The summer sun takes the mind to places where one can enjoy it without the thought of rain coming very soon (expected here tomorrow!). So I am taking my first visit in this series to Cyprus. Searching through Google for the ‘official statistics Cyprus’ did not produce a link to the Home page in the first 10 results. The fourth entry was to the publications of Cystat and I linked through that to the Home page (http://www.cystat.gov.cy – the Greek version and then used the language toggle to get to the English page – unusually at the top of the left-hand navigation).
The detail of the left-hand navigation was repeated at the bottom of the Home page – but was below the visible page and so the user has to scroll down to find it. Apart from this issue, the Home page was simple and effective, showing the latest releases – though without a headline – and the key data. A marginal inconsistency in the key data was whether a figure should have a space after it and before the ‘mn’. Also, the two GDP figures do not need a decimal place to be shown. Another inconsistency noticed in the output is that the publications all use a full stop as a thousands separator and a comma as a decimal separator whereas the data provided in spreadsheets use these symbols the other way round!
The first page I opened was the publications page – also accessible from the left-hand navigation of the Home page. The publications themselves are in PDF files and not too helpful for the user. However, CyStat has also provided Excel workbooks of data organised by subject area that provide long runs of series mainly in tabular format. These tables are very neat, are indexed within each workbook on the second sheet with hyperlinks to the actual table (which means the user does not have to understand what is in sheet with the tab description ‘A.1.2.a.’!). All tables opened with cell A1 in the top left-hand corner of the visible sheet. At the bottom of the Publications page the user is able to go into the archive going back to 2004. Also the user can search the publications by theme and topic – and the results are apposite.
For the two standard statistics for a site, population and CPI, I expected to find them both in the key indicators. The CPI is indeed the first of the indicators shown on the Home page but the population is not in this list. At the bottom of the list is a link to more indicators – and population is at the top of this list – above the CPI. The ‘more’ list includes all of those in the Home page list so the description of ‘more’ is not appropriate: other?
This site deserves a thorough investigation by all who want to improve their own site. Take a simple step from the Home page to the statistical theme on the left-hand navigation titled Labour. Then choose the sub-theme Employment. You are then given a page with four tabs: announcements, key figures, methodology and publications. The opening one not only shows links to the latest announcements (press releases) but also shows archive years on the right-hand side – in this case back to 2001! As a numbers freak, I could argue that the Key figures tab should be the first one – but there are no key figures on the page – only links to a vast usable set. The first workbook I then examined produced some time series with the dates shown right to left (i.e. latest first to earliest) whereas the one examined from the publications theme had the proper left to right presentation of time.
Happy summer and enjoy the surfing …
This review was undertaken by Ed Swires-Hennessy using Internet Explorer version 9.0 on 23 July at 10.00 hrs. GMT using a 100 Mb link to the Internet on an Intel Core i3-2100 3.1 GHz machine.
This and reviews since January 2009 are published in the blog; earlier reviews are published to my website, http://www.surfingwithed.org.uk
Ed is author of the book Presenting Data: How to Communicate your Message Effectively,
ISBN 9781118489598. Published by Wiley in September 2014.