London: British Prime minister David Cameron is trialling an app called Number 10 Dashboard in a bid to streamline his workload and help with the day-to-day running of the Government.
Cameron has been using the app to provide daily information and analysis on a number of policy areas, such as housing, jobs and local growth.
The app pulls in data from a variety of sources, including the Government’s internal data, as well as external data from the Office for National Statistics, Adzuna and YouGov.
For example, the dashboard might show how banks are lending to small businesses or the latest economic growth figures. On top of the data it includes analysis from top analysts in the Government.
The app also monitors polls and posts on social media, such as Twitter, so the PM can get feedback on the country’s opinion of the Government.
It was developed by the Cabinet Office’s digital team. A spokesman for the Cabinet Office said: “The dashboard is in working form and is now undergoing further development. “It has been developed in-house using an open source platform, modifying existing off-the-shelf technology, helping to reduce costs,” he said.
According to a video from the makers of the app, the PM has been using it on his iPad and liked it so much he was planning to show it to President Obama at the G8 Summit.
The app is likely to be offered to more Government figures if it proves a hit with Cameron. Number 10 Dashboard is a web-based app, which means that the PM can view it on multiple devices, including mobile, tablet and desktop. The app – which is currently in Beta form – is now undergoing further development.
Alice Newton represents the future of the civil service: she’s grown up with the internet and already understands the digital landscape. As part of the civil service Technology in Business Fast Stream, she’s been working first with Government Digital Service, and now with Ministry of Justice, on innovative digital projects that make government work better. Her enthusiasm for her work is obvious.
“You’re encouraged to have ideas and you’re working on some really exiting projects for this country. It’s great to be in an organisation where sticky notes are thrown up on the walls, everyone feels very relaxed, and you’re allowed to have ideas,” she says.
“In fact you’re encouraged to have ideas, and you’re working on some really important projects for this country.
” One of her recent projects was the Number 10 dashboard, which was designed to give the Prime Minister, other Ministers, and senior Whitehall officials an at-a-glance overview of everything that’s happening in government and elsewhere.
The dashboard is an internet application which the Prime Minister views on his iPad. With a few taps or swipes of his fingers, he can see very quickly what important new information has come to light, how certain government services are performing, and a selection of relevant and important news reports.
As with so many digital products, this one began by asking what the user needed. In this case, that user was the Prime Minister. So Alice worked with him, giving him early versions of the app and getting direct feedback.
“He in particular liked the statistical side, where we could give him quotable facts about what was going on,” says Alice. “He found it useful to have a hard evidence base. “He liked it so much, he was looking forward to showing it to President Obama at the G8 summit.
” The dashboard uses the latest technology to pull data in from a huge variety of sources. For example, the dashboard might show how banks are lending to small businesses. Or the latest economic growth figures. All of it “visualised in a very simple, easy-to-digest way.
” Alice believes that people like her in the Technology in Business Fast Stream can bring new capabilities to the civil service.
“Ours is the first generation of digital natives coming through to work in government. When empowered and given the chance to put forward opinions, there’s a lot of latent digital expertise already there, waiting to be tapped into.” Alice Newton is a Civil Service Technology in Business Fast Streamer.