Another week has just been and gone on the Statistics NZ accelerators. These are our six-week, intensive projects to develop something that lets customers configure summaries and data based on topics and places. It’s been another week in which “we’ve had our assumptions, attitudes, creativity, and ability to change direction challenged”, as one team member put it.

We’ve already talked with over 30 customers about their needs and, despite some exhaustion, another team member says it has been “exhilarating to discover those ‘ah-ha’ moments, knowing we have the backing to really use what we’re learning to benefit customers”. We’ve confirmed some of our assumptions and, as expected, been surprised by other things customers have told us.

Customers want data about themselves and their interests

Our first learning was that customers want to know about their place or topics of interest.  The best way we can help them is to make this easy for them to discover. Customers who are not especially data savvy also told us that they don’t care who the data comes from – if it’s valuable to them, they want us to help them access it.

Capability drives needs

We also learned that customers’ capability has a greater impact on their needs than the sector they work within. The range of needs was spread across all sorts of occupations and businesses. They wanted to be able to see and use data in a number of different ways, including graphs, maps, infographics and Excel tables.

Next steps

We are beginning to make sense of the huge amounts of information we’ve been gathering from customers. Of course, another conversation may well change our path again. And next it’s on to paper prototyping…

Tell us what you think

Do any of these learnings resonate with you? We’d love to hear your comments.