This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Tuesday 21 July 2020
Government Digital Service (GDS)

WP1893: “CSSF COVID19 - Data and insights tools - MVP”

21 Incomplete applications

18 SME, 3 large

35 Completed applications

24 SME, 11 large

Important dates

Published
Tuesday 7 July 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 14 July 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 21 July 2020 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Summary of the work
Help a cross government conflict security hub to effectively manage and synthese the large amount of information it gathers in relation to COVID-19 so it can:

- share information easily across departments
- more effectively search their existing data sets
- enable the generation and dissemination of tailored insights reporting
Latest start date
Tuesday 25 August 2020
Expected contract length
6-8 weeks
Location
No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Government Digital Service (GDS)
Budget range
up to 99,950 including VAT

About the work

Why the work is being done
A Conflict Security and Stability Fund (CSSF) cross government conflict security hub needs to start extracting insights about Covid from its existing data sets. This is so it can:

- share information easily across departments
- more effectively search their existing data sets
- enable the generation and dissemination of tailored insights reporting

The existing reporting on conflict and security issues is done within PowerBI, but now the more emergent need of Covid-19 information and updates need to be found and reported.

Ongoing priority for the government to support international COVID responces means this is a high priority and insights are needed immediatly.

This work is also intended to inform a wider discovery into the data needs of the organisation.
Problem to be solved
Due to Covid, different insights need to be understood and reports generated from ongoing data collection and data sets
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a person compiling information for my department
I need to easily send this information in a format
So that it can be analysed and distributed across government

As a analyst
I need to gather information about Covid from around the world
So that I am able to provide insights to the UK government

As a programme manager
I need to understand insights on Covid from around the world
So I can make decisions about programme funding

As a senior leader
I need to understand insights on Covid from around the world
So I can make strategic decisions and ministerial reccomendations about where we invest
Early market engagement
N/A
Any work that’s already been done
There are live data sets that exisit predonimatly interpreted through POWER BI
Existing team
The team will be working with the Head of International Delivery and the Senior Research Analyst of the GDS International Team. In addition, they will be working with CSSF analyst teams.
Current phase
Live

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
London
Working arrangements
The supplier can primarily work remotely and work with the teams via digital communication methods. CSSF and GDS International team stakeholders will be available to answer questions on data needs and requirements. The work will be co-ordinated by a GDS International team Delivery Manager and overseen by a Senior Research Analsyt. It would be beneficial for the supplier to be onsite for key workshops, briefings and outcome sessions - remote working restictions permitting. No expenses are anticipated.
Security clearance
SC

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
"All expenses must be pre-agreed with between the parties and must comply with the Cabinet Office (CO) Travel and Subsistence (T&S) Policy."

"All vendors are obliged to provide sufficient guarantees to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures so that the processing meets the requirements of GDPR and ensures the protection of the rights of data subjects. For further information please see the Information Commissioner's Office website:https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-reform/overview-of-the-gdpr/"

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
  • Show in an example previous experience of working with PowerBI or similar tools
  • Show in an example at least 5 years experience of interrogating qualitative and qualatative data at scale
  • Excellent verbal and non-verbal communication skills - provide an example of both
  • Show in an example how your team has strong team-work skills
  • Experience of providing instruction and documentation to enable learning
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience with User Research
  • Experience with data around conflict, disaster or emergencies
  • Experience of working with government or development agencies
  • Demonstrable experience of working in an agile environment
  • Experience with data science, especially natural language processing
  • The proposed approach and methodology
  • Team structure

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
3
Proposal criteria
  • Approach and methodology
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs
  • How they’ve identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them
  • Team structure
  • Value for money
  • Estimated timeframes to delivery
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

