What are our goals

We are here to help everyone make sense of data and see New Zealand clearly in a way that inspires us forward. This mission is really hard to measure because it’s difficult to track the myriad ways that benefits flow from more people using data.

We have two proxy measures for success based on the main things we do. We believe if we achieve these proxies, we are more likely to be successful in our core mission. We’ve picked 24 February 2022 for hitting our big goals for each of these, as it’ll be the 10th anniversary from Lillian first having the idea for Figure.NZ (you can read more about the origin story here.

High-Level Measurements

Functions High-level measurements Goals for 24 February 2022
Take New Zealand’s scattered, disparate, non-personal data, and standardise it to publish it in machine readable form in a centralised location How much data have we published? 80% of New Zealand’s public, non-personal, aggregated Government data to be published by Figure.NZ
Make it easy and compelling for people to find and use New Zealand’s data How many people are engaging with the data we have published? Two million people each month engage with the data we’ve published

These goals might not be the perfect yet. We’re going to give them our best shot, but we might alter them down (or up!) as we learn more about how fast we can run. We run a bunch of processes to help us know if we’re on track for the long-term goals which you can read about in more detail further down on this page.

Definitions

The definition of each high-level measurement will change over time as teams work together to define the best measures. We’ll update these definitions as we create them.

The purpose of these measurements is not to apply pressure or make us feel like we’ve failed. Rather, it’s to give us a foundation to make good decisions, and a goal to strive for.

There are some things that we don’t know our role in yet, like helping people to aggregate data. In time, these may be added to our measurements.

How do we measure success?

There is a lot of autonomy within the Figure.NZ team and we expect everyone to participate in coming up with ideas and helping decide our priorities. Our mission and goals and their related functions and measurements are our north star to keep us moving in the right direction. You can find our latest quarterly objectives and how we are going against them a little further down this page.

We have defined two main functions (what we do) and two supporting functions (how we do it) to achieve our mission, and the main activities they each involve.

What we do

This section explains our functions, goals, measures, and actions. It should be read as a part of our wider mission about why we’re here.

1. Take New Zealand’s scattered, disparate, non-personal data, and standardise it to publish it in machine-readable form in a centralised location.

How we achieve this:

  • Establish overview of the NZ data landscape
  • Build relationships with everyone who has the data
  • Define best-practice standards for processing and publishing data
  • Develop and evolve technology for processing and publishing data
  • Process and publish data

2. Make it easy and compelling for people to find and use New Zealand’s data

How we achieve this:

  • Create and evolve a delightful user experience for people to find and use data
  • Enable easy distribution of content to other channels/platforms
  • Promote the use of data
  • Educate people about how they can use data

How we do it

3. Enable the best team to deliver the main functions on an ongoing basis

How we achieve this:

  • Recruit and retain great people
  • Ensure that they are empowered to help Figure.NZ towards the mission, specifically that they have the environment and tools they need to bring their best
  • Give our people the freedom they want to create and execute on their ideas
  • Check regularly that our people feel they are doing the right things, doing them well, and working well with others
  • Ensure we have an internal planning system and processes that help us stay aligned and motivated with the minimum possible effort

4. Raise enough money to deliver the main functions on an ongoing basis

How we achieve this:

  • Build strong relationships with organisations that are interested in supporting our vision of a country where everyone uses data in their daily lives
  • Establish effective partnerships that increase our internal capability or give us new ways to get the data we collect out to users as well as generating revenue
  • Update the budget monthly with a clear view of the cash position and good visibility over future revenues

Reporting our progress

This structure is intended to be lightweight and not a burden. If it’s not working, we’ll adjust.

Quarterly reflection and planning session

At the end of each quarter (February, May, August and November), we’ll look at how we did. We’ll celebrate, or we’ll recalibrate. If we haven’t hit our objectives, we’ll talk about why, and use what we’ve learned to set a better objective for the next quarter. We will update Tohu to show our new objectives for the next quarter.

Monthly kōrero

On the last Friday of each month, anyone who’s in the office or who wants to join in remotely will have a short kōrero on how the month has gone. This is a chance for us to identify early if it looks like there’s a problem with any of our objectives, so we can adjust accordingly, either by changing the target or by changing our actions. This is a relaxed, informal session—think of it like a quick check-in over a glass of wine and maybe some cheese. We will update this page with a few words of progress update against each objective.

