Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 17.02.38Matt Jukes – the man, the myth, the Bristolian. What more can you say about a man who’s already said it all himself? Well I’m not entirely sure, so let’s go with a bio – Matt, or Jukesie as pretty much everyone knows him, works in digital at the Office for National Statistics (ONS), where he’s charged with the ambitious task of making their corporate site more user centric – A goal which many would have shied away from. Previously he’s worked all over the place including the Economic and Social Research Council, the Medical Research Council and JISC, as one of the earliest pioneers of digital in government. Bios aside, Jukesie blogs in both a personal and professional capacity, talks at numerous events and tweets regularly. Without further ado, let’s learn a little more about everyone’s favourite pirate.

1. What’s your name and where are you from?
Matt Jukes (but Jukesie to most) and I’m born and bred Bristolian.

2. What do you do for a living?
I’m Head of Digital Content at the Office for National Statistics

3. Favourite band and/ or artist?
This week it is ‘The Roots’

4. Android or iPhone?
Android (Nexus 4) but I also use an iPad Mini a lot of the time

5. PC or Mac?
PC at work and a Macbook Air at home

6. Creature of habit or maverick thinker?
I think it is a context thing – at my current job I’m seen as a bit maverick – elsewhere probably not so much.

7. Your house is on fire, what do you save?
Probably nothing really – my most prized possessions are my books but I’m not sure trying to save them in a fire would end well!

8. Biscuits – dunk or leave unsullied?

9. Best project you’ve worked on and why?
At Jisc the thing I was proudest of was setting up the original incarnation of Involve which is their blogging platform. I am a massive advocate of blogging, particularly as a way of adding a layer of transparency for publicly funded work and I’ve always found it helpful to do my thinking in public. By building that platform I think it planted an expectation in Jisc project teams that it was an important thing to do – and later it became mandatory in some Jisc programmes to have project blogs.

Elsewhere a lot of the things I am proud of were more about cultural changes at organisations. Making them think differently (or at all) about digital.

10. Where do you hope the ONS will be in 10 years in terms of public consultation/ digital democracy? Opportunities and pitfalls.
[I’m only going to talk about five years – 10 seems like science fiction!]

I think the ONS has a vital role in the demographic process in the UK beyond digital. It is our role to provide citizens with the data behind the policies that effect them. The more aware people are of the facts behind the rhetoric the better decisions they can make.

At the moment we don’t do a good enough job of this on the digital side. We don’t make it easy enough for people to find our statistics let alone do anything with them. This is what we need to achieve. A digital presence that provides an easy to use factual foundation for national debates.

11. Best gov site you’ve seen and why? Other than GDS.
My two favourites at the moment are both works in progress. The National Archives which is all being done in-house with a small dedicated team and also the TfL beta site which I already use on a regular basis. To tie in to what I mentioned earlier I particularly love that they both openly blog about their projects.

So there you have it, another piece of fascinating insight from a true ‘Digital Hero’. If you’d like to chat to Jukesie you can try him on all the usual channels, although for true insight, you’re better off buying him a beer…

Until next time.