75%

Cultural fit

5%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Who’s in the incumbent and how long they have been the incumbent?
There is no incumbent.
2. Who's on the panel?
Panel is to be confirmed.
3. Can you share a technical scope of work? The project timeline seems to indicate that the scope of work is mainly systems integration.
The datasets already exist and are integrated using PowerBI. What is needed is to draw out new insights from these data sets focussing on Covid. The datasets are updated regularly and pull in data from across government
4. We assume that cloud computing costs are excluded from the price. please confirm
The data is already hosted internally so there shouldn't be existing cloud computing requirements.
5. What tools and environments are currently used?
PowerBI, spreadsheets
6. Is PowerBI integration part of the scope of work?
The datasets already exist and are integrated using PowerBI. What is needed is to draw out new insights from these data sets focussing on Covid. The datasets are updated regularly and pull in data from across government
7. Is the feature "Search of their existing data sets" expected to build exclusively developed in Power BI?
This is the current platform being used, so the expectation is that the work would build additonal features using that platform that would specfiically be pulling out Covid-19 insights
8. Are new datasets expected to be collected as part of the this project scope?
No
9. What is the optimal size for a project team for this contract?
We wouldn't necessarily want to dicate this, the size would depend on the expertise of those on the team.
10. One of the question either has a typo or is not making sense and references 'qualatative' – Show in an example at least 5 years experience of interrogating qualitative and qualatative data at scale. Please advise as to what is mean here..
Quantitative, it is a typo
11. Will you support obtaining SC clearance or will only consider applications with existing SC clearance?
Only consider due to timeframe
12. What security levels need to be set for the data set?
SC
13. a. How many staff from the winning bidder would you expect to be working on the project?
We wouldn't necessarily want to dicate this, the size would depend on the expertise of those on the team.
14. c. How many different end user groups are their likely to be, internal, external public etc. ?
Mainly 3:
- analysts within the team using the data daily
- decision makers around programme funding
- senior managers
15. d. Are there any specific data connectors, or data warehousing, or other solutions outside Power BI that will require to be built (eg an Embedded Portal)?
Not at this point in time
16. Is there a particular reason why Power BI cannot be used in this use case, and will any new system be required to integrate with PowerBI?
The assumption is that PowerBI will continue to be used, but new dashboards/insights around Covid-19 need to be added/generated.
17. For the question which asks about 5 years’ experience of interrogating qualitative and qualitative data, our analytics solutions generally take much less than 5 years to deliver and are then handed over to a client to operate ongoing. Please may you clarify if you require evidence of 5+ years of delivery in this area to a range of clients, or for one client specifically, and for one engagement, or multiple engagements? Alternatively, are you asking that our team members undertaking the work have more than 5 years’ experience.
5+ years experience in general, so it can be over a variety of projects.
18. Please can you confirm which Language is currently being used? (i.e. Python/R)
It's all done through PowerBI
19. You mention "evidence of interrogating qualitative and qualatative data". Do you mean quantitative and qualitative data?
Yes
20. From our read of the requirement, this is a data mining, data wrangling requirement. So the question arises, are you looking for industry standard tools that are out there for this type of work, or are you expecting a response that continues to use Power BI? By which we mean, do you want software and services to complement Power BI, or just a service base solution to use Power BI?
I think at this stage, we'd expect it to be managed through PowerBI, but are open to other ideas.
21. Are any of the GDS existing suppliers responding to this request. How do intend to keep this competition fair when existing suppliers will have an advantage through their relationships?
The team managing this contract have no current supplier contracts. So other GDS suppliers may apply, but the team involved have no existing relationships.
22. CORRECTION-
Can you share a technical scope of work? The project timeline seems to indicate that the scope of work is mainly systems integration.
Some datasets already exist and are integrated using PowerBI. These are updated regularly and pull in data from external sources. However the majority of data exists in individual documents/emails that are manually extracted and parsed by the team, before being turned into information products. What is needed is to automate these workflows and dataset compilation, and to draw out new insights from these data sets focussing on Covid.
