Remember those reports from last year, suggesting British Prime Minister David Cameron was to receive a personal iPad app, providing real-time access to key public data? Well, it seems there was more truth to them than many may have suspected.
We’ve received word from Adzuna, yup, the UK classified ad search engine, that it is actually powering a “significant portion” of the so-called ‘Number 10 Dashboard’. Adzuna’s job and housing market data is being used in the app, alongside other data streams, to help inform Government decisions around the UK economy.
The app has been almost a year in the making, which would correspond with the initial reports which surfaced last December. While naturally we’ve not managed to get a hands-on with the app (we forgive them), we do know that it was built in-house by the Cabinet Office digital team, and its latest beta release was last month.
The latest release is currently being tested by a small group of people within Number 10 and a few other government departments, and it may be rolled out further afield depending on how the beta phase goes.
We’re also told that it isn’t a native iPad app – it’s a Web app which means it will work on Apple’s omnipresent tablets, as well as on normal desktop browsers, though it’s known that Cameron has a penchant for iPads and we do know that he has accessed the app from his device.
While we’ve not been able to nab any screenshots of the app, Adzuna says it resembles the Gov.uk site, in terms of look-and-feel, and it’s designed to keep the Prime Minister and other senior figures across Government informed across a handful of key performance indicators: economic, political and governmental.
The sections include data on trending topics from major search engines, such as Google, Adzuna’s real-time stats on job vacancy numbers, salary trends and regional housing supply; economic indicators from the ONS; and information about government services, spending and efficiency. It features data from other companies too, of varying sizes, including Twitter and Yougov.
“It’s great to see government taking a data-driven approach to decision making and supporting fast growing British technology start-ups like Adzuna,” says Doug Monro, Co-Founder of Adzuna. “Because we list all of the available jobs and properties in the UK in our search engine, we’re able to provide comprehensive and up-to-date data to the government – just as we do for free for users on our website.”
Hunter says they were first introduced to Number 10 in July this year, and were subsequently invited in to “talk data”, and how the government can better help startups like Adzuna.
Adzuna was founded in 2011 by Andrew Hunter and Monro, formerly of eBay, Gumtree, Qype and Zoopla, and is backed by Venture Capital firms Passion Capital, The Accelerator Group and Index Ventures. Back in July, on the cusp of its one-year anniversary, Adzuna opened its data for UK jobseekers, to see salary trends by industry.
So, while the original claims that David Cameron was to have his own personalized iPad app were a little wide of the mark, it seems there was a large element of truth to this after all. But you, I and most people reading this will never get a chance to play with it.
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