Weekly check-in

Each week, we share our progress on our measures by posting in #general. You’ll be reminded by Slackbot to do this for the objectives that have your name against them.

Quarterly objectives, owners and actions for Hōtoke | Winter 2017 ❄️

Summary table

Num Objective
1 Map out all the topics currently in Grace to understand clusters of content
2 Ensure our Creative Commons licensing and attribution guidelines are clear and accurate
3 Discover more government data
4 Add new data to Grace
5 Refine product processess
6 Progress development work
7 Increase engagement and set targets for metrics
8 Define our audiences and develop comms plans for each
9 Develop a content strategy
10 Plan our communications approach with partners
11 Amazing launch comms for Figure’s 20
12 Look into how best to do education on how to use data
13 We have better documentation
14 Secure funding for three years

Function 1: Take New Zealand’s scattered, disparate, non-personal data, and standardise it to publish it in machine-readable form in a centralised location

Objective 1 - Map out all the topics currently in Grace to understand clusters of content

As someone using Figure data, I want easy access to the data I am most interested in.

Owner: Chris

Outputs:

  • Clarity on the outputs of this work by June 30

Notes:

This work could be useful:

  • To help us understand how our data coverage compares with what people want to know and what public data is available
  • To make search improvements (in what we index, what we group, how we relate) so that people can find the data they are most interested in most easily

June 30 update

  • This is on track. There are four defined outputs (for now the expectation is that the output will be reflected in a shared post on Slack):
  • A list of topics and the chart count for each
  • A coincidence matrix that shows what charts are in common across topics
  • A topic map to let us see all the clusters all at once
  • Documentation on what we have done and how it works

August 4 update

  • No progress to report from the last month (because of The Book).
  • To finish it would be about two days’ work from Chris, which he is happy to do, but would need to be either in the next month or not until early 2018.
  • Amy, Andrea, Chris, Nat and Nigel will confer on this in the next week and decide how to progress.

Objective 2: Ensure our Creative Commons licensing and attribution guidelines are clear and accurate

As someone using Figure data, I want to be clear on exactly what I can do with it.

Owner: Andrea and Miekes

Outputs:

  • Ensure that our licensing lines up with the terms and conditions for existing data providers
  • Check that the licences we are using are right for each dataset in Grace
  • Make it easy for people to learn what they can do with our data

June 30 update

  • On track. Have an action plan in place. Will start on it as soon as we have time.

August 4 update

  • On track
  • Have done quite a lot of work on this, including identifying issues for every source, and getting in to the details of the CC rules.
  • We are meeting on Monday with CCANZ to discuss our approach.
  • There will be implications for Product for meta-data display at least.
  • We will document this work in Tohu at some point (not sure if it will be this quarter or next)

Objective 3: Discover more government data

As the Data Team, we want to discover data from government agencies working in the financial, trade and utilities sectors so that we enhance our inventory of public datasets.

Owner: Andrea and Miekes

Outputs:

  • An inventory of datasets and their status from another 30 entities (taking us to 92 out of 377 government entities overall).
  • An agreed approach to publication of the dataset inventory and the search process (last quarter (Ngahuru Autumn) we discussed sharing the agencies we are contacting in Slack and tweeting them also).

June 30 update

  • On track.
  • Will start on this in July. Have all the agencies to look at planned out.
  • Data Team will look at how best to do comms with the agencies whose data we are cataloging (some might be in to it; others might run in fear).

August 4 update

  • On track.
  • Have done the investigation for 22 out of the 30 targetted organisations.
  • Active discussions on how best to get responses from agencies. Technically even the email inquiries we make are OIA requests, and so should generate a response. But they mostly have not.
  • Considering an open blog post approach that we can point agencies to when we contact them. Formal OIA requests might generate more heat than light. Will agree an approach by the end of the month.

Objective 4: Add new data to Grace

As someone using Figure data, I want to find data about my topic of interest, whatever it is.

Owner: Andrea and Miekes

Outputs:

  • Add 10 new New Zealand data collections
  • Update 10 New Zealand data collections
  • Add or update 10 international data collections

June 30 update

  • On track (although note that the quarter is a bit disjointed, with Miekes and now Andrea away).
  • Have two new collections, and two international ones done. On the updates, one is done and three are well underway.
  • Dataset updates development will make updating lyf so much better. Go team.

