Awarded to Hippo Digital Limited

Start date: Wednesday 1 April 2020
Value: £67,750
Company size: SME
Office for National Statistics

PU-20-0120 - Energy Data Visibility Discovery

18 Incomplete applications

14 SME, 4 large

25 Completed applications

18 SME, 7 large

Important dates

Tuesday 28 January 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 4 February 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 11 February 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Discovery phase delivery
Latest start date
Wednesday 4 March 2020
Expected contract length
3 months
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Office for National Statistics
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
Lack of visibility, leading to limited access and understanding of, data in the energy sector is a barrier to optimisation and innovation of services. This limits effective digitalisation of the sector, which is a key driver for the transition to an energy system that can achieve net zero ambitions.

This work aims to understand specific user needs for how best to develop a solution that provides energy metadata visibility resulting in a positive user experience. Discovery should also take into consideration needs relating to users’ preferred methods for actual data sharing of the metadata described by the visibility service.
Problem to be solved
We do not know what an ideal energy data visibility solution best looks like. This is the fundamental problem to investigate before we make significant investment in new digital infrastructure.

We want to understand, in coordination with energy data “users”, i.e. owners, custodians, processors, consumers, researchers, etc:

· Current state of play of energy data availability and quality
· User definitions and personas
· User needs regarding access to metadata and data
· Service options to meet user needs, including risk assessment and costs

The end product should recommend a digital solution that makes metadata Searchable, Discoverable and Understandable, with cost estimates for delivery.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The work includes confirming the user landscape and needs. Some examples of existing users stories include:
1. As a data provider, I need to disseminate metadata automatically updating available metadata reflecting my service with minimum burden.
2. As a data user I need to discover metadata through searching specific information I already know and also through browsing metadata based on broad themes.
3. As a data user I need to request access to data that I have found through my metadata searches.
4. As a policy maker/regulator I need diagnostics about data requests and action being taken to resolve them.
Early market engagement
The challenge of improving visibility of energy data forms part of a wider effort by BEIS, Ofgem and Innovate UK to Modernise Energy Data. This work has been catalysed by the Energy Data Task Force report and recommendations.

The Energy Data Taskforce observed in their report that the lack of data visibility is a blocker to the modernisation of energy data and hence to the digitisation agenda. They recommended a central data catalogue as a solution.

Following the report, BEIS, Ofgem and Innovate UK validated this need, including further research with energy market stakeholders.
Any work that’s already been done
The Energy Data Taskforce report has published its findings about the need for data visibility and the need for a visibility service here:

BEIS, Ofgem and Innovate UK have conducted further research, including gathering industry use cases and data sharing needs, where such a service may support users.

The data visibility catalogue is part of a wider programme of work by BEIS, Ofgem and Innovate UK to Modernise Energy Data. Updates on this work can be found on the data homepage of the Ofgem website:
Existing team
The existing team is made up of a core group from ONS, BEIS and Ofgem.

For context, BEIS, Ofgem and Innovate UK have formed a group called “Modernising Energy Data” (MED). The work of this group was catalysed by the Energy Data Taskforce report.

ONS is leading the data visibility workstream for the MED programme of work. ONS has Project management and subject matter staff in place to support delivery of this Discovery.
Other MED workstreams are underway in parallel and we expect coordination between workstreams.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The provider will primarily work from their office, but will need to engage with users from across the UK, as well as co-work at points with ONS and/or BEIS/Ofgem.
Working arrangements
We expect the partners to work in close partnership with ONS, with the oversight of the ONS Project Manager. ONS will also be in regular contact with BEIS/Ofgem and the partners should expect to engage with BEIS/Ofgem at points as well. A specific engagement plan is set out in the Memorandum of Understanding between BEIS and ONS.
Security clearance
Baseline Personal Security (BPSS)

