Department for Education

Data Directorate Data Architecture & Data Governance Services 2020/21

21 Incomplete applications

15 SME, 6 large

33 Completed applications

23 SME, 10 large

Important dates

Published
Wednesday 18 March 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 25 March 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 1 April 2020 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Summary of the work
Provision of data architecture and data governance services, with a blended team of experts, to continue the delivery of our vision to implement enterprise-wide data architecture and data governance across the Department for Education.
Latest start date
Friday 1 May 2020
Expected contract length
Up to 2 years
Location
No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Department for Education
Budget range
This contract will run for up to 2 years. The budget for Year 1 will be up to £3.78m (excluding VAT). The supplier should be capable of flexing resource up and down to meet the Department's requirements throughout the contract term. Following the first year, an internal contract review will be conducted to assess delivery and continuity will be subject to internal approvals. Note that in the event of the contract running for a second year we expect the demand to be lower, as permanent staff are upskilled during year 1.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Department for Education uses data to direct funding, measure effectiveness and govern the educational sector in England. Data and analysis underpins our digital services, our policy development, and is published as statistical outputs. Our data activity is led by the Chief Data Officer. He is leading a transformation of our organisation to support the Department's efficient and effective use of data and support our digital service delivery. The transformation is underway and we require a team of experts in two key areas to continue to develop and mature our capability. (i) Data Architecture, making our systems and digital services use and share data more effectively; (ii) Data Governance, ensuring a sustained, executive-level focus on understanding and assuring our data assets. An important part of the service is to help us recruit and mature the in-house capability in these two areas by the supplier actively supporting knowledge transfer.
Problem to be solved
Our current data landscape is complex, not easily understood, and poorly governed at an enterprise level. This means that change is difficult to manage, whether that be development of digital services, commercial (re-letting contracts), technical (changes to data sets), managerial (training new starters) or strategic (establishing new data services). The knock-on financial, compliance  and user experience consequences mean that the Department carries some heavy data-related reputational risk, which we are keen to address by paying down the technical debt represented by our data landscape. Specifically, we need to continue to establish and embed data architecture and data governance processes, policies and practices across the DfE. Taking a risk based approach, we need to continue to build our capability, so that we can advise service owners developing new digital services on the data architecture designs and data governance approach they should be taking.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a Chief Data Officer, I need to change DfE's culture, architecture, processes and governance around data to suit a 21st century, data-rich, delivery-focussed public sector organisation. As the Head of a Digital Service, I need data architecture and data governance standards and processes in place to use as I develop my service. As the Head of Data Services, I need a Data Architecture capability to call on to help me design new services. As the Head of Data Engineering, I need a Data Architecture and Data Governance function, standards and processses to adhere to when I am building new data outputs. As the Head of Data Operations, I need Data Governance policies, standards and processes which I will operationalise. As the Chief Architect in Technology Group I need a data architecture capability to work alongside my architecture team.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
We have a Data Strategy & Vision, a senior-level DfE-wide Data Governance Board and we have started to roll out Data Governance processes across the Department. We have started to build a data architecture capability and a data governance capability, but these are still immature. We are developing Data Architectural artefacts to roll out across the DFE - but there is much more to do. We have a new target operating model for Data Directorate, we have newly recruited into and strengthened the senior leadership team, and moved into a new divisional structure.
Existing team
The supplier will work to the Chief Data Officer, alongside the Transformation Lead to establish capabilities and processes required to create an efficient, modern data management organization. Skills transfer will be required to newly recruited staff. There may be other suppliers engaged across the Directorate and beyond.
The current service comprises the following role types:
Data Architecture - Chief Data Architect, Lead Data Architect, Data Architects, Solution Data Architects, Cloud Data Architect
Data Governance - Data Governance Lead, Data Governance Business Analyst , Lead Data Modeller, Informatica Developer, Technical Data Modeller/Analyst, Data Governance Project Manager.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
DFE offices in the following locations: Sheffield, Coventry, London, Darlington.
Working arrangements
The work will be largely office-based, in Sheffield and London to ensure good integration and skills transfer with the permanent team, and will involve travel to other sites as necessary to facilitate or attend workshops or committee meetings, meet team members and other stakeholders. Where travel from the home office location is required, expenses will be reimbursed at the standard Departmental rates. Travel to and from the home location will not attract expenses. Travel to other locations must be approved and must adhere to DfE Travel and subsistence policy.
Security clearance
Suppliers will need to comply with the Government baseline personnel security standard (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
  • Proven experience within the last 4 years of providing Data Architecture and Data Governance services as part of the transformation of large, data and/or analytics organisations.
  • Proven experience within the last 4 years of establishing and operating Data Governance processes in large, complex, data intensive organisations (ideally within central government) including regulatory and compliance requirements.
  • Proven experience within the last 4 years of establishing and running Data Architectural teams, including principles, policies, standards and operating processes.
  • Proven experience within the last 4 years of mapping existing data architectures and evolving transformational target state data architectures aligned to all relevant data and enterprise architecture strategies.
  • Proven resourcing and engagement model to ensure the right quality of the team.
  • Proven experience within the last 4 years of working well in large organisations, across organisational boundaries, and with multi-agency organisations, (ideally in Central government).
  • Proven experience within the last 4 years of supporting customers to build in-house capabilities and ensure effective knowledge management and transfer.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience and understanding of the Education sector.
  • Experience and understanding of educational datasets.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
5
Proposal criteria
  • Demonstrate the ability to provide Data Architecture services to transform a large complex data organisation and its provision of digital products and services.
  • Demonstrate the ability to provide Data Governance services to transform a large complex data organisation and ensure regulatory compliance.
  • Demonstrate how the approach and methodology will meet our goals of developing and maturing capability in the areas of Data Architecture and Data Governance
  • Demonstrate understanding of common risks and dependencies in a data transformation environment and experience of how these have been managed in the past.
  • Ability to promptly mobilise expertise to scale up team and flex resource when needed and to respond to fluctuating requirements
  • Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate ability to work as a team and collaborate effectively with our organisation and other suppliers.
  • Demonstrate approach to knowledge and skills transfer to build in-house capabilities and ensure effective knowledge management and transfer within agreed timescales.
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

