PM trialling app to assist with day-to-day running of government
David Cameron is trialling an app that is designed to help him govern the country by supplying the most current real world data from sources such as Google, Twitter and Facebook.
The app’s working title is “Number 10 Dashboard” and it was developed by the Cabinet Office’s in-house digital team. Alice Newton, who works on the team, says that the app is designed for other senior officials too, and explained that it gives an overview of the public’s perception of government priorities.
Dashboard amalgamates information from sources such as the Office for National Statistics and YouGov, with trending topics from search engines and social media. It aims to supply live data about topics such as housing, jobs and local business growth.
Newton met with the prime minister for some feedback about the alpha version, which he’d been trialling on his iPad. She said: “My favourite thing that he said was that he liked it so much that he was looking forward to showing it to Obama at the G8.”
Opinion about the app veers from the argument that government is simply catching up with modern business practice and bringing timely new data into government decision making, to the view that an emphasis on social media will lead to reactive policy-making and government.
A Cabinet Office source told the BBC that though the app is still being tested, “there is now great demand for it right across government… All we’re doing is bringing government into line with what leading companies, big and small, have been doing for several years. It’s radical for government, but it’s not radical for 2012“.