Financial Conduct Authority

Data Science Capability

Incomplete applications

12
Incomplete applications
9 SME, 3 large

Completed applications

11
Completed applications
5 SME, 6 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Tuesday 1 August 2017
Deadline for asking questions Tuesday 8 August 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Tuesday 15 August 2017 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Overview
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work A team of Junior data scientists are required to support the FCA in delivering Analytics capability across the organisation through a variety of projects
Latest start date Friday 22 September 2017
Expected contract length 6 months
Location London
Organisation the work is for Financial Conduct Authority
Budget range circa £100,000 (incl VAT) other 6 months

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done As part of our Data Strategy The Financial Conduct Authority is increasing it's advanced analytics capability.

The FCA is seeking to grow its Advanced analytics and data science capability to take on multiple projects across the organisation
Problem to be solved Projects:
- improve operational efficiency and process automation,
- enhance understanding of firms and markets,
- better risk identification (through exploitation of varied data sets and analytics techniques).

Using:
- aritifical intelligence,
- text analysis techniques,
- unsupervised machine learning and clustering techniques,
- natural language processing tools, extracting & collating key information

Outcomes:
- Complete 3-4 Analytics projects
- Build credibility & demonstrate value of analytics to FCA stakeholders (outputs & communication skills)
- Integrate resources to work effectively as the FCA Analytics team under FCA performance management
- Provide key technical skills including ability to upskill project resources
Who the users are and what they need to do The Analytics Hub will lead the development of organisation-wide capability to support a more analytics-led regulatory approach.

Data is at the heart of the FCA's approach to regulation. The Analytics Hub will support users from across the FCA, in a variety of different divisions.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team The Analytics Hub is a relatively new team, it is comprised of a mixture of:
- FCA Resource,
- External Academics
- Secondees, and
- Third party suppliers.
Current phase Not applicable

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place 25 The North Colonnade
Canary Wharf
London
E14 5HS
Working arrangements The supplier will be expected to work onsite at our London offices
Security clearance Standard FCA Security checks and confidentiality agreement - short SLA

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
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.

Skills and experience
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Essential skills and experience
  • All project resource must have experience and/or Accredited training in R or Python
  • All project resource must have experience and/or Accredited training in SQL
  • All project resource must have experience and/or Accredited training in VBA
  • All project resource must have experience and/or Accredited training in Graphing (e.g. Neo 4)
  • All project resource must have experience and/or Accredited training in Visualisation, Spotfire or Tableau
  • All project resource must have experience and/or Accredited training in working with large data sets
  • All project resource must have experience and/or Accredited training in data science supervised methods (e.g. stepwise, forward stagewise, LASSO, random forest, support vector machine, bagging etc)
  • All project resource must have experience and/or Accredited training in data science unsupervised methods (e.g. clustering techniques, k-nearest-neighbour)
  • All project resource must have experience and/or Accredited training in communication skills
  • All project resource must have experience and/or Accredited training in presentation skills
  • The supplier must have experience in fully integrating data science consultants into an existing client team
  • The supplier must provide ongoing training and development for all project resources which is re-active to specific project needs
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 5
Proposal criteria
  • Technical skills and experience
  • Value for money
  • Team structure
Cultural fit criteria
  • The supplier should have proven experience integrating consultants into an existing team
  • The supplier should have a strong record on staff diversity
  • The FCA are looking for a consultancy who can supply staff with a positive attitude, independence and a desire to innovate and make a difference
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