55%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

25%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Is there an incumbent supplier for whom this is an option to extend? If so, who?
The current supplier is Cadence. There is no option for the existing contract to be extended. We are looking for a supplier that best matches our requirements.
2. Given the current circumstances and the need for public safety, Will this project go ahead as scheduled and if so will a more offsite requirement be possible?
We are keeping the situation under review, but our current expectation is that the project will go ahead as planned (but with remote working arrangements in place).
3. Are you looking for an individual to undertake this work, or are you happy to engage with a consultancy that can provide one or a number of resources?
The requirement is for a team to provide the data architecture and data governance services outlined.
4. Kindly clarify the split of expected work to be done onsite versus off-site.
It is just that in the overview for location it is stated ""No specific location, eg they can work remotely"" but under working arrangements it states ""The work will be largely office-based, "" Due to Coronavirus clarity on this will be helpful.
Under normal circumstances, our requirement is for the team to operate predominantly through the Department for Education (DfE) Sheffield, London, Coventry or Darlington offices, with the expectation for regular travel between additional DfE sites to maximise the opportunity for engagement with DFE users and stakeholders. With regard to Coronavirus, we are keeping the situation under review, but our current expectation is that the project will go ahead as planned but with remote working arrangements in place.
5. What timescales are you working to for: (1) informing down-selected suppliers, (2) submission of proposals and (3) scheduling of presentations?
We are intending to inform suppliers that are selected for the next stage by 3/4/20. Proposals will need to be submitted by 17/04/20 with presentations scheduled for 20/04/20. These presentations will be delivered by Microsoft Teams or Skype.
6. Please could you provide clarity on what sort of roles you anticipate the team including?
Please refer to the role types outlined in the 'existing team' section.
7. What are your strategic technologies/platforms, if any? To what extent are these open to change?
Strategic cloud platform is Microsoft Azure. We also use Gov.Paas.  Various Azure data-specific software is our default choice for data capabilities (Azure Data Lake, Databricks, Azure SQL, Power BI). Ruby, Javascript (Node), .Net C#, SQL are the main languages / frameworks. We adhere to GDS service standards (gov.uk) and have an API first approach. Informatica tools for data governance (at pilot stage of assessment). ETL Tool – currently assessing the technology choice. We are open to change where it makes sense. All changes would need to pass through appropriate service, architectural, data and technical governance.
8. Do you have a maximum day rate that you are willing to pay?
We have not specified maximum day rates for this opportunity. As part of the second stage evaluation we will be asking for a range of rates across the roles that we require. We will then follow the DOS guidance on pricing, which is that the lowest price attracts the highest score.
9. Please can you confirm if multiple examples are permitted if the supplier feels it will help demonstrate their evidence, or are you only permitting a single example as per usual Digital Marketplace stage 1 rules?
Suppliers should restrict their responses to a single example per criteria.
10. Do you expect the entire team to be based in UK or would you consider an onsite – offshore model where some of the team members work from offshore ?
We expect the entire team to be based in the UK.
11. In current situation, are you open to start engagement remotely i.e. team being in offshore and then travel once restrictions are removed?
Yes as long as the team is based in the UK, once travel restrictions are removed.
12. How many resources in total would you require as part of this engagement (Peak & Average)?
We’re happy to accept any reasonable suggestions based on the problem statement above. As per the requirements, resources should be able to flex up and down according to demand.
13. Will it be a multi-vendor engagement or just single vendor and an internal team?
We expect the engagement to be through a single supplier working with the internal team. The supplier will be required to work with other suppliers who are providing services within Data Directorate.
14. Can you please share the technology and application landscape details for us to understand the size and complexity?
Strategic cloud platform is Microsoft Azure. We also use Gov.Paas.  Various Azure data-specific software is our default choice for data capabilities (Azure Data Lake, Databricks, Azure SQL, Power BI). Ruby, Javascript (Node), .Net C#, SQL are the main languages / frameworks. We adhere to GDS service standards (gov.uk) and have an API first approach. Informatica tools for data governance (at pilot stage of assessment). ETL Tool – currently assessing the technology choice. We are open to change where it makes sense. All changes would need to pass through appropriate service, architectural, data and technical governance.
15. Given that this is Government project, are there any compliance restrictions that supplier should be aware of to comply with?
All staff will have to be BPSS cleared.
16. Whilst we are doing the Architecture and Governance do you want our teams to solve the initial problems I.e. Creating new data services etc.
The supplier will be required to work with the new appointed Head of Data Services to help them develop and deliver their vision for new data services.
17. Is build work required from our teams?
As part of the data governance service, we expect suppliers to build the data models, data dictionaries and other collateral required, as well as policies and processes. Software and data engineering do not form part of this team's activities.
18. Are there any existing Data or Enterprise Governance Frameworks being used ? ( e.g DMBOK, TOGAF)
We’re not currently explicitly adopting those frameworks, although those are informing much of what we are doing.