August 4 update

  • On track, but some risk to the international data objective.
  • Have done six out of 10 new data collections and seven out of 10 updates.
  • We have identified the international data collections we plan to target. But licensing might turn out to be a barrier to progress.

Function 2: Make it easy and compelling for people to find and use New Zealand’s data

Objective 5: Refine product processess

As the Product Team, we want to make sure we are operating in the best way possible.

Owner: Amy

Outputs:

  • Ensure we have an easy way for everyone to know what the current product priorities are
  • Develop and communicate a vision for our products, a high-level view of where we are heading with them
  • Clarify and document our Product/Dev processes (including how we track Dev Team priorities and effort, how we ensure internal and external views of what we should do are taken into account in setting priorities, and how requirements for ongoing maintenance work impact on Dev availability, especially when we have a lot of work to do on the setup of our infrastructure).

June 30 update

  • On track
  • Have had a huge cleanout of the Product Trello board and put in place a strict process for card management that is documented and to be pinned
  • Need to resolve how Product board processes relate to the Dev board and the piece about how we understand what other teams need to know from us to inform what we build and when
  • Have now got a current view of product priorities (hooray), which Amy will continue to update
  • The next step is the work to define the high-level view of where we are heading with them

August 4 update

  • On track
  • Now working on developing statements of product direction and vision (mostly about working out how much detail is necessary) and providing release notes
  • Feedback from folks on the product plan is very welcome. Key questions are: Does this help you in your work or hinder you? Is it understandable? Is there too much or not enough detail?

Document is at https://figurenz.slack.com/files/amy/F61APKUR2/Product_plan.

Objective 6: Progress development work

As the Product Team, we want to always be shipping.

Owner: Amy

Outputs (all dependent on Dev availability):

  • Dataset updates
  • A spike on Digits
  • Deliver the top infrastructure priorities
  • Some enumerations work
  • Have a checkpoint to tighten this list by the end of June

June 30 update

  • On track
  • Dataset updates is all but finished, just testing to go
  • The next step will be defining infrastructure work
  • It makes sense to do enumeration/search work before Digits, because it unlocks other things. This means that the spike on Digits will be delayed relative to our previous expectations.

August 4 update

  • On track
  • Dataset updates is done
  • Will now not be doing a spike on Digits, but a simple experiment to validate the idea.
  • Infrastructure priorities work is stalled by Rob’s availability. Nigel and Rob need to figure out the approach.
  • Work on enumerations is continuing
  • There has been a round of helpful extractor and chart designer improvements
  • Do not expect this objective to continue into next quarter since it ends up just being a list of what Product and Development are doing, which is already reflected in the Product plan.

Objective 7: Increase engagement and set targets for metrics

As the Comms Team, we want to create and achieve engagement goals so we continue on our way to two million engagements.

Owner: Kimberley and Noush

Outputs:

  • Continued growth in awareness, engagement and conversion month on month
  • Ongoing reporting on metrics
  • Clarity on the definitions of awareness, engagement, and conversion and what our two million engagements goal actually means

June 30 update

  • On track
  • Comms Team has discussed and agreed the preferred approach to measurement. The next step to share it more widely with others and develop it further.
  • From work so far it seems that we might need some more tools to help us: Kimberley is talking to media monitoring companies who can give us regular stats on how where and how our content appears offline.
  • Noush to check how recent Adwords additions are performing, adjust if needed, and continue adding new ones.

August 4 update

  • The definition output is likely to roll over into next quarter.
  • Awareness and engagement metrics are looking healthier after a dip in June.
  • Media monitoring recommendation shared with the team. It will help us with tracking who is seeing our content.
  • Thinking and discussion (including with the wider team) continues on our measurement approach. This output may roll over to the next quarter.
  • On Adwords, the newly added extensions are getting good click-through rates. Pausing of ad groups hasn’t helped with reducing international visitors, so we will try other tactics. Noush will continue with other actions aimed at improving CTR and quality scores.

Objective 8: Define our audiences and develop comms plans for each

As the Comms Team, we want to understand who our potential audiences are and make sure that we are getting our content to them in the most effective way.

