The Data and Search team have made good progress over the past two weeks. In this eleventh set of fortnight notes I will try and encapsulate all those happenings!
Modifying our orchestration to match the physical ontology is also complete, so our instance data now conforms to the domain model.
New Data Platform
Jamie, Dan, Samu, Robert and Dia had a good meeting where the technical approach and solution for a first step to improve search on parliament.uk was agreed. Dia, Henry and Stephen met to discuss the user research findings for search. Aidan engaged with suppliers to procure third party services that will be used to develop the new search service for Parliament
Corporate Management Information Dashboards
Dan has made some good progress on this work, drawing together a new team to scope and deliver it. Matias and Samu have started researching and experimenting with Microsoft’s PowerBI tools. In the last two weeks as part of prototyping they were able to install an on-premises data gateway, configure a local database as a data-source, author a report based on this data and share a dashboard that features it. Dia has a first draft spreadsheet of our understanding of demand. Mat and Laura made progress on security accreditation. Mat worked with users to develop a minimum data set for the first dashboard the team have been tasked with, which is due on 16 March.
Dia shared the first draft of the product roadmap. It’s a work in progress document but is taking shape
The team resolved two difficult issues with systems that they support but didn’t build in the past two weeks.
After developing and implementing a fix, work is ongoing to re-process a build-up of Hansard material that was causing broken links to contributions on our internal search.
An issue with search on our intranet was also resolved, where a variety of pages weren’t appearing in the results. This was challenging to work through because documentation was poor, but in the end it was successful. Kunal, Mike, Samu and Wojciech got through these issues with support from colleagues Joe and Sarah.
Other Interesting Stuff
Dia and Michael had a conference call with the Welsh Assembly to share experience on data, search and making progress on the new website. They also discussed how we work in the digital service.
Michael had a good meeting with Anya and petitions committee clerks to review our flowchart as part of work to model petitions data.
Matt from the website team showed us how Pugin (the new Pattern Library) works and how it fits into the overall website architecture. There is some great software design there. It was good to see how data from our service is becoming a website.
Samu attended a talk by Microsoft about widespread adoption of 'DevOps' culture and iterative development practices in their engineering teams. Hearing about Microsoft’s transformation story was fascinating.
The team have been working on analysis of our hosting spend at a higher level of detail than we’ve done previously. This will help us meaningfully forecast to cost of our infrastructure. Raphael will start working with this data in PowerBI, which will help create reports and dashboards for technical monitoring and executive oversight.
Aidan, with significant input from Emma and Dan, submitted the application for the Digital Service, and in particular Data & Search, to be a host organisation for the Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellow Program. We should hear if we're selected before the end of February."
Samu, Jamie, Robert, Mat, Dan, Aidan, Henry, Dia and Chris had a first attempt at recording a team podcast.
Michael went to the #NotWestminster event in Huddersfield on 10 February
And finally a plug for our Parliament, Data and Democracy Meetup on 21 February 7pm at Newspeak House in Shoreditch.