Awarded to Social Finance Ltd

Start date: Tuesday 1 September 2020
Value: £40,000
Company size: SME
Greater Manchester Combined Authority

GMCA Discovery for a Troubled Families Data and Analytics Solution Design

16 Incomplete applications

11 SME, 5 large

24 Completed applications

12 SME, 12 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
A summary of the work is to understand the data flows & data integration to enable solution design and evaluate existing products in use. The contract includes an optional extension to deliver the solution based on the suggested design (3 months discovery with optional 9 months extension).
Latest start date
Monday 31 August 2020
Expected contract length
12mths (3mths discovery phase + option to extend for an additional 9mths build phase)
North West England
Organisation the work is for
Greater Manchester Combined Authority
Budget range
A Maximum Budget has been allocated for the Discovery Phase of £50,000.
The 9 month option to extend will be dependant upon solutions offered and internal budget approval.

About the work

Why the work is being done
To better understand interventions delivered via Troubled Families across Greater Manchester, the impact on demand and the outcomes for our families.
To link data on individuals and families and then provide analysis on the full cohort, with the ability to filter.
To test hypothesis / theories on the cohort such as patterns that could lend themselves to predictive analysis.
To evidence the value of data for the cohort, as a way of testing if this can be scaled up to other types of interventions.
Problem to be solved
The data comes in different formats from different systems and quickly becomes too large for current analysis tool to calculate the required formula. This limits our ability to evidence our impact but also the potential of data to offer more than evaluations. We believe with the right data and right tools, we can provide regression analysis that will help us move to a preventative offer compared to a reactive approach.

The aim of this work is to understand the impact on demand, outcomes for the families and whether patterns exist to help prevent (earlier support) others rather than being reactive.
Who the users are and what they need to do
This is a discovery piece and, therefore, there are no active users currently. The discovery piece will provide options and solution design and users identified during any development phase.
Early market engagement
No early market engagement has been undertaken
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
Project Manager and Principal Researcher with the added support of Enterprise Architect, Information Governance Lead and others when required.
The successful supplier will be required to work with existing third party suppliers that provide components of the GM Digital Platform. No contact with existing suppliers is deemed necessary during the procurement phase.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Due to circumstances caused by the Corona Virus pandemic, it is likely that this piece of work will be undertaken remotely using conference call facilities. This will be reviewed upon successful appointment of supplier and in line with current guidance issued by the Government and NHS at that time.
Working arrangements
Working arrangements will be determined by recommended working practices issued by the Government and NHS upon appointment of the successful supplier.
It is likely that the majority of work will be undertaken using remote working tools such as Microsoft Teams although this will be determined by the nature of the work being undertaken.
Any expenses will need to form part of the contract and only agreed with the prior approval by the Buyer.
Security clearance

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
  • Evidence of delivering similar discovery projects using complex technology
  • Experience of delivering data and analytics projects which involve multiple datasets from different organisations
  • Proven and demonstrable experience of delivering development projects using an agile methodology
  • Proven and demonstrable knowledge of IT security standards and associated design considerations
  • Experience of Information Governance related issues within local authority, healthcare and police settings
  • Strong documentation, presentation and communication skills
  • Proven and demonstrable knowledge of ISO accreditations for quality, security and business continuity
  • Adherence to appropriate cyber security standards and hold appropriate security qualification e.g. ISO27001
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Understanding of Architectural approaches such as Service Oriented Architecture and approaches espoused in the Government Digital Service Manual. (
  • Evidence of delivering projects to Greater Manchester public sector organisations with a particular focus on cross-organisational working in the region.
  • An understanding of Troubled Families and, ideally, experience of delivering projects within the Troubled Families sector
  • Demonstrable experience of delivering integration between systems and ideally within a public sector environment

