The federal government has launched a public analytics dashboard called "Where's My Refund?" The most looked at website powered by the U.S. government, "Where's My Refund?" had 4,561 viewers last Thursday. All federal websites combined had almost 147,000 viewers.
People can now look at what is going on with 300 executive branch domains. A recent White House blog says that anyone can now know how many people are on a particular federal website and also what operating systems, browsers and devices are being used.
This is an open source site with information from Google Analytics. Privacy is well-managed, with IP addresses of visitors being made completely anonymous.
Government sites can have as many visitors on a single day as there are residents of cities such as Syracuse, New York or Pasadena, California. Over the last 3 months, 1.35 million people visited a government website. Over the last 30 days, 75.6 million individuals looked at forecast.weather.gov from the National Weather Service. This about 2 times as many people who looked at Buzzfeed's famous blue/black white/gold dress.
IRS website traffic has greatly increased during the past 90 days, too. This is no surprise as the country is right in the throes of taxes this year, using TurboTax and other online tax preparation services.
In a related topic, phones and tablets seem to be contributing around one-third of visitors to government websites. Google's Chrome browser is responsible for approximately one-third of the traffic on government websites. It's becoming more important to figure out digital services for small screens.
Federal agency 18F is a federal agency that works with digital services. It wants public input on what should be done with their data gathered regarding website traffic.
How to Use the Where's My Refund? Tool