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Our content strategy

January 2019

Content strategy for data.govt.nz, Dec 2018 [PDF 1.7 MB]

This content strategy defines how we’ll create and sustain good web content for data.govt.nz, to ensure each piece of content adds value. This strategy doesn’t include the data catalogue on data.govt.nz.

 

Contents

Our vision for data.govt.nz

Strategic positioning

Key business objectives

Our values

Our goals

Our performance measures

Our tone of voice

Our personality

Site users

Content strategy principles

Purposeful and needs driven content

Consistent, credible, and accessible content

Check content before publishing

Enable users to engage with us

Have engaged content owners

Actively manage content

Content lifecycle

Content types

Decision-making authority and governance

Appendix 1: Content review checklist

Content review outcomes

Appendix 2: User personas

 

Our vision for data.govt.nz

data.govt.nz is the starting place for data conversations in NZ.

It brings together datasets and related information for people who want to improve how they manage and use data. Its purpose is also to generate excitement and value about the possibilities of data as a tool for empowerment, growth, and decision-making.

Like digital.govt.nz and govt.nz, data.govt.nz is an all-of-government website, working across government as a whole rather than representing any particular agency.

digital.govt.nz

govt.nz

 

Strategic positioning

data.govt.nz:

  • supports the data strategy and roadmap by creating a shared direction for New Zealand’s data, helping organisations to connect and align their data initiatives
  • supports the open data implementation plan
  • is an all-of-government space supporting the data system by providing access to published high value data and resources to help build people’s data capability
  • provides access to content from multiple government agencies
  • provides an online channel for the Government Chief Data Steward (in a similar way to digital.govt.nz being the channel for the Government Chief Digital Officer and stats.govt.nz being the channel for the Government Statistician).

Data strategy and roadmap

Open data implementation plan

 

Key business objectives

To enable better management and use of data by providing tools, guidance, resources, and advice to build data capability and maturity.

To support innovation through data use by actively encouraging an open-by-design approach to the way government manages and shares data, and fostering improved and increased use of data outside of government.

To showcase and inform by sharing news, events, and case studies to update, educate, and showcase what’s happening with, and through, data in New Zealand and overseas.

To demonstrate data system leadership by providing the Government Chief Data Steward with a channel to facilitate, partner with, and support agencies.

 

Our values

  • Practical and pragmatic.
  • Informative and enabling.
  • Welcoming and approachable.
  • All-of-government.
  • Impartial and neutral.
  • Honest and open.
  • Trustworthy and reliable.
  • Collaborative.
  • Connected, working across not down.

 

Our goals

  • Become the starting point for data resources, and build an enabling and empowering community around data.
  • Lead by facilitating and through influencing.
  • Grow data capability and educate the data community on best practices.
  • Demonstrate commitment to helping by providing links to government-held data and helping users get the best from it (accessing it, using it, analysing it, etc).
  • Provide a connected experience between government – and other – agencies and people involved in the data system.
  • Enable two-way conversations so that people feel they can ask a question, request data, ask for help, etc, knowing that data.govt.nz will engage with them.

 

Our performance measures

We’ll use a range of outward- and inward-facing metrics for measuring how the data.govt.nz’s content is performing. These include:

  • voice of the customer (VotC) – users using a simple form at the bottom of pages to tell us whether the content was useful, or needs changes (we’ll implement this feature soon)
  • volume of conversation on site – users commenting on site content, especially blog content
  • the volume of content we and data.govt.nz content owners generate, review and archive
  • an improvement in open data and government enterprise architecture maturity measurements.

We’re still working on what the rest of the outward- and inward-facing measurements are, based on the benefits mapping work we’re currently doing.

 

Our tone of voice

Our content will be human. This includes, but isn’t limited to, being:

  • friendly and approachable
  • plain language
  • authentic
  • informal
  • encouraging
  • confident
  • helpful
  • warm and engaging
  • respectful.

 

Our personality

  • Guiding users through the best possible experience by listening to their needs and offering informed advice in a neutral, unbiased fashion.
  • Specialist in their area of expertise.
  • Able to anticipate what users’ needs are and be proactive in offering them.
  • Offering informed tips on where to go and what to do.
  • Ability to inspire and influence user’s decision making

Like a travel agent.

“It isn’t enough that an agent knows that there are three airports in New York City. They need to know how long it will take to get into Manhattan and at what times of the day, and how much an Uber will cost.”

Steve Glenn, CEO of Executive Travel, Lincoln, Nebraska.

 

Site users

Data users and data suppliers.

For more detail, see Appendix 2: User personas at the end of this document.

 

Content strategy principles

To implement this strategy and achieve our vision, all content will:

  • have a clear purpose and meet a valid user need or business goal
  • conform with the site values, tone and voice, and style guide to ensure consistency, credibility, and accessibility.
  • be checked appropriately prior to publishing to ensure accuracy and consistency
  • make it easy for users to engage with us
  • have named and engaged content owners
  • be actively managed to ensure it remains relevant and useful.