Owner: Kimberley and Noush

Outputs:

  • A review of our audiences: who they are, where they are, what they are doing, and what information they would find useful from us
  • Definition of our audiences
  • A communications plan for each audience

June 30 update

  • On track.
  • Comms Team has some thinking and a possible approach. Next step is again to share it internally and discuss.
  • As we get more into this objective and objective 7 we realise that they are big topics and we might end up defining and doing just part of them this quarter.

August 4 update

  • May not be completed this quarter as planned.
  • No new updates.

Objective 9: Develop a content strategy

As the Comms Team, we want our content to consistently inform, delight, enlighten or entertain our users.

Owner: Kimberley and Noush

Outputs:

  • Social media strategy - experiment in June, use insights to formulate strategy, implement from July onwards, continue to iterate and experiment
  • Formulate EDM strategy - may involve seeing what more we can learn about our EDM subscribers and what they’re interested in
  • Launch and develop blog, including editorial guidelines
  • Collaborate with the Product Team on the ways in which people interact with our product via content.

Notes:

  • This work leads (with Objective 8 and 10) into a conversation about what channels we have and what we use them for.

June 30 update

  • On track
  • We are trying out a few things at the moment (which might have a negative impact on stats). We are aiming to be more topical in July, relating our content to events happening around the country and using Facebook boost to boost to different parts of the country, rather than pre-determining the themes and aiming at a national audience.
  • The first cab off the rank on the EDM strategy will be the Go Figure video once that is available. We can also share product news in that EDM if we have things to say.
  • The blog setup is in final stages. Hooray.
  • Had a helpful discussion with Product this week about how Product and Comms inter-relate.

August 4 update

  • On track
  • Social media strategy: July’s approach worked well, improving awareness and engagement metrics after a dip in June. More info in these Trello cards:
    • https://trello.com/c/YcAPFZE8
    • https://trello.com/c/IgFCcxVr
    • https://trello.com/c/THTZDppa
  • EDM strategy: No new updates, though will be on our radar soon as Go Figure video is nearly done.
  • Blog strategy: Submission guide still to be added to Tohu. Blog post ideas are in the works - as we gather more of these, we’ll build a sense of how we want to use the blog, and what our strategy should be.

Objective 10: Plan our communications approach with partners

As the Comms Team, we need to know when and how best to work with our comms partners to get our content out to users.

Owner: Kimberley and Noush

Outputs:

  • Document and develop the partnerships we already have
  • Advance existing media relationships including developing existing work and starting new projects, for example, around data literacy
  • Establish some new productive media relationships

June 30 update

  • On track
  • Comms Team starting to think about relationships with partners and data literacy workshops.
  • The Comms and Data teams have been working on captions to accompany charts as part of work with media. Based on team-wide feedback, Noush has formulated a set of guidelines for writing them. Next steps TBC but likely that we’ll write captions manually to begin with, with a view to automating them further down the track.
  • Kimberley is working on a new relationship, but nothing to report as yet.

August 4 update

  • We are working with one partner on offering them place-based content, with See Kaikōura clearly as an example.
  • Last month we helped another partner with eight data enquiries and we have had a discussion about them crediting Figure.NZ, which they’ve said they’ll do. We have an idea to use the Go figure! cards as a way to improve engagement.
  • No updates on data literacy workshops. This may roll over to next quarter.

Objective 11: Amazing launch comms for Figure’s 20

As the Head of Communications, I want to make sure the world’s first impressions of Figure’s 20 are positive, that our partners are super proud and excited, and that other folks have their interest sufficiently piqued.

Owner: Kimberley

Outputs:

  • Make sure we have a fun launch video that explains and entertains
  • Provide comms effort for whatever we decide to do publicly by way of announcements
  • Support Figure’s 20 partners in how they want to talk about Figure’s 20

June 30 update

  • On track (mostly waiting for contracts to be all sorted).
  • On the video, we have a draft script, and plan to shoot on Tuesday at the Middleton.

August 4 update

  • On track (still waiting for contracts)
  • The main scene in the Figure’s 20 video has been shot. We have not seen the footage yet.

