Web analytics support for phila.gov

The City of Philadelphia’s Office of Open Data & Digital Transformation is seeking web analytics support for phila.gov.

Background

We’ve been undergoing a massive overhaul of the 70+ department websites on various platforms, reorganizing and rewriting them on a new, more user-friendly, largely consolidated platform. We started by building out the new platform in parallel to the existing sites (as alpha.phila.gov, then beta.phila.gov), transitioning content over incrementally, and continuing to build new platform features as we go.

In August 2018 the new platform became phila.gov. Legacy sites still exist under the merged phila.gov domain as we continue to transition their content (example). Other sites are intentionally separate, such as applications and external departments, and are on separate domains or subdomains.

We implemented Universal Analytics with Google Tag Manager early on in the project, but we don’t have 100% coverage (especially across domains and subdomains), there may be faulty implementations due to application complexities (e.g. .NET sessions, JavaScript single-page applications), and our expertise in this area is limited and stretched thin.

Goals

  • Increase our insight of how effective our features and content is for our users: specifically how well they’re able to find the information they’re looking for.
  • Identify opportunities for improvements around functionality, navigation, layout, content gaps, SEO, etc.
  • Review or replace our metrics to help us measure whether our efforts “move the needle” at a high level.
  • Understand how to continue this work in-house (through knowledge transfer).

Responding

Please send a brief proposal of how you could help us meet these goals to tim.wisniewski@phila.gov no later than Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. EDT. Proposals should include:

  • A bit about who you are and your qualifications. If you’re a firm, please include details about the specific staff who would be working with us.
  • Your proposed scope and associated cost (options are great, e.g. short-term engagement, longer-term retainer).
  • A high-level project plan and timeline.

Please note that:

  • We expect to begin in November or early December 2018.
  • The engagement cannot run beyond June 30th, 2019.
  • The contract vehicle being used for this engagement — the terms and conditions for which are available here — has a maximum value of $34,000.

Questions

Please do not send private questions about this RFP by email. If you have a question, please post it below in the comments section. We’ll respond to your question publicly, so all applicants have the same information.

Posted in Business Intelligence & Analytics, Consulting
15 comments on “Web analytics support for phila.gov
  1. hoyboy says:

    You reference that you have implemented GA/GTM, but the implementation may be broken. We’re assuming that you would want a partner to do a GA audit as part of this work, perhaps as the initial task for this potential engagement?

    If at all possible, we’d love to get access to your Google Analytics account (read only) just to see how much data we have to work with. Is that possible?

    • twisniewski says:

      Hi @hoyboy, thanks for your questions.

      > You reference that you have implemented GA/GTM, but the implementation may be broken. We’re assuming that you would want a partner to do a GA audit as part of this work, perhaps as the initial task for this potential engagement?

      Yes I think that would be a necessary first step to ensure the data coming in is being counted correctly. We tried to frame the solicitation more around the goals than a prescriptive approach, though I can’t imagine a way around this step. I don’t know whether there are different levels of depth of an audit, though. I think we’re likely in much better shape than a typical portfolio of government websites because we had a specialist working on this in the past.

      > If at all possible, we’d love to get access to your Google Analytics account (read only) just to see how much data we have to work with. Is that possible?

      Hm.. trying to think through how we could grant this without giving one applicant a leg up over another, and without simply posting our credentials publicly. The GA chrome extension should give you a good sense of our implementation details, but of course wouldn’t show you any historic data. Is there something I can take a screencap of, or a data studio dashboard we can throw together quickly, or another way to make a publicly-accessible dashboard? If this quite a strong factor in putting the proposal or pricing together, I’m sure we can figure something out.

      • twisniewski says:

        @hoyboy responded via email with the following follow-up question:

        > I think it would be important for us to get access beyond what we’re able to see in a data studio dashboard or with the GA pixel extension, as we’d want to see how well structured your custom events and variables are — this will play an important role in how much analysis we can actually do around your specific business questions.
        >
        > That said, doing a GA audit is going to be inevitable anyway. At the very least, if you’re able to send us a screenshot of your goal conversions report in GA and your list of custom events, that could work for now.

        My response:

        You would certainly have access during an engagement. In the meantime, if this works, we don’t currently have any goals configured in GA. We have 10 custom events setup. Here are screenshots of those events for the past week: https://imgur.com/a/8pqXeiB

        Does that provide sufficient clarity?