23. CORRECTION-
Is PowerBI integration part of the scope of work?
Some datasets already exist and are integrated using PowerBI. These are updated regularly and pull in data from external sources. However the majority of data exists in individual documents/emails that are manually extracted and parsed by the team, before being turned into information products. What is needed is to automate these workflows and dataset compilation, and to draw out new insights from these data sets focussing on Covid.
24. CORRECTION-
How many data sets currently exist?
One consistent formatted dataset (accessible via API) and approximately 10 unstructured, more text led unstructured data sources
25. CORRECTION-
Are new datasets expected to be collected as part of the this project scope?
Yes, but will need to work out what those are
26. CORRECTION-
What are the database platforms and technologies used to host the existing data sets?
Much of the data is held within emails, excel or stored on sharepoint, onedrive or teams (no overall consistent datastore)
27. CORRECTION-
What security levels need to be set for the data set?
SC - data is official sensitive
28. CORRECTION-
c. How many different end user groups are their likely to be, internal, external public etc. ?
Mainly 4:
- analysts within the team using the data daily
- advisors in country/HMG
- decision makers around programme funding
- senior managers and officials
29. CORRECTION-
From our read of the requirement, this is a data mining, data wrangling requirement. So the question arises, are you looking for industry standard tools that are out there for this type of work, or are you expecting a response that continues to use Power BI? By which we mean, do you want software and services to complement Power BI, or just a service base solution to use Power BI?
I think at this stage, we'd expect it to be managed through PowerBI, but are open to other ideas. Whatever solution needs to align with existing government technology standards: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/technology-code-of-practice/technology-code-of-practice
30. Are any of the GDS existing suppliers responding to this request. How do intend to keep this competition fair when existing suppliers will have an advantage through their relationships?
The team managing this contract have no current supplier contracts. So other GDS suppliers may apply, but the team involved have no existing relationships.
31. Please can you provide an indication as to the number of dashboards required, the types of datasets involved (number, size, complexity), and the types of analysis that may be required on the data.
The number of dashboards that are needed will be limited, what will be the greater challenge is making more useful data pipelines/knowledge management that will feed into those dashboards and be able to distribute to different audiences. It is heavily text based and unstructured.
32. What format are the existing data sets in?
Word, email, powerpoint, PDF, Excel, API data (structured)
33. How often is the data refreshed?
Ranges from weekly to monthly, depending on source
34. Where are the existing data sets stored?
Much of the data is held within emails, excel or stored on sharepoint, onedrive or teams (no overall consistent datastore)
35. How large are the existing data sets?
Unknown, files and data is largely unstructured and in multiple locations
36. How many users need to access the data sets?
Approximately 20 people
37. What format would the information be sent out across the government? (E.g. charts, reports, interactive dashboards, tables, pdf, email)
Largely it is currently distributed by email (PDF, Powerpoint) but very interested in other suggestions (online dashboards, etc).
38. What are the challenges of using the current PowerBI solution
Currently only have the web platform (no PowerBI pro), there isn't a lot of knowledge to get the best out of the platform at the moment. Performance via the web platform is slow. Currently investigating to get PowerBI pro to overcome current limitations.
39. We note that the final two bullet points in the skills and experience section ask us to provide evidence for ‘The proposed approach and methodology’ and ‘Team structure’. Given the DOS guidance at this stage asks us to provide past case study examples of our work that evidence the required skills and capability, please may I ask what sort of information you would be looking for in response to these two evidence points so we may respond correctly?
We advise that you elaborate on your team structure/set up and what methodology you propose to meet the published requirements. For example, giving examples of past projects which you've used the same methdology or team make structure (or why you think the proposed structure/team set up would work if you haven't done a similar project before)
40. Security (from a data access and remote working perspective)a. How secure/sensitive is the data to be collected, eg line by line medical records or publicly available datasets?
Data/text data is 'official sensative': its information that relates to current government analysis and policy. The data is around areas like conflict, Covid-19, serious organised crime, political situations abroad etc.
