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Fortnight notes: Data and Search team 24/08/16

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The Data & Search team are following the lead of the Website Alpha team by publishing a short update on activity on a regular basis.

The team thought about doing this a few months ago, but decided against it at the time due to the amount of overlap with the exploratory work on the new website. Samu and (especially) Michael from the Data & Search team are closely involved in that work.

However, the responsibilities of this new team go beyond the new website and we wanted to be as open as possible.

We will rotate responsibility for writing the notes, like the Website Alpha team. We will publish once a fortnight because it suits our working patterns better than weekly. Hopefully we can stick to this. Finally, we'll iterate the notes with a view to making them better over time. Carrie and the Content team will help us with this, and we'd appreciate other feedback to, or via the comments.

Here's what's been happening over the past 2 weeks:

Aidan and Michael have been working on potential collaborations with universities, along with Kheira and Ganesh from the Website Alpha team.

Many of the team have been reviewing a report we commissioned by the Open Data Institute on 'Achieving more with open data at data.parliament'. The ODI team came in to present on 9 August. The report helps inform our data strategy and to start getting a better understanding of public users' needs for our data. It is great. We'll make this public soon.

Robert has been prototyping with the Microsoft search API, investigated costs for the Google API, and worked on use cases and test scripts for search.

Robert attended the attended the 'Register of public sector bodies' meeting with GDS / NAO / Cabinet Office and others.

Robert met with Aidan and Anya from the Indexing & Data Management Section (IDMS) on what role the existing (internal) search user group might play with regard to prototypes for public-facing search.

Samu finished a first iteration of a tool for IDMS. This will be an intrinsic part of our data service. This work also involved expanding the data-driven prototype that Rebecca & Giuseppe from the Website Alpha team have been working on to allow editing. Robert has also been involved in this, reviewing the data returned from the 'Order Paper' API. This data comes from the business system that produces the Summary Agenda and Order of Business. We have chosen to look at Order Paper data because it's not something that IDMS currently cover.

Samu worked with colleagues in Technology on requirements for our cloud hosting. We should have a 'sandpit' environment soon which is a first step.

Mat worked on data integrations for 5 different internal systems. These projects are at varying degrees of completion, with one integration having been successfully deployed in the past 2 weeks.

Mat started on a collaborative project with Matt Stutely's Business Systems team looking at internal people search.

(Many of the team have been on holiday, especially Dan and Michael.)


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