We explain each of these principles in more detail below.

 

Purposeful and needs driven content

  • Define a clear purpose that will determine the type of content we write.
  • Design for users.
  • Balance user needs and business goals.
  • Write in a way that suits the situation and target audience. Ask: Who is going to read this? What do they need to know? How might they be feeling?


Consistent, credible, and accessible content

  • Follow the data.govt.nz style guide and tone and voice guidelines – these include, but aren’t limited to:
    • talking like a person
    • using positive language and concrete examples
    • publishing in HTML first, accompanied by PDF files where needed – no PDF-only content
    • providing transcripts of videos as well as captions
    • providing meaningful, full text descriptions for images and diagrams.
  • Tell the truth, and be open and honest.
  • Help people find the information they need quickly and easily. Guide them through the process.
  • Ensure everyone can access and interact with the content in a way that meets their individual needs and promotes their independence and dignity. All content must comply with the NZ Government Web Accessibility Standard 1.0 and Web Usability Standard 1.2.

The data.govt.nz style guide

Web Accessibility Standard 1.0 (digital.govt.nz)

Web Usability Standard 1.2 (digital.govt.nz)

 

Check content before publishing

  • All new or revised content will be checked by at least one other person in the data.govt.nz content team before it’s published to check it’s well written, consistent, accurate, and appropriate.
  • If the content involves any sensitive policy matters or major changes, it also needs approval from the Senior Manager – Data Leadership and Capability, and to go past the Data System Leadership communications advisor (“no surprises”).
  • Fact check with a subject matter expert for accuracy, where needed.

 

Enable users to engage with us

  • We’re encouraging two-way conversations, so we’ll provide ways for users to give feedback and ask questions.
  • We’ll actively invite feedback. We’ll use inclusive, welcoming language and show that we value and respect peoples’ input.

 

Have engaged content owners

As the site grows in size and complexity, we will ensure that all new content – and existing content as far as possible – has an engaged content owner. Someone who’s responsible for the content, whether it needs updating, its accuracy etc.

This person could be within the data.govt.nz team, the Open Data Programme team, Stats NZ or in another agency. The data.govt.nz team will work to make sure content owners know what’s expected of them, and will work to keep content owners actively engaged.

 

Actively manage content

  • Monitor and regularly review content to check it still meets users’ and business needs, and respond to changing needs.
  • Remove outdated, irrelevant, or reputation-damaging content.

 

Content lifecycle

 

The data.govt.nz content lifecycle, explained in full in the content below.

Figure 1: the content lifecycle, explained in full below.

 

Content is researched, then written and shown (if applicable) to the relevant subject matter experts. Once any required edits are made and the content’s approved, the content editor uploads it into the site, where:

  • at least one other person from the content team reviews it
  • a person from outside the team reviews it.

Once any required edits are made, an appropriate senior manager approves it for publishing and the content editor publishes it.

We’ll also regularly review content – as set out in the 'content types' section of this document, with a view to updating, leaving as is or retiring it. The site automatically archives any content we remove.

 

Content types

Content on the site falls into a number of types, which determine how we treat it.

We’ll add new content types as there’s a need for them.

Content type Description Target audience Purpose/goal Default review period
General content. Catch-all content type for pages that are not any of the other content types. All. Used for any supporting informational content on the site, for example About, Contact. 12 months.
Blog post – guest, community. Content in the voice of a guest expert/data community person. All skills, users, community. Provide a voice for sharing useful information from experts and wider community. Connects the community. None.
Blog post – GCDS on issues, answering questions, for example ”Ask Liz”. Conversational content from the GCDS outward. All. Provide a channel for GCDS to connect with the data community. None.
Blog post - what are we up to? News/press releases/product updates/status updates/upcoming events. All. Informs people of important actions and events relating to data. None.
Blog post – issues, topical, editorial, fun. Informal and/or topical and/or interesting/fun content. All. Share information, content marketing, humanising. None.
Dataset request page. User request for a dataset, user generated but moderated. Users, beginners, intermediates. Broker a request to an agency to make data available if possible. None, each request is however monitored by support team.
Event page. Lists events relating to data. All. Get attendees to events relating to data. Upskill/learning/community-building. None.
Guidance page. A page that shares knowledge and helps users learn something. Users, beginners, suppliers. Improve data quality. Readers should learn something. 12 months.
Home page. Home page of data.govt.nz. Content is dynamically pulled from elsewhere in site. Beginners. Shows a sample of what is available in the site to users that visit the URL directly. None, auto-refreshed.
Showcase page. Case studies/reuse stories. Users, beginners, suppliers. Share lessons learned, gain trust of public and leadership. Remove barriers to good data management. None, they're time bound. We may do follow up pieces but that is new content.
Step-by-step guide. Sets up a series of questions and answers drawn from existing guidance pages. Users, beginners, suppliers. Guide users through a process. Increase data quality, or capability. Event driven. If related guidance is updated need to recheck.
Dataset page. Lists the metadata of a dataset and links to the dataset itself. All. Aid in the discovery and use of available datasets. Self-service, as agencies own this content. We may prompt agencies to update.