41. b. How secure will the end result analytics required to be?
It's already hosted on government platforms, so don't think security needs to be considerd as long as potential solutions use exsiting architecture and platforms. If as part of your solution you want to advocate a different platform, you would have to propose in your bid how you would approach security.
42. Natural Language Processing- a. What are the proposed data sources, in terms of size, frequency and format (Print, voice, video)?
Much of the data is held within emails, excel or stored on sharepoint, onedrive or teams (no overall consistent datastore). New additions are made weekly/monthly depending on the source.
43. b. Does the NLP refer to Power Bi Q+A as well as data in-gestation?
Both
44. c. Is NLP language generation to be included?
We don't expect this to be the case.
45. Proposed COVID Project- a. What are the types of data proposed to be used for COVID reporting eg structured datasets, news reports etc.?
Much of the data is held within emails, excel or stored on sharepoint, onedrive or teams (no overall consistent datastore)
46. b. How many Reports/Dashboards are expected to be built (ROM)?
The number of dashboards that are needed will be limited, what will be the greater challenge is making more useful data pipelines/knowledge management that will feed into those dashboards and be able to distribute to different audiences. It is heavily text based and unstructured.
47. Current Data sources
a. What are the current data sources for C+S and how are they collected (API, Screen scrape, download from web, spreadsheet submission etc)
b. Are there specialist tools employed eg Capita's Monatair which monitors social media?
c. What is the current data storage estate, is it structured, unstructured and will both be required?
d. How much of the C+S data warehouse is currently visualised via the existing Power Bi estate? (A small proportion or all of it is available?)
"a: Much of the data is held within emails, excel or stored on sharepoint, onedrive or teams (no overall consistent datastore). New additions are made weekly/monthly depending on the source.
b: some data sources are driven by specialist tools (eg social media monitoring), but aren't in widespread use (but this could be explored)
c: as above
d: a small proprotion (api data set)"
48. "Current Power Bi Estate:
a. How many report Authors/Creators?
b. How many content consumers?
c. How many Gateways, Reports, Dashboard and Apps?
d. Do you have Premium or Embedded licencing, if so which?
e. Do you use Row Level Security to restrict access?"
"A: 10
B: Estimate 500-1000 (but unknown), it's shared cross-government
C: Gateways (0) Reports (1), Dashboard (1), Apps (0)
D: Currently only have the web platform (no PowerBI pro), there isn't a lot of knowledge about the platform at the moment. Currently investigating to get PowerBI pro to overcome current limitations.
E: Unknown, probably not (see related answer about capability)"
49. "Current Power Bi Estate:
f. How many of the consumers are outside the main tenant and are ""Guest"" users
g. What proportion of the data collected for conflict and security is visualised and accessible via Power BI?
h. Do you use Power BI service to share the current estate or do you use On-Premis Power Bi Reporting Server?
i. Can you share examples of the current (C+S) dashboards/Reports to gauge the depth of analysis required."
"F: Unknown (but probably majority)
G: 1 (api data set)
H: It is the webversion, data is used to create powerpoint/pdf reports that are circulated
I: No"
50. "Please clarify whether the following should be answered under 'Nice-to-have skills and experience':

The proposed approach and methodology
Team structure"
Yes, they are under nice to have.
51. Please can you confirm if the data, in scope, is all in English or multi-lingual.
Majority English, with a very small amount that is multilingual (futureproofing to be multilingual in the future would be useful).
52. Do the existing data sources include external data feeds/datasets? If so, is the development of data pipelines/ingestion from external data sources part of the scope of work?
There is one external dataset (ACLED: https://acleddata.com/#/dashboard)
53. We understand that the work will use existing data sets. Will you also be looking to capture new datasets?
Yes
54. Please can you provide further information on the volume of data being processed?
It is difficult to estimate, due to the wide variety of formats and it being largely text based
55. Please can you provide further information on the outcomes this work is looking to drive for CSSF?
"Immediate term: increase the speed at which large volumes of complex information (eg conflict dynamics and impact of covid) can be sythesised for decision makers
Longer term: Provide baseline for understanding wider data use and sythensis across HMG "
56. Given the international context will all data sets be in English?
Majority English, with a very small amount that is multilingual (futureproofing to be multilingual in the future would be useful).
57. Does the budget include VAT?
Yes, the total budget inludes