to know whether it's a good thing that the DTO is doing this work, or laughable that government agencies need to have analytics as a tool for service improvement explained to them. Either way, the DTO has AU$254 million to make it all work. Give the agency is modelled on the UK's deeply-flawed Government Digital Service, we'll keep an eye on where that money goes. ®

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