This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Tuesday 10 May 2022
Homes England - Digital Directorate - Data

Homes England - Becoming Data Driven

7 Incomplete applications

5 SME, 2 large

25 Completed applications

12 SME, 13 large

Important dates

Published
Tuesday 26 April 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 3 May 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 10 May 2022 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
Homes England requires support to continue its journey to becoming data driven by supporting the automation of our Business Intelligence and Data Analytics capability utilising our new live Azure Data Platform.
Latest start date
Sunday 31 July 2022
Expected contract length
12 months, with possible 12-month extension
Location
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Homes England - Digital Directorate - Data
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
Homes England (HE) has made a significant commitment to transform, it is clear that data is a key enabler in driving these changes.

HE is currently not set up to achieve this given (i) inherited legacy services and systems, that are not fit for purpose (ii) it is a legacy organisation focused on siloed programmes and (iii) it lacks basic digital capabilities.

HE is an agency with low data maturity. Data is not recognised as the significant asset in the way it should be, data accuracy is not sufficiently valued, and consequently it is not governed or managed effectively

Over the past 12 months HE has embarked on the first stage of its transformation into a Data Driven organisation. We have made significant progress including:

• Establishing HE’s first ever Data Strategy
• Setting out HE’s first ever set of Data Standards
• Working with partners to build the infrastructure of HE Data Platform in Microsoft Azure
• Rolling out Power BI as the agency’s tool of choice for Business Intelligence and Data Visualisation

We need to build on these capabilities, help retire legacy data platform technologies and provide significant more automation to our Business Intelligence and Data Analytics.
Problem to be solved
Currently the way the organisation produces Business Intelligence and Data Analysis relies on a number of legacy processes, procedures and technologies. This results in a number of problems:
• Manual effort – it takes significant manual effort to produce reports and BI, bringing together multiple sources of data in excel
• Multiple Failure points – because of the manual effort there are multiple points in the process where errors can creep – reducing confidence in the quality of the reporting
• Timeliness of reports – because reports have to run at a “point in time” and often take significant time to pull together – the reports are often out of date, meaning decisions are not being made on the latest information
• Data Security - Data is taken out of core systems and stored on local drives and SharePoint. Increasing risk of data loss.
We have developed and commissioned a new Data Platform that deals with many of these risks, however we do not have the capacity to migrate all the existing reports to a new platform.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Multiple users including:

As an Executive Director – I need to access up to date reports and analytics covering by Directorate - so they can make strategic decisions based on the latest evidence

As an Operational Leads - I need to access up to date reports and analytics so I can make operation decisions based on the latest insight.

As Director for Data - I need to be able to ensure that data in the platform and wider capabilities is accessed in the right way to maintain data security and governance.

As a Data Analysts within a service team is need to be able to access pre public data models and Power BI datasets so that I can build analytics, business intelligence and understand key business areas.

As Data Engineer I need to be able access the data platform easily identifying key data models and data within the platform
Early market engagement
N/A
Any work that’s already been done
We spent a significant amount of time designing and developing a new platform, and we have proved the capabilities in producing automated business intelligence.

We have an “in production” Data Platform utilising Microsoft Azure components, Databricks and Power BI. The architecture follows a “Data Lakehouse” pattern – surfacing domain Business Data Models for key use cases with Azure SQL databases and Data Bricks Delta Lake. We have produced automated BI in Power BI from the platform for 3 service areas. And designed a service and capability matrix around this platform. Architecture diagrams are available on request.
Existing team
We are looking at adopting a blended project team approach – bring together resources from the successful bidder and existing staff within the established Digital Data Team. This includes:

- Delivery Manager
- Product Manager
- Head of Data
- Lead Data Architect
- Lead Data Engineer
- Senior Data Engineer
- Senior Data Analysts
- Business Data Analyst SMEs
- Other resources to be confirmed
Current phase
Alpha

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
None. Fully remote although visit could be arranged to Home England offices in London, Coventry, Liverpool and Newcastle if face-to-face meetings are desirable.
Working arrangements
Work should follow GDS Agile framework and organised as fortnightly sprints.
Work will be remote.
Homes England will provide laptops and accounts on our MS365 tenancy.
Security clearance
Minimum BPSS is expected for staff working on the project.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Standard Framework and Call Off Terms and Conditions subject to the changes and special terms inserted in the order form and schedules. Any expenses shall be submitted in line with Homes England standard T&S policy. We will not consider any further amendments from the supplier. Please confirm your acceptance of the order form and schedules plus special terms and amendments to call off terms. If you are unwilling to accept the order from as drafted, you will be excluded from the selection and award processes.