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • Knowledge of the ONS and its services - 4%
  • Knowledge of working in a cross-departmental government environment - 4%
  • Knowledge of working across different levels of government and sectors - 4%
  • Experience of delivering a discovery phase in line with GDS guidelines for a government department - 12%
  • Proven experience conducting and documenting user research with a diverse mix of users, iterating project work accordingly - 12%
  • Experience summarising user research findings, validating these and disseminating this to stakeholders - 8%
  • Proven track record of iterative delivery using agile methodologies - 8%
  • Experience devising user-centric digital services with wide ranging users - 8%
  • Experience working with data (such as modelling and/or architecture) - 8%
  • Experience working with metadata (such as standards and formats) - 8%
  • Experience of data curation, such as matching and linking or management of slowly changing dimensions - 6%
  • Experience of drawing up recommendations and options for alpha business cases for digital/data services - 6%
  • Collaborating effectively as a workstream in a large-scale programme environment spanning institutions as well as government and private sector organisations - 6%
  • Experience with open working and delivery of wider progress updates to wide ranging stakeholder communities and inviting effective feedback - 6%
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution - 10%
  • Approach and methodology - 40%
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs - 5%
  • How the approach or solution meets your organisation's policy or goal - 5%
Cultural fit criteria
  • Can demonstrate the ability to learn fast in new sector environments and deliver a successful outcome - 4%
  • Demonstrates collaborative working and constructive challenge to ensure the user needs are understood and met, and best value is achieved from the project - 3%
  • Works to best engage the users and stakeholders to build relationships effectively - 3%
  • Will work to develop an understanding of user pains, gains and job roles with an open minded approach - 4%
  • Can demonstrate the ability and is open to share methods and evidence base to support conclusions - 3%
  • Can demonstrate openness in their objectives for the project and issues they face or mistakes made - 3%
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Supplier Q and A Session
Second Supplier Q and A Session details as follows:
Monday 3rd February
11:00 - 12:00
03000 682 500
2. Timelines around the start date – beginning of March? Will there be a requirement for presentations
Yes - these will either be w/c 24th February or 2nd March
3. Are ONS looking for any other pricing mechanism other than fixed price?
4. Do you want a specific technical solution with costs, or examples of technologies you could use, with indicative costs?
This question is for stage 2 where successful shortlisted suppliers are requested to provide a proposal.

ONS will be looking for a specific technical solution of how bidders intend to delivery the project and a fixed cost associated with this.
5. Knowledge of the ONS and its services – are you looking for a supplier who’s worked directly in the past or good knowledge of the sector.
No – no preference on the supplier having worked with ONS in the past. We do not require an “energy sector expert” but the supplier needs to show experience of being able to learn fast around the requirements of users in the sector.
6. If you are asking to better understand users why do you have 24% selection criteria based on experience of ONS and working with government? Surely understanding users requires a fresh perspective?

Knowledge of the ONS and its services – 4%
Knowledge of working in a cross-departmental government environment – 4%
Knowledge of working across different levels of government and sectors – 4%
Experience of delivering a discovery phase in line with GDS guidelines for a government department – 12%
The supplier needs to have a strong understanding and ability to take user needs across industry and government and use a knowledge of how government work verses industry to be able to support the assess and recommendations of how best to delivery the final service

Just being focused on the user or on how to deliver from a commercial perspective would not give us the support in assessment we are looking for
7. Will ONS give us access to specific users or will we need to identify and recruit them ourselves?
ONS with Support form BEIS and Ofgem will give the supplier access to users from the various user groups as we see it. The supplier should as part of the project challenge this information and verify the user groups within the Energy market and build on the user lists given
8. Will we have access to existing data shared and processes around sharing data?
ONS will give the supplier access to data gathered from previous project, the supplier will also be expect to collaborate with the other projects connected to this work where more data to support the discovery will be shared
9. Is the context related to energy data/metadata in general or is it specific to Net Zero carbon future?
Energy data / Metadata in general
10. How does the Discovery relate to the Innovate UK Modernising Energy Data Access Competition?
This ONS energy data visibility discovery and the Modernising Energy Data Access (MEDA) competition are two workstreams from the overall Modernising Energy Data (MED) programme, which is a collaboration between BEIS, Ofgem and Innovate UK

The MEDA project looks to understand the interoperability between the elements of the MED project and Wider energy data services. providing re-usable processes for the energy sector.
11. Does ONS envisage this being a passive informational service (for which metadata exists), or an active service (onboarding data requests connecting users to data providers)?
This is for the discovery to ascertain, ONS and our stakeholders what to provide a system that respond to the data need in the best and most effective way the discovery should tell us what the is.
12. Does ONS believe that the current bid should adopt Energy System Catapult recommendations for data best practice?
Yes - But if evidence is identified through the discovery to challenge this it should be presented for consideration
13. Is there an expectation for a data model / information model to be presented as part of this work?
The discovery should provide ONS with an understanding of achieving an energy data sharing service that works for the user evidence is collated that supports the creation a model the supplier can provide one.
14. RE Q – Knowledge of working across different levels of government and sectors – do you mean different private sector experiences or government sectors
We would like suppliers to be able to demonstrate their ability to work with Government and private sector organisations, and at different level. I.e. COO CTO middle management, data Architects etc
15. What is the budget for this discovery?
16. Can you please provide some more details about the existing team for this project? What roles will you be providing, and what roles do you expect the supplier will provide?
The supplier will co-ordinate all engagement work across the user groups and provide the expertise to deliver the required outcomes, they will also be expected to collaborate with 4 other projects share insights, user information to support the wider aims of the Energy data Taskforce recommendations

