Awarded to risual Ltd

Start date: Friday 21 August 2020
Value: £471,800
Company size: SME
Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG); Analysis and Data Directorate (ADD)

MHCLG Analytical Data Services Beta completion and continuous improvement after launch

8 Incomplete applications

7 SME, 1 large

6 Completed applications

4 SME, 2 large

Important dates

Friday 3 July 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 10 July 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 17 July 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Completion of beta for Analytical Data Services Programme ‘Consolidated Data Store’ and support and continuous improvement after launch.
Latest start date
Friday 21 August 2020
Expected contract length
Up to 2 years, beta completion 6 months duration.
Organisation the work is for
Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG); Analysis and Data Directorate (ADD)
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Analytical Data Services (ADS) Programme is transforming data services for the Analysis and Data Directorate (ADD) and other parts of MHCLG, by building data and software assets that deliver new and smarter ways of working and more innovative analytical products.

Some significant work has already been done on the beta phase, however the team working on the project had to be diverted to work on priority work during COVID response. Work remaining on the beta includes:

(1) various priority enhancements to existing relational (SQL Server) and LinkedData databases and associated data management processes / tools.
(2) strengthening and improving the overall data architecture and associated 'end-to-end' processes - including integrating with the Department's NoSQL (Mark Logic) technology and document stores.
Problem to be solved
We want to achieve efficiencies and improving quality through improving data services which automate processes for acquiring, managing and using data - moving away from current largely manual processes. These data services form our new Consolidated Data Store (CDS).

The CDS will enable MHCLG to respond to high-priority demands for new analysis and insights based on large, complex datasets – e.g. to blend and analyse multiple sources comprising millions of data rows about land and property, homelessness.

Whilst the current focus is on improving data and insights for MHCLG’s analytical community, the ambition is to scale-up the CDS as a service that is re-usable for multiple Departmental priorities, and by multiple business teams and units.

Specific priorities include:
(1) Based on user needs, design and iterate priority enhancements to existing statistical data stores and associated publishing tools - the latter includes releasing data and insights via PowerBI and OpenDataCommunities, our public open data service.

(2) Support work to test and where appropriate introduce more efficient and cost-effective cloud platform technologies.

(3) Help develop and implement data acquisition and management strategies for data collection teams.
Who the users are and what they need to do
MHCLG internal users: INSIGHTs teams are permanent Civil Servants who support and develop ADD's analytical databases and associated technology.

Work to design and implement data acquisition and management strategies will involve collaboration with MHCLG Corporate ICT colleagues, and the Portfolio Prioritisation Board.

Our users will benefit from:
(1) More efficient, quality data releases by enhancing ADD's open data publishing systems/tools and data standards.

(2) Just in time response to high-profile demand for evidence-based analysis and insights by extending ADD's statistical and geospatial data and associated tools.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Previous Discovery/Alpha stages developed prototypes systems for managing/sharing data including data catalogue.Included was analysis of current statistical data processing/publishing tools/methods resulting in preliminary high-level designs/blueprints for data assets.

The Beta phase has begun validating the previous work outcome,leading to detailed design and incremental implementation including piloting.This work has largely paused due to COVID.

Priority enhancements will be delivered via MHCLG’s existing technical and database infrastructure,comprising WindowsServer running SQL2016 currently running in AWS Cloud environment.The Databases are accessible to users via a mixture of server and desktop tools - including SQL reporting services(server), MS-Excel, Stata, ArcGIS, Quantum GIS, R-Studio and Python.
Existing team
The supplier will be working with Analytical Data Services programme team which consists of ICT members and programme delivery managers. Proposed supplier team is 2 Data Architects and 1 Database Developer.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Remote until team return to the office, approximately October 2020. MHCLG Headquarters, 2 Marsham St, London SW1P 4DF.
Working arrangements
This is envisaged as a time and materials engagement with agreed outputs. It is expected that work will be achieved working onsite with role leads.
Normal operational hours of Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
Security clearance
Counter-Terrorism Check (CTC)

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
All IPR associated with outputs and deliverables produced shall be wholly owned by MHCLG. Suppliers will be expected to document all activities using MHCLG templates during the assignment, and handover (including transferring knowledge and skills) to the permanent team in a timely manner.

