6I asked local authorities which tool they had used to gather the data.

The majority of local authorities used Google Analytics (abbreviated as GA below). The next most popular service was SiteImprove (abbreviated as SI below) followed by a range of other services.

It is worth noting that some of these tools (such as SiteImprove) have wider use cases than gathering analytics. Some local authorities use them in addition to tools like Google Analytics. Where local authorities volunteered this information it is recorded, but I did not specifically request details of tools used for other purposes. This is therefore not a record of how many authorities use tools like SiteImprove, but of how many use them as their analytics tool. One local authority web manager raised the question of whether these tools might record data differently and in particular whether they would measure different bounce rates on the same site. I was not able to test that directly but we can look at the distribution of bounce rates recorded on local authority websites broken down by type of tool.

There is no obvious radical difference between them. This is not a definitive assessment either way but it suggests that, if there are differences, they may be small.

 

I have also presented a breakdown of tool use by local authority type. It suggests that tool use is fairly evenly distributed between different types of local authority.

Key points

Different tools have been used to gather the data for this report. There is no evidence that they collect data in different ways but it is a possibility.

 

Two platforms, Google Analytics and SiteImprove, are most commonly used across local government to gather analytics data.

 

Further work

The visualisations used in this section are available as interactive tools on my Tableau site http://lawrd.co/1GGnmh6.

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