https://pds.blog.parliament.uk/2017/02/01/talking-in-words-about-our-numbers/

Story time: talking in words about our numbers

An excerpt from a book asking 'Do you speak statistics?'
Photo by David Mulder, used with Creative Commons License 2.0

Everyone on the content team looks at stats across different platforms, and we put together a (not very sexy looking) report each month. Of course we do - it's very standard procedure.

But, looking at numbers in isolation rarely tells much of a story. In order to really learn from the numbers, we need to give them context. And, in order for any of you to care about those numbers, we wouldn't be very good digital storytellers if we didn't give you a bit of narrative while we're at it.

So, from now on it's our resolution to talk to you in words about our numbers.

Brexit's big in Boston

Screen shot of a Facebook post about an opportunity for people in Boston, Lincolnshire to engage with MPs about Brexit

Boston in Lincolnshire had the highest number of people who chose to vote leave in the EU referendum in the UK. This sponsored post by the Outreach and Engagement team was ring fenced for Facebook and Instagram viewers in Boston (and 20km around it). We wanted to engage with the people of Boston and let them know they could meet MPs and talk about what Brexit might mean for those who live there.

We were pleased with the results, with each engagement costing around 6p. Not much to pay to make sure people know how they can directly engage with MPs in their local area.

The first winner of the 2017 blog race

Dana, a user researcher, during a feedback session

It was a photo finish, but the post about our work in the content team was pipped to the post by Henry Lau's piece about getting a mobile testing lab off the ground. A worthy victory. I wonder who will win the accolade next month.

We published 10 posts in January - 9 more than last year. A substantial increase, made possible in no small way by having a dedicated blog editor, not to mention a whole heap of engaged, enthusiastic bloggers.

Sharing's caring

Friend of PDS Matt Jukes and the good folks over at GDS both accounted for some of the traffic to our blog in January. We're all for this kind of sharing and want to find more ways to collaborate in 2017.

The business of Parliament

The Parliamentary business section of the website got over 2 million hits in January. That’s about a third of all views of the website last month. It's great that people are really keen to engage with the work of Parliament, and we're keen to look at ways we can make improvements to the content to help people find what they're looking for.

Nearly 3 times as many people use the mobile version of Facebook to point to Parliamentary stuff than the browser version. Although visitors still mainly access the website from a desktop/laptop, there’s more than double the amount of visitors using smartphones compared to tablets.

Understanding the way users access our content helps us to design new stuff with their needs in mind.

An Instagram love story

We've been experimenting with regramming in recent months, and we're really pleased with the results. It seems our followers and friends are too. It was great to see Instagram user @janeoako_ih being congratulated by their followers for being regrammed by us, and our first image to receive over 1,000 likes was a regram too.

We're going to continue to regram and engage with our followers and friends on Instagram. Please feel free to add #UKParliament to your posts if you'd like us to share your image. Don't forget, Parliament is so much more than Westminster. If you're engaged with Parliament, wherever you are in the country (or the world), we want to share your work, your stories, and your images.

... and finally

Our Deputy Director Tracey Jessup made (sound) waves in January when she was interviewed for the #GeekGirlMeets podcast. You can listen to it on Soundcloud and add some comments too. We're thinking of starting podcasts here at PDS - comment below with ideas for the kind of things you'd like us to chat about.

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