Social Media dashboard

An example of our Social Media Dashboard

International Recruitment Dashboard

An International Recruitment Dashboard for universités

Importance of modelling

This morning reading the article that a report commissioned by Google found that the internet economy is worth £100 billion I couldn’t help but have a little giggle to myself: As someone who has been preaching and preaching the need to monitrise online activity I welcomed this high level demonstration of grabbing headlines with big figures, but also couldn’t help but smirk at the problems this report would get in particular web departments if it used to value their activity.

Two problems would be raised:


The report is obviously a massive PR activity by Google:
Report shows how much business goes on online = business rush out to get bigger online presence = bigger $ ad revenue for the world biggest online ad firm.

I can imagine the arguments as to whether such activity was correct and justified by web teams and whether, rightly so, did it invalidate the whole argument.

Methodology flaws:

Second problem would be the massive jumps and estimations that were required to reach this figure.  In creating this £100 billion throughout the document figures had to be estimated or a particular ‘best method’ had to be used just to get to the figure .  I don’t want to get technical, but the below should tell its own story:

“We estimate the value of goods and services researched online but purchased offline at £40 billion in 2008” (p12 of report)

We all know that getting to the above figure needs a hell of a lot of estimations. So you could, if so inclined, flaw the whole thing picking at its method of estimation and again, rightly so.


Then you miss the whole point. This report serves a purpose of putting an activity that by its nature is a vague proposition (internet use) into a context that everyone understanding (£ signs). And if Google the company with more data than any other in history has to make ‘estimations’ and ask the authors to paint with broad brush strokes, than individual web team should not be afraid to do so if it helps all externally to understand better and value what you do.

As a final thought, I also like this report and will refer to it again as it a useful example of how sometimes you need to forget the myriad of available statistics to make a point. Internet reporting often reaches a point of inertia through having too much data. Those working in the web will not make the jumps and leaps that the offline world has to make because of its lack of information as the online analyst is desperately trying to find the perfect correct figure through their millions of data columns at their disposal.

Online value can only be properly shown by combining with the offline world and that means estimations and sometimes best even best guesses- and if this makes you uneasy just remember every other department in your organisation is estimating and guessing every day!

A Generic Dashboard

Here an example of our work

introduction to iwmw 2012

A introduction from Dawn Ellis

Brian starting introduction, it is 170 people here this year


Marieke Guy – session “Big and Small data”

Marieke starting won. Big and small data


Most of us work in web team- one I management couple of researchers.

What is data? “Stuff” seems to be the best answer.

Going through definitions: Big data is the watch word – shows example of LHC. What is too big data- are institutions getting more data then they need and makes the example that data is growing expotentially- that is the theme of the start

Fact 1 in 9 people in the world are on Facebook – that is a lot othat’s –  so I always wonder why is Facebook  insights so crap?

Mentioned crowd sourcing – both human and machine source.


“openness is coming up constantly ” there are the themes: big data, openess of the data and what can you do with it?

Break up to talk about our data:

Our group:

Decision making is imports are universities asking the right question? And do they have the right answers. Are the people asking the right story

Hawksey makes the point that journalism guardian NYT playing around with open data-  and allowing people to make things up

Marieke says data will effect HE – by requests, REF etc…. But it can help you !


Good point is raised about – can you trust the data – can you trust google’s daTa?

I think it is important that whether you thinkthat the information in key or the human interpretation, my point is that it depends on who the end goal.

Are we asking the right question and that every university has it’s own problems- only you can understand your organisation .

We are talking about open data and problems of data: real sceptism of whether data is comparable, and whether we will compare like with like.

Open Data






iwmw12- First thoughts

On the train to Edinburgh from means this is the first IWMW I can commute to:


University of Strathclyde – Postgraduate Dashboard 1st of October to 31st December

University of Strathclyde -Engineering video

SLNSW- September dashboard

Message Group

“We initially approached SiD because we were worried our website wasn’t working for us. They reviewed every aspect of our online presence, from the functionality and design of our site, to optimising our organic and paid search marketing in Google and Yahoo. They then transformed our homepage into a powerful sales tool responsible for almost 1/3 of our leads. Their advice has been invaluable and the success of our website has been a direct result of their considerable input and effort. We like to think of them as part of our team, and can’t recommend them highly enough to anyone else.”

The Message group


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