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
  • Microsoft ‘gold’ Partner status for Data Analytics
  • Microsoft ‘gold’ Partner status for Data Platform
  • Demonstrate experience of delivering data platforms for UK Public Sector or equivalent
  • Demonstrate experience of working with Databricks
  • Demonstrate experience of working on complex Data Science projects
  • Demonstrate experience of translating existing data products in technology such as SAP BI to the right capabilities in Microsoft Azure
  • Demonstrate experience of utilising Power BI with Microsoft Azure as an enterprise Business Intelligence capability
  • Demonstrate strong data modelling capabilities in Microsoft Azure, Databricks and Power BI
  • Demonstrate first class data visualisation skills aligned to key user needs
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Working with wider Power Platform tools such as Power Apps and Power Automate
  • Experience of AI
  • Linking with Microsoft Dataverse and Dynamics

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
3
Proposal criteria
  • Technical knowledge and experience
  • How the approach or solution meets our goals and user needs
  • Team Experience
  • Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • - Put User needs first
  • - Work in the Open
  • - Adopt Agile approach
  • - Work as a truly collaborative team with existing Homes England staff
  • - Take responsibility for their work
Payment approach
Time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

10%

Price

30%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Who is the incumbent supplier working on this project?
There is no incumbent supplier.
2. Can you please confirm who carried out the Alpha Phase?
BJSS delivered the Data Platform for specified Use Cases. This is now supported & further developed by the HE Data team.
3. Could you share the reasons that Homes England select a code heavy tool with a higher learning curve for users, such as Azure Databricks for its production data platform instead of Azure Data Factory?
Homes England also uses Azure Data Factory.
4. Was the Discovery completed by Homes England staff or was this carried out by a partner?
Discover work is underway and is being carried out by Homes England staff.
5. What is your expected budget?

Could you please share the budget that you have assigned for the first 12 months of this project.
I can confirm Homes England has budgetary approval to proceed however we are not disclosing the budget in this instance.

We are looking to pay a fair rate for this piece of work that will be informed by the markets response to our requirement.
6. Following submission of stage 1 responses on 10th May, please could you share an indicative procurement timeline for the proposal stage, presentations and contract award notification?
We hope to complete the shortlisting in 2 weeks then will issue the ITT to the 3 selected suppliers for a 2 week period. We then hope to evaluate the proposals within a further 2 week period.
7. Regarding the requirement to hold Microsoft ‘gold’ Partner status for Data Analytics and Data Platforms – due to our audit relationship with Microsoft we are prevented from holding Gold partner status. However we can provide formal paperwork to evidence we have the equivalent/requisite Gold competencies. Would this be accepted as meeting the essential Gold partner status requirements?
Yes this is acceptable.
8. For the two Microsoft Gold Partner questions (Data Analytics, Data Platform), what would you like suppliers to respond with beyond confirmation of their status?
At this stage please just confirm status.
9. In response to the first two essential skills and experience questions, are you just looking for yes or no confirmation of our partner status or further context/relevant experience?
We are looking for suppliers to confirm 'yes' or 'no' as to their Gold partner status but for skills and experience where it says ‘demonstrate’ we would like brief examples of experience.
10. Please confirm if the following two questions require a ‘yes’ answer or also an example. If an example is needed, please confirm what details the bidder should provide?
Q1- Microsoft ‘gold’ Partner status for Data Analytics
Q2- Microsoft ‘gold’ Partner status for Data Platform
Please provide a 'Yes' or 'No' at this stage.
11. To build upon the “Existing team” stated on the contract notice, what roles are you anticipating suppliers should provide?
Suppliers will need to decide on the skills required in the team to deliver the project, however the supplier will NOT need to provide the following, as they will be provided by HE in their own delivery team;

Product Manager (one for each project)
Business Analyst (1.5 BA’s across the 2 projects
Senior Data Engineer (for BI Automation) x1
There will be governance/consultancy type input from existing Data Team.
12. How will price be assessed (e.g. estimated price for delivery, rate card, combination of both)
Combination of both.
13. What additional information will be provided to stage 2 shortlisted suppliers to help them understand the work in more detail and prepare an appropriate proposal/pricing submission?
Yes, the stage 2 documents will not have character limits, and will allow Homes England to add attachments, and will therefor provide greater detail.
14. Given that the budget hasn’t been published, how can suppliers assure themselves that Homes England have provisioned sufficient budget for the size/scale of the work?
This is a commercial decision for each supplier to consider.
15. Your Digital Market Place listing states that “Architecture diagrams are available on request.” Can you share these diagrams please? Or will you be sharing at stage 2?
Please contact richard.browne@homesengland.gov.uk for a copy of the ARC diagram.
Please note any other queries must be raised via this system.
16. Are you content for suppliers to use private sector examples if they are relevant to the question being posed?
Yes; please provide whatever relevant experience you have that you feel is appropriate.
17. Is all of the required data [for the reports] already available in the your DaaS platform?
No, this needs to be agreed & pipelines provided to ingest the data.
18. Will the scores from the first round be carried forward and used as part of stage 2 assessment? Or will they only be used for the purposes of determining the shortlist for stage 2?
Scores will not be carried forward; the evaluation at this stage will be used for shortlisting only.
19. Are you content for suppliers to cite multiple examples against questions where showing breadth would best demonstrate relevant capabilities?
Yes, if you believe this would better demonstrate your capabilities within the available wordcounts.
20. It says that the work can be completed fully remote – does this mean fully remote within the UK, or would a combination of nearshore Europe and UK be acceptable?
Our internal security requirements require that this has to be UK based.
21. Can we get a copy of the Arc Diagram please?
Please contact richard.browne@homesengland.gov.uk for a copy of the ARC diagram.
Please note any other queries must be raised via this system.