10%

Price

30%

Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Could you please clarify if the desire is to buy a team of people from a supplier to support a number of projects, or if it's to buy specific projects/POC's/pilots from a supplier that build capability in your team throughout delivery? The FCA is looking to secure the services of a team of data scientists to support the delivery of a variety of projects alongside the existing FCA team, ideally the supplier team would be able to up skill the existing FCA team.
2. How many data scientists would the FCA prefer in the Supply team? Is there a specific number of resources required? The FCA would prefer 2 resources
3. What sort of data will be analysed as part of the data science project? Financial transactions? Risk Data? Market Data? Institutional Data? We are looking to buy data scientists who will work on a variety of projects this will include a full range of FCA data regulatory (market, institutional etc) and internal operational data
4. Does the FCA have direct access to the data for the projects required or will data acquisition / ingest be part of the required project activities? Acquisition and ingest will not be required
5. What is the composition (skills / levels / numbers of people) and experience of the existing FCA data science team? The FCA is looking for relatively junior resource (~2) but those with the data science skills listed, we are not seeking management expertise
6. What are the sources of and formats of the datasets being proposed for these projects and those that the Analytics Hub team is already working with? Data will come in a variety of sources and formats – as we are buying resources able to support a variety of projects which are only in preliminary phase therefore it is not appropriate to be more specific at this stage.
7. Some of our team have particular strengths in the skills listed - does each team member have to have a balance of all the skills listed or can these be spread across the contractor's team? We would expect all team members to have a working level in all skills – however certain specialisms are acceptable to a degree
8. What are the expectations for ‘on-going training and development’ throughout the course of the contract period? Are there specific projects on the horizon that will require different skill sets? There is not currently a specific project identified which requires a different skillset. However, in the course of an analytics project we may uncover the need for a particular skill. We expect the vendor to demonstrate a continuous development / training program for their staff which will help to meet changing need and remain up to date with emerging trends and techniques (within reasonable expectations)
9. One of the requirements is to help with up skilling the FCA team could you provide some background on the skillsets of the existing FCA team? We have 4 data scientists who will form part of the Analytics Hub team, these data scientists are relatively experienced and will not require training. The up skilling element relates to the wider analyst community and explanations around the methodologies and approaches being used in order to contribute towards a programme to involve our wider specialist analysts in Analytic Hub projects over time. The Supplier team joining the FCA will not have to deliver any specific training but will be required to engage with the wider FCA audience and explain techniques being used in both the work and elsewhere.
10. The requirement asks for ‘junior data scientists’ but what are you defining as ‘junior’? We do not need a team of people who are going to manage projects and set strategic direction. We are looking for individuals with relatively good, strong core data science skills who will slot into a wider team including more experienced data scientists and management oversight. We are not looking for management overhead as part of any bid, simply core data science skills rather than management capability to wrap around that.
11. This opportunity is being issued under the Digital Outcomes framework where normally buyers ask Suppliers to commit to a result/deliverable. Obviously there is a requirement to provide data scientists who can integrate into a team, but you also mention 3-4 different projects. Can you tell us the level of commitment required there given that the supplied individuals will be integrating with a more senior team who will be leading these projects? There is a shared responsibility to deliver these projects; we wanted to give Suppliers a sense of the scope and size of the workload facing the Analytics Hub rather than to say that they will be responsible for the delivery of a specific project or outcome.
12. Can you tell us more about the size of the team you are looking for? We are looking for approximately two individuals as a rough guide. We are looking for approximately two individuals as a rough guide.
13. Is it the FCAs expectation that the supplied individuals will drive the various projects alongside the FCA team? The pipeline and selection of projects will be managed by the FCA, the FCA will then allocate resources to the different projects. Typically they will be partnering up with one of the FCA data scientists who will also be working on the project but we do expect that these individuals are self-motivated. Whilst they will work with the FCA to identify the problem within a specific project they will then be expected to determine what models they wish to apply, what kind of tools they could use, to look at the data available and determine the viability of the project.
14. Is the wide range of skills required of the individuals reflective of the need for a small team with a high degree of flexibility to manage a number of projects requiring different skills? Yes.
The FCA is looking to deliver short, focused pieces of work which would be scoped by the FCA team and then the supplied individuals will be expected to be self-motivated and self-starters to get on with the heavy lifting of the analysis work itself.
15. You mention specifically the Visualisation tools of Spotfire or Tableau, would the FCA be open to other visualisation tools as well? The tools mentioned are the ones currently available for visualisation within the FCA and we expect anyone put forward for this work to be able to use these.