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
  • Have proven experience in developing data-driven digital services using the agile project management methodology and to the Government Digital Service standard.
  • Have the ability to engage at pace with a project midway through the Beta Phase building on work already delivered by a 3rd party supplier.
  • Be able to translate data into valuable insights that inform decisions, involving teams in analytics and synthesis to increase consensus
  • Capability to acquire, collate, cleanse, synthesise and interprets data to derive meaningful and actionable insights.
  • Develop fit for purpose, resilient, scalable and future-proof data services to meet user needs, particularly using SQL Server
  • Demonstrate an understanding of data eco-systems and how to expose data to consumers through automated channels. link data from multiple systems and deliver streaming services
  • Have the ability to reverse engineer legacy systems to derive base requirement.
  • Be able to plan, design, manage and implement a testing regime using appropriate tools/techniques and working within appropriate regulations
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Have a track record of successfully managing and assisting in delivering IT projects within public sector organisations
  • Have the capability to employ a range of different data modelling techniques depending on the problem domain.
  • Have knowledge of how risks associated with deployment should be conveyed and documented.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • TECHNICAL COMPETENCE - weighting 40%
  • (1)Team structure, capability and experience
  • (2)Proposed methodology and approach (including GDS Standards)
  • (3)How the process, outputs and end deliverables will meet the user needs
  • (4)Timeframe estimation
  • CULTURAL FIT - weighting 20%
  • (1)Suggested approach to transformational work in the public sector for a large data collection and analysis organisation
  • (2)Knowledge sharing, work transparently, flexibly
  • (3)Ability to work alongside and in partnership with MHCLG specialists to deliver outcomes.
  • PRICING - weighting 40%
  • (1)Standard price calculation assuming a 100-day assignment for both roles
  • (1a)EXAMPLE - Role 1: £700p.d x 200 = £140k and Role 2 £650p.d x200 = £130k - total price to evaluate £270k
  • If shortlisted, suppliers should provide the following: Full CVs for the proposed 2 Data Architects and 1 Database Developer
  • A short (1 page max) summary outlining: (1) understanding of problems to be addressed and outputs to be delivered
  • A short (1 page max) summary outlining: (2) suitability, skills and experience to successfully address problems and deliver outputs
  • Proposed day rates and duration for each candidate
Cultural fit criteria
  • Have experience working within the public sector
  • Work transparently, collaboratively and as an extension to our team throughout
  • Work flexibly and have the ability to adapt to specific cultures
  • Scoring Criteria for Technical Competence and Cultural Fit will be scored individually using the following Criteria:
  • Score 0 = Failed to provide confidence that the proposal will meet the requirements. An unacceptable response with serious reservations.
  • Score 25 = A Poor response with reservations. The response lacks convincing detail with risk that the proposal will not be successful in meeting all the requirements.
  • Score 50 = Meets the requirements – the response generally meets the requirements, but lacks sufficient detail to warrant a higher mark.
  • Score 75= A Good response that meets the requirements with good supporting evidence. Demonstrates good understanding.
  • Score 100=An Excellent comprehensive response that meets the requirements. Indicates an excellent response with detailed supporting evidence and no weaknesses resulting in a high level of confidence.
Payment approach
Time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Q1. Who’s the incumbent and how long they have been the incumbent?
A1. Risual Limited, since March 2018
2. Q2. Who's on the panel?
A2. If referring to the evaluation panel this will be MHCLG staff.
3. Q3. Can you confirm the budget?
A3. Estimated costs for the initial work is £650k and we will look to the supplier to help us manage the work so that core development priorities are delivered within this. Due to the nature of agile development this is not a fixed ceiling and does not include any related work.
4. Looking at your specific priorities, we would like to empower MHCLG with accurate Weather Data and add value to develop ADD's data science and analytical capabilities.
Being the world's leading provider of weather & weather data, we provide the most comprehensive and accurate forecast globally, powering Apple, Google, Facebook, Yahoo and many more with weather forecasts on a 500m grid globally and updated every 15 minutes which is an invaluable tool for data analytics.
May I please ask how to go about speaking to the right team on this please?
MHCLG have no current requirement for this type of data.