 

Decision-making authority and governance

The data.govt.nz product owner is responsible for the technical side of the site, including both the CWP (content) and CKAN (data catalogue) instances. Individual agencies are responsible for loading their data records and maintaining their listings.

The data.govt.nz content lead is responsible for the content side of the site, especially with respect to the CWP instance, but also helping with the catalogue frontend (clustering, etc). This includes maintaining the content strategy and style guide.

We’ll inform the General Manager – Systems and Partnerships of each major change to this content strategy.

The Portfolio Governance Group at DIA will make decisions on fundamental changes to data.govt.nz, such as level 1 information architecture (IA) changes. If needed, decision-making will be escalated to the Government Chief Data Steward (GCDS) and Government Chief Digital Officer (GCDO).

Decisions that impact the data system will be made jointly by the GCDS and GCDO (for example, decisions to create another data portal or decommission data.govt.nz).

 

Appendix 1: Content review checklist

Every content page will be assigned a review date based on the following guidelines:

  • Review in 1 month – where content is changeable or time dependent.
  • Review in 6 months – where the information will need to be reviewed and maybe updated and we know there will be changes in the next few months.
  • Review in 12 months – review for currency and relevance.

When the review date is reached we check the following:

  • Does the content have a named and engaged content owner?
  • Does the content sufficiently help meet a validated, priority user need?
  • Does it help meet an organisation communication goal?
  • Is it redundant, out-of-date, or trivial content ('ROT' content)?
  • Is it at risk of ‘rotting’?
  • Is it actually correct, on message, still saying the most important things?
  • Are there any errors – typos, broken links, poor grammar?
  • Does it still follow the style guide?
  • Is it duplicated elsewhere?
  • Is it achieving sufficient levels of engagement?
  • Is it meeting its key performance indicators (where relevant)?

 

Content review outcomes

Each review will result in one of three decisions:

  • keep – no updates required
  • revise – some updates are required to maintain the quality of the content
  • archive – it’s no longer meeting user needs and organisation goals.

 

Appendix 2: User personas

Alison (Explorer)

Alison is a small business owner.

Alison owns a small tourism business in Tauranga. She is always looking at ways to improve her business and to match her marketing and offering to the trends in tourism.

Behaviour

Alison is very busy and doesn’t have a lot of time to hunt around for the information she wants. Along with keeping her finger on the pulse with social media, travel blogs and other tourism-related content, she also wants to delve deeper to help her focus on specific areas. She also searches for New Zealand tourism forecasts, regional tourism estimates and indicators on the data.govt.nz site to help keep her informed.

Needs

Because she has a low level of analytical capability, she needs to easily be able to search for data using familiar language. The datasets she finds need to be an easily accessible format with plenty of documentation around what the data is, where it was collected from and how to use it. Data visualisation is important to help give her a quick overview of the trends in her area.

Capability

Analytical capability: novice.

 

Bradley (Hunter)

Bradley is a senior policy analyst.

Bradley works for Ministry for the Environment and is responsible for assessing the efficiency of their programmes, ensuring their policies achieve the desired effects.

Behaviours

Bradley is always on the look-out for credible data from reliable sources to inform his decisions. He analyses the data to create visualisations, discussing this with experts to ensure they’re doing the right thing. He frequently uses data sources from data.govt.nz.

Needs

Due to his busy schedule, Bradley needs to be able to find the right data quickly. Consistency in the data is very important and he often looks for technical notes and commentary around the data to assess if it is fit for purpose. Being able to customise the data to download would be useful.

Capability

Analytical capability: moderate.

 

Caroline (Investigator)

Caroline is a geotechnical engineer.

Caroline is a geotech who has to produce geotechnical reports to communicate site conditions and design and construction recommendations.

Behaviours

Part of Caroline’s report discusses the conditions for solutions to anticipated problems. Geotechnical concerns including expansive soils, the potential for erosion, a high water table, or frost heave potential are all items that she will seek datasets for so that she can analyse these to perform a comprehensive report.

Needs

The data must be up to date, from a trustworthy source and be easily interrogated. The data she uses must be credible as she is highly accountable for her analysis and doesn’t want her work to be challenged. It is important to her to know the methodology used to collect the data.

Capability

Analytical capability: moderate-expert.

 

Flynn (Emerging)

Flynn is a team leader

Flynn manages a small team within the NZ Food Safety Authority and is responsible for ensuring systems are in place to support businesses to make safe and sustainable food.

Behaviours

Flynn is responsible for maintaining various data sets inherited from his predecessor including the Food Premise Licences dataset. This dataset, updated weekly, provides spatial locations of district food premise licences and related detail regarding the business and licence at each site.

Needs

Flynn understands the importance of the data but needs guidance on data management, how to comply with government data policies and data formats. Data privacy and confidentiality are important considerations as well as security.

Capability

Analytical capability: novice.

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