16. Do you have a view regarding the types of data you expect to be analysed, for example will it be transactional data, risk data, market data etc? It’ll be a variety of data across the projects but primarily with a regulatory focus, so likely to be the sort of institutional data we collect from firms and other institutions, market and transaction data which we collect then using this to create new ways of using this to maximise the benefits we get from that data. It is also likely to involve internal data and there may be projects focusing on more operational aspects and looking at the relationships between; for example the relationship between regulatory data and activity taken by the FCA, etc.
17. Is the FCA looking for individuals with a regulatory background or is the FCA open to individuals from other backgrounds, for example healthcare or life science backgrounds? The FCA is not specifically requesting financial services or regulatory backgrounds and views these as a nice to have but we consider it more important that the individuals have the core data science skills listed given there transferrable nature.
18. Can you tell us about the FCA storage and compute facilities, is that all on premise or is it hybrid, or on cloud? The FCA has a cloud data platform on amazon web services which will be used by the Analytics Hub team.
19. Given that the storage and compute facilities are cloud based, is the requirement for individuals to work on site to ensure they embed into the team and communicate well with the wider organisation or are there other reasons? Given that the storage and compute facilities are cloud based, is the requirement for individuals to work on site to ensure they embed into the team and communicate well with the wider organisation or are there other reasons? Without getting into the technical architecture of the platform, the FCA believes it does not have an open connection and therefore requires individuals to be on site in order to access it. However, it is important that the supplied team is able to integrate quickly and engage with multiple stakeholders within the FCA which is facilitated by being on-site.
20. The requirements state the need for individuals to have security clearance; can you provide some more information on that? The requirements state the need for individuals to have security clearance; can you provide some more information on that? The FCA conducts a standard security check, contractors are issued a form to complete and return to the Contract manager and our on-boarding team have a three day turn around for completion once these completed forms are received. The supplier is not expected to complete this on behalf of the FCA.
21. Can you explain a little about the process for selecting your chosen supplier? The first stage will ensure suppliers have the required skills and can start when specified. Up to 6 suppliers will progress to stage 2. 1st stage submissions must be returned by 15 August. You’ll be notified, if selected for Stage 2 by 17th August. You’ll have 3 days to submit your written proposal from which we’ll select a final supplier. Written proposals should be a summary of your proposed team, a Work History showcasing their skills and experience, any similar projects they have worked on previously and up to two references. Written proposals must be returned by 4pm, 22nd August.
22. To be clear, your requirements state the following are required; presentation, case studies, work history, and references – are you saying that the case studies and presentation are no longer required? Yes, given the tight turnaround for return of the written proposals, only an overview of the team, their skills and experience, work history, references and costing need to be returned for Stage 2 assessment.
23. Is it fair to assume the data sets will include external and internal data, i.e. 3rd party data? The FCA regularly uses 3rd party data for analytics work and yes it is likely to be a feature of some of these projects.
24. Given the large data sets and range of potential analytic models to be used are you expecting the proposed team to be experts in particular types of models? There are no specific data models we are expecting team members to be expert in, given the range of projects we are looking for people with an expert general knowledge of data science and the flexibility to work with a variety of techniques.
25. Do you have a clear start date for the resources once a successful supplier has been identified? The latest start date we’ve given is 22nd September, although we are looking for the team to start as soon as possible.
26. There is no mention of methodology within the requirement, is there a specific methodology the FCA works to, for example agile? The data science team has not adopted a formal agile methodology approach although they do work to a similar manner as agile.
27. Will the supplied team be supported by data architects and/or data engineers within the Analytic Hub team? The FCA is not looking for these roles to be included within the supplied team. We have a close relationship with our data engineering function and are not looking to recruit these types of roles within this exercise.
28. Are you looking for a capped time and materials price? Yes
29. As part of the assessment will you be looking to interview the resources we propose? We will not be interviewing candidates as part of the formal assessment but do expect to meet with them prior to contract commencement.
30. Are we correct in assuming you are creating a new resource within your organisation and this contract is an initial start of a service which could be extended into a longer term project? Or do you see this s a one-off requirement? This is a new requirement for the FCA and may lead to a longer term commitment but at this stage it is specifically a 6 month appointment.
31. Can you explain what you expect to see within the Written Proposal element? Written proposals (WP) = Technical Competence (TC) 60%, Cultural Fit (CF) 10% & Price (P) 30%.
TC:
• summary of your proposed team (both structure & individuals),
• work history showcasing skills & experience (together & individually),
• up to two reference contacts,
• how your proposal offers value for money.
CF:
• your experience of integrating consultants into an existing team,
• evidencing a strong record on staff diversity,
• the team proposed have a positive attitude, capable of innovation and will affect change.
P:
• detailed breakdown of your costs.
The highest scoring WP is awarded the Contract.
32. As part of the proposal will you be looking for profiles to be submitted from specific individuals, i.e.: specific consultant CVs? Yes , the FCA expects CVs of proposed team members as part of the written proposal - as a way of demonstrating that these staff have the necessary skills