Another Big Data Day

It’s one thing to talk about “big data”, it’s another to make it accessible, day in, day out, and in a form which is actually usable by real people, not just analysts.

That’s what Public View does.

Here’s some or the data loaded today. We never stop, but we don’t process the really big data sets until the evening so they don’t affect performance for users during the day.

Some of the data loaded today

Processing involves reading, understanding and formatting data from sources as different as NHS manually prepared CSV files unstable formats through to PDF files hiding the data in places you’d not think to look.

This is what we do, so you don’t have to.

Better Sign Up

We’ve had a lot of new users recently, so we have made our sign up process simpler.

1 Create Your Account

Use the self-registration link you’ve been provided with. That will automatically populate your organisation name, code, and email domain.

Fill in your full name and email address, and press “Register Account”. An email will be send to the given address almost immediately.

Sample Registration Form

2 Set Your Password

  1. Open the email sent by us to the account you just created. and click the Set Password button.
  2. Your browser will open a PublicView page. Type in a new password for your account and press the Set Password and Log In button
Sample Welcome Email

How to Fix Things Which May Go Wrong

  • Miss spelt email address
    Contact the Support Team and tell them what your correct email address is. They will fix the problem and re-send the “welcome email” to the correct email account.
  • Someone else’s email address
    As above.
  • Your spam filters block the registration email
    Look in your spam folder and tell your email client to allow emails from PublicView.Health through unmolested.
  • You don’t respond to the email within a couple of days
    Contact the Support Team and ask them to re-send the “welcome email”.
  • User clicks the button, but does not provide a password
    (a) Click the “forgot password” link on the Log In page and request a password reset link. Within a couple of days, click the link in the email and provide your password.
    (b) Contact the Support Team and they will send you a “reset password” email.

Mobile First

We’ve been busy through the wintry weather, working on tuning the Public View application so it makes the best use of mobile and tablet screens.

You’ll find significantly improved utilisation of the available space, with superfluous controls removed and text optimised for whatever screen size your device supports. Charts too have been optimized, reducing padding and other screen elements to enable you to focus on what matters.

The screen shot above also shows the new “subscribe for notifications” switch – the blue toggle near the top right.

With one click this button subscribes (or unsubscribes) the device for notifications. You may need to click one more time if the device also asks you to approve the permission our application requests. Once you have subscribed, the device will notify you whenever there are changes to the available data sets.

The screen shot is already out of date, as metric S3 “Emergency c-section rate” was published by us at 10:21 this morning.

Public View: A Mobile Phone App For Chrome

Following last week’s “offline working” update, this week Public View launched as a Progressive Web Application.

That means you can install Public View on your phone’s home screen and it’ll notify you when there’s new data available.

Whilst you can’t log in to the application when you’re offline, you can continue to use it offline should your network connection drop. The application stores everything you look at, so if your train gets stuck in a tunnel you can still check out the latest metrics.

Browser Support

  • We’ve built and tested the application with Google Chrome,  Firefox , and
    Microsoft Edge where it works flawlessly.
  • Safari plus built-in phone browsers should work fine but have not yet been tested by us.
  • IE11 doesn’t support Web Push, but is easily upgraded to the current Microsoft browser (Edge) or something else.

Installation: One Click

Just browse to the site with a modern browser and you should be prompted to install the site as an Application. If you don’t see the prompt, or if you dismiss it the first time, then the option to “install on the home page” is available in all modern browsers.

If you want, you’ll need to separately “subscribe” to web notifications and give permission for the App to use these when prompted. You can find the button to turn notifications on in your “profile” page within Public View.

You don’t have to opt in to notifications, but if you do then Public View will notify you when new data’s published, and the application will automatically refresh so you can see the new data with just a click.

That’s possibly three or four clicks, depending on browser, but it’s quick and easy. If you change your mind, just select the application icon on your home screen and select “remove”, which is definitely a single click.


Feedback on how users are getting on with this is welcome.

Progressive Web Apps are very new and support is uneven, so we can’t be sure everything will work perfectly on all systems.

If you have a problem, please contact us through the web site. We’ll need to know which type of phone (iPhone or Android), and which browser (eg Safari, Chrome etc). We can’t fix browsers, but we may be able to help get you running.

Notifications – Sorry!

Apologies to daily notification subscribers who received “new data” notifications on Sunday although no new data had been loaded since the previous day. We’ve now rectified the problem, and we will take care to ensure it never happens again. Sorry!

Offline Working

Some users asked for Public View to be available as a mobile phone App, and as a first step towards this the new release of Public View will support offline working.

If you’re always in good mobile reception areas you may not notice, but now Public View caches data so you can check NHS Trust performance even when you’re underground, should you wish to.

For now, you need to visit the pages you want to be cached before you’re offline, but we’ll be continuing to improve functionality in this area over the next few weeks so that’s no longer necessary.

The new release is happening on the evening of Tuesday January 8th.

What’s New?

Most days there’s new data published by the NHS, and our systems ingest it automatically so it’s available first thing the day after publication.

You don’t need to log in to see what’s changed though, there are a few better ways to do that:

  1. If you look at the bottom left of any page of PublicView, the date that the last data was loaded is shown there.
  2. You can opt-in to our daily or weekly notification emails, which list all the changed metrics since your last notification.
  3. If you do log in, all the metrics which have been updated since your last log in are highlighted on your home page.

All Good Things

The free trial of Public View is now closed.

We’d like to thank our NHS trialists for helping us develop the service, and hope to see many of you return as subscription users in due course.

New Features

Public View was updated on October 2nd: – Added table showing the organisations which met all three major metrics on the Top 100 public pages for the current month. – Fixes for a few minor issues. – New ability for users to quickly change “home” organisation. Click the organisation name on any page, type in part of the new organisation’s name, and click it to switch. – New blog system