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Business.gov’s New Metrics Dashboard
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Business.gov’s New Metrics Dashboard
In an effort to support Open and Transparent Government, Business.gov team has created a new Metrics Dashboard. We have published relevant user metrics about the Business.gov website for fiscal year 2009 (FY09) so that citizens have an understanding how Business.gov is meeting the needs of the nation's small businesses.
Because this is our first presentation of public metrics, the goal of the dashboard is to provide a benchmark with which we compare future metrics reports. We will be updating the dashboard quarterly and will compare the latest metrics with the last reports to track usage and user satisfaction with the website and its tools and features.
What We Measure and How
The Business.gov team is dedicated to providing small business owners with relevant information that they need. We determine what those needs are in several ways: surveying visitors to Business.gov, analyzing the traffic on Business.gov pages and evaluating search logs.
ForeSee Results is a government-approved third party provider of web surveys. We use their American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) to determine how satisfied visitors to Business.gov are. Coremetrics is our primary web analytics tool. We use it for analyzing web traffic and search logs.
There are five main pages in the metrics dashboard. The first is the Executive Dashboard, which provides a summary of all of the metrics pages. The second is the Website Usage Dashboard which provides information about the pages visitors view most. The third is the Search Dashboard which summarizes the most popular searches visitors make. The fourth is the Engagement & Social Media Dashboard which provides information about our Community, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, GovDelivery and Google programs. The fifth is the User Satisfaction Dashboard which provides insight into how well Business.gov meets visitor; needs.
The Executive Dashboard encompasses a summary of the four detailed dashboards. It shows that the majority of visitors to Business.gov are small business owners whose businesses are early in their life cycle. They are likely to be home-based and self-employed. Visitors are interested in information on how to get grants, loans, permits, licenses and government contracts as well as the steps needed to start and manage their business. By tracking all of these trends we are able to better respond to business owne-s needs.
The Website Usage Dashboard
The Website Usage Dashboard shows which Business.gov pages are the most popular. Owners typically look for information that assists them in managing their businesses. For example, the top topical pages after loans, grants, licenses and permits are pages for registering a business, incorporating a business, importing and exporting, and filing taxes. After confirming that the information on these topics is current, we then review the next popular pages to focus our efforts. We use this information to ensure that the pages visitors read most often are also the most current.
The Website Usage Dashboard shows that California, Florida, Texas, and New York are the most popular states in which visitors are looking for information. Additionally, Business.gov has pages that provide information for several, unique business-owner groups. For example, the dashboard shows that the most popular group pages provide information for home-based, women-owned and minority-owned businesses.
The Search Dashboard
The Search Dashboard summarizes the most popular searches visitors make using the three Business.gov search tools: Site Search, Licenses & Permits, and Loans & Grants. The most popular search on Business.gov is information about grants. These searches typically come from business owners who are starting a business.
The most popular permit and license searches, after general contracting, are for restaurant and construction contracting. As reported on the Website Usage Dashboard, the most popular license and permit searches are for businesses in California, Florida, Texas, and New York.
By continually reviewing the searches performed with the Business.gov search tools, we stay in tune with issues small business owners are most interested in. For example, when the Recover Act was passed, small business owners started looking for Americ-s Recovery Capital (ARC) loans to support their business. We determined that ARC loans were important and made sure that access to the relevant information was easy to find on Business.gov.
The Engagement & Social Media Dashboard
The Engagement & Social Media Dashboard represents the newest data that we track. The Business.gov Community opened in March of 2009. Since then, we have been tracking how often visitors register and how often they view Community pages. We have also been using the GovDelivery service to provide weekly email updates on relevant business topics.
More recently, we have implemented Twitter announcements, a Facebook fan page, a YouTube channel and several Google Gadgets. By tracking all of these engagements, we are informed as to which ones drive the most traffic back to Business.gov. It has been very encouraging to watch thousands of visitors use these tools to find what they need.
The User Satisfaction Dashboard
In addition to provide a metric for how satisfied visitors are with Business.gov, the User Satisfaction Dashboard also shows how visitors identify themselves and what kind of information they are seeking. We also ask visitors how much time they believe they saved by using Business.gov. One of our key success indicators is whether or not we save small business owners time. W're pleased to report that in FY09 we saved visitors time almost 80% of the time.
We hope this dashboard gives you better insight into why we have developed the Business.gov website the way we have. We take the needs of the small business owners very seriously and plan to continue to provide excellent, high-quality information from all levels of government. For more information please read about How We Measure Success.
Edited for typos.