The Data & Search team is back with their tenth set of fortnight notes. The idea is to keep an ongoing, public record of what we're doing. We'll iterate the notes with a view to making them better over time
At the 1st Show and Tell of 2017 - Chris and Raphael showed their 10% time projects. Chris demonstrated a twitter bot which tells you what constituency a MP works for using an azure app. And Raphael showcased a handy way to know if the Houses are sitting or not, by just going to isparliamentsitting.com. Commendable work by these new members of the team!
Samu and Wojciech, met up with colleagues from the website team who took them through GROM, their Graph Object Mapping component for Ruby. This is a piece of code that will make it easy for the website application to consume data from our API endpoints. It was good to see the progress.
There's been good progress on making data.parliament available over a secure connection: certificate deployment, CDN configuration and a lot of network troubleshooting (DNS and proxy configuration). Thanks to Oli Hawkins from the Commons Library, Rob Preston and Sarah Allett for expert assistance. And Mike for navigating the labyrinth and doing all the work.
Julie and her recruitment product team have had some great success in delivering an improved recruitment process. They have been experimenting with new formats for job adverts and application forms. This has been accepted very well and resulted in more applications and some great candidates
On the search front - Dia put together a team, comprising Dan, Jamie, Jeanette, Robert, Anthony, Aidan, Carrie, Steve and Kheira to discuss how to improve search on the website. They agreed to concentrate on search on new page option rather than touching the current pages. They're now kicking off a discovery phase
Several members of the team met to discuss setting up our own Dynamic Purchasing Framework.
Aidan, Dan and Samu met colleagues from Infrastructure and Security and a third-party supplier to make progress on the requirements document for the new data platform production environment. It was a good meeting and agreed that the Data and Search development team will take ownership of the majority of requirements
Dan has been working on corporate management information dashboards and has made some good progress. He has put together a cross functional team as part of discovery work.
Emma Allen, our Director of Digital Development, had asked Aidan to do some discovery work in relation to the Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellowship - whether UK Parliament would be eligible as a host organisation for this or not. In the discovery, it was confirmed that Parliament would be welcomed as an applicant for hosting a fellow. The next step is to complete and submit the application before the end of January.
Noel and Matt have been working on the Stock Management System Project for the catering department. They've gathered some information about EPOS system (Electronic Point of Sale) to learn about how the product data is stored and how they'll be connecting to it. These high level details were passed on to Tania (PM for the project) as they are building the ITT.
Julie helped steer the discovery work on Committees
Anya, Michael, Dia and Aidan met with Dr Diana Maynard from Sheffield University to kick-start work for a prototype entity extraction tool for IDMS. We're hoping this will help the librarians to subject index more Parliamentary content.
We also had a visit from some of the web team from the Scottish Parliament to chat about the data platform and data models. And Simon Wilson from the NHS beta team visited and gave an excellent talk on some of the big problems they're grappling with.
Michael has been spending lot of time organising our next external data event Parlé data . It will be held on the evening of 21st February.