Statistics User Forum

last person joined: 15 days ago 

The Statistics User Forum (SUF), supported by the Office for National Statistics, aims to be the strategic voice of users of official statistics. The Forum acts as an umbrella organisation for user groups, each of which covers a particular area across the spectrum of official statistics. Through the Forum we enable open and constructive dialogue between users and producers of official statistics and encourage communication across the user community.

RE Stats User Forum Volunteer (SUN) group

  • 1.  RE Stats User Forum Volunteer (SUN) group

    Posted 22-03-2019 12:15
    Others may be interested in the information I have sent to ONS in response to their recent email. this reflects needs for the Health Statistics Users' Group. Others of course may have similar or differing needs

    Thanks for this Chris. 
    The Health Statistics Users Group has previously forwarded a document identifying requirements from the new system. The following is a bit of a 'brain dump' of thoughts. We dont just wish to announce statistical reports(looking at your list), but also consultations, changes to data or outputs, and forthcoming meetings. Currently SUN performs these basic functions well.
    In the format you have shown below I would say that HSUG would wish to be able to:
    • have a home page allowing a logo/picture and key details about the group. Links to key material such as the group's purpose and goals, getting started guide for the website,FAQs  
    • post latest news in a discussion thread (text and/or attachments and weblinks)
    •  post historic material for future reference in a specific area(text and/or attachments and weblinks)
    • have  a search capability on the site
    • possibly a place for key weblinks and general reference material
    • provide a facility for the 'webmaster' of each site to edit/delete/move around any items on the site. It should be possible to move postings around as they are not always received in the order they happen
    • allow producers and users  of statistics to hold discussions and consultations about specific issues
    • announce meetings/events of interest
    •  when new material is posted on the website send an alert to all those registered who have requested this option
    • nomination of one or more webmasters for each group with full access to the site. Ability to see material in draft before going live with a new posting would be helpful
    • have a membership list which new people can register for(anyone can read material but only those registered post new material. Only the webmaster can upload historic details). A 'join' button on the home page for new members would be best. Existing members should be able to amend/update their details
    • transfer all existing website material and members to the new system
    • set up sub groups of interest (eg in health Maternity, Cancer) with the same facilities as the main site
    • make the domain name (www.hsug.org.uk) point to the new home page which should come up first in searches for HSUG
    • an easy to use website that is intuitive in terms of  update and edit(HSUG members are volunteers who dont necessarily have a lot of time to work on the site). The current site is quick and easy for posting material + attachments
    I hope this is helpful. When you have compiled material from the different users it may be worth circulating a consolidated list. I have copied to Deana Leadbeter as chair of HSUG for any further thoughts. 
    I will try to look at the weblink by the deadline
    Best wishes
    Richard Willmer
    Webmaster for HSUG


  • 2.  RE: RE Stats User Forum Volunteer (SUN) group

    Posted 22-03-2019 20:44
    I received the comments below from Deana Leadbeter which are an extended version of the comments posted earlier by Richard Willmer.

    I converted Deana's Word file to text to copy it into this post but if the conversion doesn't read well please let me know and I'll post the Word file in the library.

    All the best.

    Arthur

    Stats User Net Requirements
    Some notes from Deana Leadbeter – as at 22 March 2019


    See also HSUG paper on StatsUserNet requirements, and notes of SUN workshop.

    * Bullet points are comments in Richard W's recent post
    > Arrows are DeanaL's additional comments.

    > What we would like is an improved version of SUN i.e. all the facilities we had with SUN, but without the problems. Overall SUN worked well, but the problems we had were:
    o On occasions losing access to historic information. It seemed to me that the software used for developing SUN was originally designed primarily for providing news, updates and current discussions, and the ability to hold and access historic information (including past discussions) was added to meet SUF requirements. Possibly, because it was an "add-on", anytime there was a software upgrade they had to remember to ensure the links still worked, and sometimes forgot to do this.
    o Because information was shown in the order it was posted, with most recent at the top, it was difficult to keep relevant current information easily accessible. Only the latest 3 or 4 items posted would be shown on the first page – others needed the users to click on read more to take them to older information. There was no way to prioritise items to stay on first page. Priority items would include:
    * Information about HSUG and how to use the site, which always need to be visible
    * Posts about active consultations and issues for discussions, which need to be visible while discussions were still ongoing
    o The historic information was held in the order it was posted, which did not necessarily relate to the date of the item because there could be a longer delay in preparing and posting some items (for example notes from a workshop which took some time to prepare). The HSUG webmaster had no control over the ordering of the information.
    o There was no search facility or easy way to find historic information held on the site

    > It may be helpful to categorise the comments. Suggested categories could be:
    o Website layout and navigation
    o Communicating with users, both registered users and occasional / non registered
    o Latest news, including notifications of meetings and consultation
    o Web based discussions
    o Historic Information
    o Website administration and maintenance
    o Website moderating
    > In the rest of this note Richard's comments have been grouped under these headings, with some additional comments

    i) Website Layout and Navigation
    * Have a home page allowing a logo/picture and key details about the group.
    * Links to key material such as the group's purpose and goals, getting started guide for the website,FAQs
    * have a search capability on the site
    * make the domain name (www.hsug.org.uk) point to the new home page which should come up first in searches for HSUG
    * set up sub groups of interest (eg in health Maternity, Cancer) with the same facilities as the main site

    ii) Communicating with users (including membership)
    * Have a membership list which new people can register for
    * Transfer all existing members to the new system
    * A 'join' button on the home page for new members would be best.
    * Existing members should be able to amend/update their details
    * When new material is posted on the website send an alert to all those registered who have requested this option
    > There should be an option (as is currently available) to decide how frequently the alerts should be e-mailed – daily or weekly update etc
    > Since not all users will opt for the alerts, it may also be useful to be able to send a note to all users registered on the site, on an occasional basis, when there are important updates.

    iii) Latest news
    * post latest news in a discussion thread (text and/or attachments and weblinks)
    * announce meetings/events of interest
    > All users registered on the HSUG web page should be able to post news
    > Only webmaster should post meetings / events (or should this be all users, but moderated by webmaster see note on this below?)

    iv) Web based Discussions
    * allow producers and users of statistics to hold discussions and consultations about specific issues
    > All users registered on the website should be able to participate in the discussions

    v) Historic Information
    * Transfer all existing website material
    * Facility to post historic material for future reference in a specific area(text and/or attachments and weblinks)
    * Possibly a place for key weblinks and general reference material


    vi) Website Administration
    * an easy to use website that is intuitive in terms of update and edit(HSUG members are volunteers who don't necessarily have a lot of time to work on the site). The current site is quick and easy for posting material + attachments
    * provide a facility for the 'webmaster' of each site to edit/delete/move around any items on the site. It should be possible to move postings around as they are not always received in the order they happen
    * Nomination of one or more webmasters for each group with full access to the site.


    vii) Website Moderating
    * Ability to see material in draft before going live with a new posting would be helpful
    * Anyone can read material but only those registered can post new material.
    * Only the webmaster can upload historic details
    > At the moment, all registered user can post and comment under the general discussion part of the web site, but other material needs to go via the webmaster. This has worked well.
    > We have not had problems so far with inappropriate posts, and so have not moderated material posted under general discussion. However, we are aware that there have been problems with other web sites (the RSS International Section pages on StatsLife, for example), where all content is now moderated before posting. This is an additional task for the webmaster so we would probably want to start in the way we work at present, but would need to be able to introduce moderation for all content if problems arose.