Objective 12: Look into how best to do education on how to use data

As the Figure CEO, I want to have some structured thinking about our approach to education on how to use data that can be useful in lots of contexts.

Owner: Lillian

Outputs:

  • Clarity on the outputs of this work by June 30
  • Could involve direct models (we do the teaching) or indirect (we provide materials) or both.
  • Could get a/some teacher/s involved in the kōrero.
  • Create and share a set of Foundational Figures and Foundational Questions with our audiences

June 30 update

  • On track.
  • Three areas of output:
  • A set of numbers and a defined narrative path to take an audience through them
  • A pack of physical cards that can be given out to people
  • Some thinking about would should be our approach to data literacy

August 4 update

  • Likely to extend into next quarter.
  • Some ad hoc creative work has been done plus some progress with the physical cards but need to focus on the core question of our approach to data literacy.
  • Progress has been limited by the need to focus on contracts.

Function 3: Enable the best team to deliver the main functions on an ongoing basis

Objective 13: We have better documentation

As the Figure team, we want to know that our organisation is set up for long-term success, with better documentation on strategy, risks, business continuity, governance, onboarding and remote-first.

Owners: Lillian, Hayden, Rob

Outputs:

  • Write up from strategy days in January documented and distributed
  • The plan for how we get from here (assured funding for three years) to there (in shape to deliver our organisational goals) is developed, documented and understood internally.
  • Risk register, business continuity plan, and governance policies documented and readily available to all
  • We have made another evolution in our remote first-ness in general.

June 30 update

  • Our approach to governance is changing with our coming step up in scale. We are moving towards a less dynamic approach to the budget for example (since we don’t need to keep such an eagle eye on the cash balance), and we are setting up some Board sub-committees on particular things.
  • The risk and strategy work remains on track but not started. Also on track the business continuity planning that Rob has on his list.
  • On remote first, Hayden will suggest some changes to the wording on Tohu for discussion when he shares the results of the survey. This will include some proposed wording changes to the values section.
  • We will add looking at the onboarding process to this objective as well, given the paddle during the week.
  • Amy will be responsible for identifying any missing pieces in the onboarding documentation and making sure they are tidied up. Identified missing pieces so far include sharing the brand narrative, making sure our “how our team works with other teams” definitions are accurate, and making clear that we organise Trello so that it is a place where anyone can see what is going on in other teams.
  • Raises the broader issue of making sure everyone can edit Tohu. There are some technical issues that Rob is solving (linked to the work in progress of getting new computers for staff that need them). Nat is happy to provide Git training once the technical piece is sorted.
  • The test will be that the next person joining us gets a verifiably great process.

August 4 update

  • The business continuity piece is on track and in Rob’s hands. Getting to the point where system recovery (and software deployment, since they will be the same process) does not depend on people outside of Figure is the goal. Achieving this will involve spending some money, so this quarterly objective might just involve documenting what would be involved, with execution next quarter. Rob will also establish a recovery process for some unlikely situations, e.g., significant natural disaster that leads to the unavailability of several key staff.
  • Hayden and Rob have made progress on the remote-first documentation, and expect to have a more detailed guide to share shortly.
  • Amy is progressing improvements in our onboarding documentation. Rob has solving the technical issues around Git access on his list.
  • Lillian has created a first budget for what Figure might look like in the future and had some Board discussions on it. Timing of any moves is dependent on funding.
  • The risk and strategy work has not been a priority to date, squeezed out by contracts.

Function 4: Raise enough money to deliver the main functions on an ongoing basis

Objective 14: Secure funding for three years

As Figure staff, we want to lock in our organisation’s financial security for the next three years so we can focus our efforts on doing amazing stuff for New Zealand.

Owner: Lillian and Hayden

Outputs:

  • Documentation for all funding is sorted
  • Activity plans for all partners are in place (where relevant), and the cadence of doing, reporting and reviewing is established

June 30 update

  • This is slower moving than we want but there are no red flags.
  • We have now got a proposed process for Activity Plans and Lillian is testing out a way to manage it in Trello. The aim is to have a low touch way to make the system work.
  • We are thinking about hiring someone to manage the partnership relationships.

August 4 update

  • Still moving forward on documentation. Some positive news recently with more contracts signed and the first batch paid.
  • Starting to get into action with the first signatories. Excitement!