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Describe your approach and methodology to meeting the requirements including architecture, agile delivery and value for money (40%)
  • Give examples of KPIs and SLAs that you would be prepared to commit to for this contract (30%)
  • Provide evidence of skills/experience/accreditations of the team who'll be undertaking the work and how they'll work together(5%)
  • Provide two referenceable client-focused case studies where your company have provided similar services (5%)
  • Ability to mobilise the team quickly and approach to service continuity (5%)
  • Ability to scale up and down resources, whilst ensuring quality and consistency showing capacity of the organisation (5%)
  • Identification of the risks and dependencies associated with this requirement and potential mitigation (10%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Proven experience in last 3-years of an open/collaborative working relationship at all levels with excellent communication and co-ordination skills when conducting daily stand-ups, team meetings, presentation and demonstrations
  • Forward looking organisation with continual development to keep up with changing ICT landscape
  • Has a no-blame culture and encourages people to learn from their mistakes, working as
  • Suppliers must demonstrate an ability and willingness to work collaboratively within a multi-vendor delivery environment across Greater Manchester
  • Able to communicate effectively with users, technical architects and solve issues amongst complex integration
  • Demonstrate understanding of the Public Sector landscape in Greater Manchester and contribute towards its Social Value
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Question - Is there an incumbent supplier currently?
Response - there is no incumbent supplier for this piece of work
2. Question - Have you put data sharing agreements in place to bring together the data sets intended for use in discovery?
Response - Data Sharing agreements are in place for the existing data sets, depending on the solution design developed through this Discovery phase these may need to be developed also.
3. Question - You mention the data 'quickly becomes too large for current analysis tool to calculate the required formula.' Can you share details of the current tool(s) in use
Response - The majority of the analysis is currently done in Excel, which is a struggle matching the various data sets received and analysing the data, some work is done on Tableau for visualisations
4. Question -The Discovery phase for this work is 3 months – do you expect the team to be working on this full time for the full 3 months, or would completion in a shorter time period (perhaps distributed over the 3 months) be acceptable?
Response -The anticipated elapsed time for the Discovery phase is three months however we do not expect that this will be full time for any role that the supplier provides to deliver the work. It is expected that there will be workshops with Local Authorities and GMCA to develop and understanding of the current process and datasets as well as the requirements from a solution. There will also be drafting of the Solution Design which will likely need iterations to be shared with Stakeholders for review.
5. Question - What security clearance must the consultants have in order to view relevant data? Will data be anonymised/pseudonymised to make it easier to work with?
Response -The anticipated classification of the data that will be included within this Discovery shall be limited to UK Government "OFFICIAL-SENSATIVE" level. Supplier shall ensure that there organisation can comply with this requirement. It is not expected that the data will be anonymised or Pseudonymised before it is worked on, this maybe one of the outputs from the Discovery phase.
6. Question - Should the platform be Cloud native, if so is there a preferred cloud provider and should suppliers evidence experience in building web apps as part of a micro service based architecture?
Response -Suppliers should demonstrate their understanding of these because we anticipate the Solution Design from the Discovery will incorporate some or all of these however the focus of this phase is the Discovery and Solution Design
7. Question - You mention Complex Technologies'. Is there already a technology stack that you have in mind for this work?
GMCA is partners in the Greater Manchester Digital Platform and has a number of components which aide in the matching, manipulation & connecting of data across the GM Public Sector organisations on a Multi-Cloud platform which is organisation agnostic. GM Digital Platform is not yet used for the Troubled Families data flows . One of the aims from the Discovery exercise will be to ascertain current capabilities of this platform and any gaps for inclusion in the Solution Design. Details on the GM Digital Platform will be shared with Shortlisted supplies . GMCA's internal platforms are currently traditional in nature
8. Question -Please can you elaborate further what is meant by demonstrate understanding of the Public Sector landscape in Greater Manchester and contribute towards its Social Value ?
Greater Manchester is a large metropolitan region with complex public sector landscape. Suppliers should demonstrate, an understanding of the landscape , ideally experience of collaborating with public sector organisations in GM. Social Value is the wider benefit gained by the local community, businesses and the environment through the better spending of public money. suppliers should consider what they can offer in addition to the contract , creating work / apprenticeship opportunities in the local area, contributing funds & resource to Voluntary sector/ local initiatives e.g. those that contribute to local environmental improvements or improving work related skills of local residents.
9. Question - Is the proposed platform to be on premises or on cloud?
GMCA follows the national guidance on a Cloud First approach to solutions however this will form part of the Discovery exercise to consider options that are available. The GM Digital Platform which has been mentioned in the advert and previous questions is Multi-cloud based on Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services
10. Question - Is there an inclination towards any technology stack for data engineering or is open to suggestions including open-source technologies? What all are the current data related technologies and the existing suite of products that needs evaluation? What is the analysis tool that is currently used?
The buyer is limited on word count as are suppliers in the shortlisting stage therefore we can not provide detailed information on all of the current products that we are aware off. The point of the Discovery exercise is to consider those tools available within GMCA, GM Digital Platform and Local Authorities to understand current capabilities and any gaps. The successful supplier will work with the team to provide a Solution Design which addresses this which may include additional solutions which could be Open Source. We will have the ability to expand upon this after shortlisting has taken place.
11. Question - Will the discovery phase also involve identifying any new KPIs
This is not know at this stage and will be identified through the Discovery phase from workshops with the practitioners and intelligence teams as we understand their requirements further which will feed into the Solution Design.
12. Question -Is there an existing data integration solution in place or are you looking to start from scratch?
There is an existing data integration solution in place within GM however these need to be assessed through Discovery to understand the capabilities, total cost of ownership and relevance for this work
13. Question -What kind of data formats are we catering to? Does this include combination of unstructured and semi-structured data as well?
The current process uses excel files being sent which have been extracted from siloed systems across GM public sector organisations which are manually manipulated before being emailed onwards. These contain a mixture of structured and unstructured data.
14. Question- Can you please provide some details about the components of the GM platform?
We are limited on word count for our responses, we will share with shortlisted suppliers the details on the components on the GM Digital Platform.
15. Question -Can you please provide the no. of systems where the data is being pulled from?
The aim of the Discovery is to ascertain the data sources through workshops and discussions with GMCA, Local Authorities and other public sector organisations. Shortlisted suppliers will be expected to outline in their written proposal the scope of the proposal within the identified budget
16. Question -For the work which is chosen to be completed with remote working tools such as Microsoft Teams, are you open for getting it delivered from offshore (outside EU), given that supplier is able to provide enough evidence of security?
it’s envisaged that any solution developed with a supplier will use the existing GM Digital Platform that utilises cloud hosting from MS Azure and Amazon Web Services hosting both data centres in the UK.