ONS will provide Supplier oversight and support to over come blockers, manage the engagement with the wider stakeholder community.
17. A key stream will be identification of the actors and roles within the system, how do we see that piece coming in? Is it something that between the workstreams Suppliers will be given data to be able to identify all the players in the system and where the boundaries are?
Important that different workstreams are open and talking with one another. User research delivered will have some overlaps with winners of MEDA competition.
Through the overall programme through BEIS OFGEM and Innovate UK in conjunction with the ONS will ensure governance and ways of working are in place. This will ensure that projects are being open with one another, sharing and using information. A lot of the findings will be publicly shareable and not sensitive. Depending who comes forward there will be grey areas – delivering emerging architecture for the energy sector so we don't know where the boundaries lie.
18. How much will the programme help with the recruitment of users?
From the Energy Catapult work and Ofgem BEIS work completed over the last 2 years there is user data to provide the supplier and support recruitment. Over this time the industry has shown itself very willing to participate. There is also a Prototype website to provide a gateway to this information. As it grows this should allow access to people involved in the programme activities.
19. Will the URL to the website be provided?
Yes; we’ll provide a link to this when possible.
20. There is a 3-month period that has been given for the Discovery – any reason for this timescale?
This has been looked at from other pieces of work within the industry. Previously we have had issues with a project with a tighter timescale. We are allowing 3 months for the supplier to complete what we estimate to be 4/6 weeks of work to ensure the winning supplier can get around all users and complete a quality product.
21. Alpha – out of question?
Yes; this is about Discovery only! Alpha will form a next phase of the programme moves this project forward to the next stage.
22. Outcomes of the discovery? True GDS discovery looking for outcomes and recommendations?
23. Does the work that Government has completed to date make us think that there is 4 weeks’ worth of discovery week? As opposed to thinking it’s an 8-week discovery.
There’s a piece of work to bring users and their stories together into a meaningful recommendation. 4/6 weeks of effort potentially and although we’d give you leads into users – supplier would be expected to investigate expanding the understanding of the user landscape and identifying any potential new users. Potentially 4-6 weeks of effort but it is up to the supplier to assess what they need to do to deliver a quality service.
Discovery work has been conducted by the taskforce as well as BEIS and Ofgem, which will be shared with the supplier. User stories will continue to evolve.
24. Is discovery related to Innovate UK MEDA project?
Yes; This work sits alongside the MEDA project the first round of which will have 3 winners for the discovery phase, and we anticipate that there will be 2 suppliers in the alpha phase and 1 successful supplier in the beta stage. This work is not part of that competition but there will be 3 discoveries taking place around the interoperability and this project will have to work closely with them all along side the ONS project manager and the wider programme.
25. Do you see this happening that consultants can dip in and out over the period or a 6 week continues delivery – any preference?
It is up to the supplier to delivery the outcomes specified within the window we have – we have provided for the project – if it’s to take longer than 6 weeks, there will be a mid-term review and a conclusion at the end of 3 months. How you chose to deliver the services is up to the supplier in their bid
26. Location – remote work to be delivered, any preference for the team to be in Titchfield or Newport 1-2 days a week, or happy to be remote.
Not expected to be on site. ONS has offices in London too. Remote working but face to face on a semi-regular basis and up to date through project management and governance reporting.
27. Role of the PM – ONS Based? Is he/she going to be taking decisions on behalf of all Govt organisations and collective interest?
The PM role is to co-ordinate between the stakeholders (BEIS and OFGEM) and ensuring that the stakeholders are all aligned when making any decisions.
28. Budget – Hasn’t been specified? May start a discovery and continue. Is there a budget range for this?
£50-100k budget for this
29. Would you like submissions with gateways? Pass/fail gateways – would this help with re-assurance
Depending on how the work pans out if you take the full 3 months there will be a mid-way review point including details of how the project would be assessed. Payment milestones will be in-line with the mid way reviews. Good communication throughout to ensure enough delivery
30. Is there an overarching timetable for the MEDA programme so one can see how the work aligns with the other key workstreams?
This is in the process of being put together and will be shared with winning suppliers as it develops.
MEDA competition may go into early March for the projects to be signed off and begin discoveries. Length of these discoveries are comparable to this discovery.
Data best practice work is well under way sets of principles and expectations for working with data. First draft is being worked on now and will be shared.
Digitalisation strategies from network companies is available.
Roadmap is a reasonably unknown quantity at present, not in a position to be able to confirm long term plans
31. Users and user story focused and providing a meaningful – to what degree of practices of data sharing from elsewhere useful at present and is there a technical input needed?
Existing User needs and Story evidence is useful to the development of this work, to develop assumptions and hypothesis to work form. But work should be carried out to provide this work and finding dose apply to the Energy sector users.