Policy influencers

Who they are

Someone who uses data for benchmarking and comparison. For some policy influencers, this requires data and analysis at a regional or local level. They rely on official government statistics, trusted by decision makers, for their reports.

Likely to say

“People make important decisions based on my work. I need to use data I can trust to build a profile of my region.”

What motivates them

They want to access our website to further their own understanding of the economy.

They will share data that may be of use to their organisation. They want to find trusted information and will look to ONS and other government data to provide this. Using trusted data gives them credibility.

What they want

Policy influencers want to:

  • use ONS data they can combine with other government sources to create their own charts
  • copy charts and infographics into reports for evidence
  • download multiple datasets at once
  • create benchmarking levels, for local areas against national data or neighbouring areas, for example
  • use written reports, sometimes at a local or regional level
  • find long time series of data
  • create their own over-time analysis
  • access methodology information so they can be aware of any changes

Behaviour and preferences

They prefer a single source for data but will use third party commercial data providers. They often rely on email alerts to learn of new data availability and releases that may be of use to them. They will refer to written reports to put data into context.

They will contact ONS for information on impact of methodology changes.

How they find information

These users prefer to access data via a desktop computer. They prefer the CSV format as it is easier to manipulate.

What they like

  • Data that are easy to find, browse and share.
  • Links to methodology.
  • Being informed of any changes made to methodology.
  • Clear, unique titles that will show in search results.

What they do not like

  • Too many similar-sounding statistical releases and datasets.
  • Inconsistent data formats and layouts.
  • Being unable to find information on comparability over time.
  • Content that assumes users know when new releases will come out, or which releases will be useful.

We are constantly improving based on research and best practice. Any significant changes to our guidance are available on the Updates page.

Next section: Writing for your users