David Cameron trialling iPad app to track UK’s sentiment

Prime Minister David Cameron is trialling an application on his iPad that not only feeds in data that will help him make government decisions, but also provides live feedback on the country’s feelings towards him and the Conservative Party.

According to the BBC, the Cabinet Office will offer the app to more government figures next year, and those working on the project have also said that Cameron is ‘looking forward to showing it to President Obama at the G8 summit’.

The app was developed by the Government Digital Services team and has data feeds from hundreds of sources, including Google, Twitter and Facebook.

Although Cameron is currently using it on his iPad, it is actually a web-based application, so could be used on any internet-enabled tablet or mobile device.

A source told the BBC: “It’s been presented to the PM in person. He’s used it, given feedback on it to help improve it – and there is now great demand for it right across government.”

He also said that in 2013 the app would be “rolled out across Whitehall” and would provide ministers with real-time insight into what is happening in the UK.

“If you want to provide ministers and officials with information about performance of government, you can look at government data – but you can also look at data from the real world,” said the source.

“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.”

The app will allow David Cameron to keep tabs on the levels of activity around certain keywords – such as ‘mortgage’ or ‘loan’ – and is also pulling data from a London-based start-up Adzuna.

Adzuna aggregates data from a number of job vacancy and property-listing websites, and co-founder Doug Monro said that this allows Cameron to see “right up-to-the-minute, real-time data about what’s happening in the market.”

Interestingly, the app will also display the current status of various government initiatives, which will be highlighted green, amber or red. This is likely to be drawn from data provided by the Major Projects Authority, which assesses the risk associated with major IT projects being carried out by government.

Official data from the likes of the Office of National Statistics and YouGov is also being included.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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