  2. AlexATInternet says:

    Hi Tim,

    Nice to meet you.

    We are a Web Analytics Software and Consultancy company called AT Internet with offices in the U.S, UK, France, Germany and Singapore. We provide all the analytics through our proprietary software to the likes of Oklahoma Gas and Electric, NextBookMedia (based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania) and the French Government.

    I noted your request for support for analytics. Our tool can be implemented through GTM using a similar structure to what you have in place currently.

    I just wanted to know, will you be considering new tools for this RFP?

    I’m confident we will be able to fulfil your expectations within the budget outlined. Our package includes, consulting, training, unlimited sites, unlimited users and zero data sampling unlike free GA. We were recently awarded ‘leader’ status in the lastest Forrester Wave research in to web analytics.

    Let me know if this is something you would like to explore and I’d be happy to help.

    Best,
    Alex

    • twisniewski says:

      Hi @AlexATInternet, thanks for your question.

      > I just wanted to know, will you be considering new tools for this RFP?

      I wouldn’t rule it out, particularly since our GTM implementation makes swapping in a new tool much easier. There are certainly advantages to sticking with an “industry standard” like Google Analytics, but there are disadvantages too (like the data sampling you mention), and we would weigh them against the alternative in your proposal.

  3. Colin@eCity says:

    Hi @twisniewski,

    Looking forward to getting you a proposal. Below are some questions.

    1. Are there any departments on the new website or legacy websites that haven’t been transitioned yet that are a priority?

    2. Can we get a list of all the subdomains and department pages?

    3. How many CMS platforms are used throughout the network of sites? Could you list them?

    • twisniewski says:

      Hi Colin, thanks for your interest.

      > 1. Are there any departments on the new website or legacy websites that haven’t been transitioned yet that are a priority?

      Yes — we’re working to bring over nearly all of the remaining department sites over the next year and a half. Some will remain on external websites, and some are actually transaction applications which do not make sense to reside on a CMS.

      > 2. Can we get a list of all the subdomains and department pages?

      We have a partial list of about 30 domains and subdomains which we could provide, but not all of them would be in-scope for this engagement. Let me know if it would make a big difference to see the list before sending in a proposal and I’ll see what I can do.

      > 3. How many CMS platforms are used throughout the network of sites? Could you list them?

      WordPress for the new platform, SharePoint 2007 for the legacy platform, and a mix of static html pages for that which is older. A couple external sites use their own CMS but it’s unlikely we’ll have to worry about that provided they can inject our GTM code snippet (which they mostly have).

  4. AlexATInternet says:

    Thanks Tim. We can compile something and you can see what you think.

    I have a few questions:

    – Who will be using the tool? How many?
    – What is your current monthly traffic across all sites?
    – What security requirements do you have?

    Thanks,
    Alex

    • twisniewski says:

      > 1. Who will be using the tool? How many?

      The primary audience is a few folks on our team making product and content decisions, 3-10 people. Depending on what’s available, we may opt to provide some tools to department colleagues as well (we currently use data studio dashboards for this).

      > 2. What is your current monthly traffic across all sites?

      Roughly 1 million average monthly sessions from nearly 6 million unique visitors per year.

      > 3. What security requirements do you have?

      I expect they would be about the same as any of your other web analytics clients. The analytics are tracking public-facing websites and should not be collecting user-input data or identifying information.

  5. Amanda Winterstein says:

    Hi Tim,

    I had a question for you regarding a project that we were following that is related to this RFP. We were following a Redesign of the City Website where the City was going to rewrite service information and to design features that better meet the citizens needs. When do you think that project might move forward?

    Thanks,
    Amanda

  6. Colin@eCity says:

    Hi Tim,

    Looking to gain some clarity around your second bullet. Regarding “navigation, layout, and content gaps”; do you have a pre-existing content marketing strategy or UX research data we could reference? Have you conducted user surveys, interviews, a previous content audit (user personas, demographic usage, etc.)? Or did you just envision this ask as an analytics data project?

    • twisniewski says:

      Hi Colin,

      Yes we’ve done those things and those have informed the current layout. This particular engagement is meant to derive insights specifically from web analytics.

  7. tsawruk says:

    Do we have a timeframe of when the vendor will be selected?

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