Awarded to Unboxed Consulting Ltd

Start date: Monday 12 March 2018
Value: £53,940
Company size: SME
Hackney Council

Developing the minimum viable Business Index

2 Incomplete applications

1 SME, 1 large

9 Completed applications

7 SME, 2 large

Important dates

Wednesday 24 January 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 31 January 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 7 February 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Developing the minimum viable product of a Business Index, giving a single customer view of business transactions with the council.
Latest start date
Monday 19 February 2018
Expected contract length
3 months
Organisation the work is for
Hackney Council
Budget range
£60,000 - £70,000 excluding VAT

About the work

Why the work is being done
Businesses interact with many council services which typically are not connected, each seeing a dissonant and fragmented overview of businesses in the borough. We developed a prototype Business Index which ingests data from our major systems and reference datasets. The prototype exchanges data with Hackney’s LLPG as arbiter of trading names associated with premises. Data is periodically refreshed manually, producing a static ‘read only’ dataset for Qlik analytics. We need the Business Index to operate as a live dynamic master index, supplying “golden” records for real-time authentication of appropriate business transactions.
Problem to be solved
Businesses typically transact using more than one identifier, such as incorporated name, other trading name or names of owners or agents associated of the business. Such identities are not recorded consistently across our systems. Identifiers may be recorded separately or in some combination.
Transactions are currently handled individually by the council, fragmenting the experience for businesses and increasing inefficiency. A master dataset of businesses would facilitate the council pursuing a joined-up approach and authenticate appropriate transactions online.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a business owner/administrator, I needs to self-serve online to efficiently be in regulatory compliance.
As a compliance officer, I need to see the whole regulatory context for a business so that I can support their compliance.
As a digital service developer I need well-documented and fully functional REST APIs so i can simply build a digital service.
As a Master Data officer, I need the Business Index dataset updated efficiently and concurrently with the LLPG, so that I can focus on data quality.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
The Master Data team built data feeds from the council’s data warehouse, developed rules and transformations, matched businesses to company and address reference datasets.
It used open data from Companies House to identify the company registration number and link company information.
It used Hackney’s Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG) to identify and classify business premises and link Google Street View and the VOA.
This information is currently displayed in Qlik, enabling visualisation of multiple records against the same business.
Existing team
2 Master Data officers, with the cooperation of Council’s revenue and public realm services, under the direction of the council’s Business Relationship Delivery Group.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Hackney Service Centre, 1 Hillman Street, E8
Working arrangements
We would expect the supplier to be based onsite for the majority of the engagement in order to support collaborative working and knowledge sharing.
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
  • Provide a multi-disciplinary team, including user research, service design and front-end developer
  • Adopt user-centred design and Agile approaches, consistent with the govenrment’s service design manual
  • Have experience of designing a directory that consumes third party APIs and provides API endpoints
  • Be agnostic of any particular software, enabling us to consider a range of options to meet user needs
  • Share their work freely and openly with the Council and the wider community
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Be able to meet the Local Government Digital Service Standard
  • Experience of a similar project

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Understanding of user needs from the service
  • Clarity of the approach
  • Experience from an analogous project
  • Team structure, including skills, experiences and relevance of individuals
  • Identification of risks and plan to mitigate them
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Share knowledge and experience with team members and the wider service
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
Written proposal
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Are you open to use of a public cloud as the data platform moving forward?
We’d hope to use public cloud at the earliest opportunity.
2. Can this final output be accessed outside of Qlik View currently?
3. How up-to-date should the final dataset be?
Our Citizen Index is updated overnight. Business Index would be ideally updated each day, but currently a weekly update would be manageable.
4. “The Master Data team built data feeds from the council’s data warehouse, developed rules and transformations” 1. How were these transformations implemented and what is the format of their output?”
The rules are implemented using SQL and the transformations are configured in various lookup-tables. Business identifiers are mined and categorised from each dataset on a per-premises basis. The rules are broadly similar for all the datasets but are varied according to the data quality issues and entry practices of each source system. The end result is a single normalised dataset (SQL tables) comprising premises identifiers, business identifiers, categories and chronologies. This is further enriched by matching and ranking reference data and cross-matching outcomes across premises.
5. Could you please elaborate what work needs to be shared, and to which communities you are referring?
The work that we do would need to be shared under some form of Creative Commons or Open Government Licence where appropriate. This may be on a platform such as Github, or may be as simple as sharing key assets (eg on We do not have a particular community in mind.