This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Friday 10 August 2018
NHS Digital

DSC - Data Strategy

7 Incomplete applications

4 SME, 3 large

21 Completed applications

12 SME, 9 large

Important dates

Friday 27 July 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 3 August 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 10 August 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Delivery of a Data Strategy. The Strategy will focus on how alignment between business requirements and Data Strategy is achieved; how DSC can extract maximum value from Data assets; blueprints and design relating to development of Data Operating Models; Data Management and Assurance structure; Data Governance and Data Supply Chain.
Latest start date
Friday 7 September 2018
Expected contract length
12 Weeks
Yorkshire and the Humber
Organisation the work is for
NHS Digital
Budget range
£100k - £150k

About the work

Why the work is being done
NHS Digital is seeking an experienced supplier to develop and design a Data Strategy for the Data Security Centre within NHS Digital.

The Data Security Centre is undergoing a strategic transformation. As part of this it is the recipient and custodian of significant amounts of data and information. In order to maximise the business value or this information asset the DSC wants to ensure it has the appropriate and sustainable strategic underpinning of how best to manage, operate, govern, and utilise data to achieve maximised business outcomes.
Problem to be solved
The DSC is seeking to understand the most appropriate way to manage its Data Supply Chain, Govern and Manage its Data Assets, and structure its Operating Model with regards to the Data that it currently receives and will receive in the future. These capabilities will ensure the sustainable consumption and utilisation of Data within the DSC for the purposes of developing and running a Cyber Business Intelligence and Risk capability for the benefit of the NHS
Who the users are and what they need to do
The Data Security Centre newly established Business Intelligence function will be the users / beneficiaries of the work. This department will ultimately be responsible for running the Cyber Business Intelligence and Risk capability which will inform how the DSC best services the consumers of its services as well as provide a mechanism from which to identify new and emerging risks to the system
Early market engagement
Early engagement has taken place and the DSC has tested its Data Strategy assumptions and refined them accordingly. This has primarily resulted in the inclusion of a Data Operating Model requirement being added to the scope of work
Any work that’s already been done
No specific or dedicated work has been done to date.
Existing team
The team will consist of the Head of Innovation and Delivery, the Head of Business Intelligence, and a Project Manager. It is not foreseen that the selected organisation will be working with another supplier .
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Leeds and London
Working arrangements
Supplier to be primarily co-located with the DSC in order to support an agile delivery methodology. Expectation is to be on-site for at least three days a week. There is some flexibility available in this arrangement
Security clearance
Baseline Personal Security Standard for all Supplier Staff

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
NHS D Supplementary Terms

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
  • Experience delivering data strategy/planning in large scale programmes in complex data-rich organisations in public-sector or comparable private-sector (eg, multi-national financial services)
  • Experience of turning business problems into data design / strategy.
  • Experience of developing approaches to data supply chain; data management process; data governance structures; and data operating models as part of an overarching data strategy
  • Experience of communicating between technical and non-technical teams.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Ability to mobilise teams at speed (within 2 weeks of selection).
  • Experience of working with multiple departments and public sector organisations on a single project.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Shortlisted Suppliers will be asked to present on the following criteria:
  • Demonstrate your approach to the requirements of this SOW, and methodology you would use in order to deliver your Data Strategy.
  • Provide two examples of a successful Data Strategy project you have delivered; what worked well and what was the outcome?
  • Please describe the structure and roles for the team that will deliver the outcome in this SOW.
  • Presentations will be scheduled for week commencing 27th August 2018 in Leeds
Cultural fit criteria
  • Shortlisted Suppliers will be asked to present on the following criteria:
  • Describe your approach to working in large organisations to deliver Strategy; challenges overcome, and risks mitigated
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Can you confirm whether a data discovery exercise has been completed across the organisation to catalogue the current data footprint? If it has, can you detail who did this and how the discovery was conducted?
There is a data architecture project underway within the organisation that this data strategy will need to be informed by, and where relevant inform.
2. We are a supplier on the Digital Marketplace and are in discussions with another company to provide subcontracting as part of the opportunity. I understand based on clause 9.18.2 of the Framework Agreement that it is up to the buyer to agree on the use of subcontractors. If we were to be successful in terms of the technical, cultural and price assessment would DSC approve the use of a subcontractor?
Correct, the Call Off Contract allows for the use of sub-contractors, and this would not exclude a Supplier in principle. As part of the evaluation presentation, shortlisted suppliers will be asked about their proposed delivery of the project, and to detail the proposed structure of the team that you will be providing to deliver the Strategy, and we would expect you to provide details of any sub-contractors at that point. ("Please describe the structure and roles for the team that will deliver the outcome in this SOW")
3. When suppliers are asked to submit evidence, the following advice is given: "You should only provide one example for each essential or nice-to-have requirement (unless the buyer specifies otherwise)." Can we assume that using plural words such as 'programmes', that you would like more than one example if suppliers have them?
Yes please. Suppliers need only provide one example for each skills and experience requirement, unless where we have specifically asked for more than one example in the requirements.
4. Will scoring from the evidence stage be taken through to final evaluation scoring? As opposed to being used solely for the purpose of shortlisting.
No, scoring at Stage 1 is only to complete shortlisting, and will not be carried through to Stage 2.
5. In order to compare suppliers, how will price be evaluated?
For Stage 1, we are not requesting any pricing information.

Shortlisted suppliers will be asked to submit a pricing schedule as part of Stage 2. The lowest price will be awarded 100 marks for the question weighting and other bids will have one mark deducted for each percentage point by which the total exceeds that of the lowest.
6. Payment approach is stated as"Fixed Price", is it correct to assume that like other departments operating similar Discovery phases, that a time and materials approach within a capped budget is also possible?
No, NHSD is seeking to agree a Fixed Price for this outcome. We are happy to have discussions with the successful supplier about payment profile / milestones etc.
7. Whilst addresses where work will take place are "Leeds and London", is it correct to assume that Leeds is the prime location where work will take place?
Leeds is the prime location for workshops and interviews. There is desk space in London for working outside of Leeds based activities.
8. If the presentations are scheduled for week commencing 27th August, what is the expected proposal submission deadline for all suppliers who qualify beyond the initial closing date for applications?
Will will notify those suppliers who are shortlisted by 17th August, and they will be required to submit by 24th August.
We will aim to notify Shortlisted suppliers of the date/time of their Presentation on 17th August.
9. With respect the existing team (Head of Innovation and Delivery, the Head of Business Intelligence and Project Manager), will these roles be full time allocated to this project? If not to what degree will these roles be available to the project?
The Head of Innovation and the Head of Business Intelligence will be part time (~30%). The Project Manager will be full time.
10. Does NHS Digital expect to fulfil any other roles during Discovery, beyond Head of Innovation and Delivery, the Head of Business Intelligence and Project Manager?
If you mean to hire additional resources then there are no explicit plans at this stage. The strategy will inform the organisation requirements
11. Has NHS Digital identified which roles it wishes a supplier to provide, is so what are these roles?
No, it is for the supplier to determine which roles it will provide as part of its data strategy project team
12. With respect "Early engagement has taken place and the DSC has tested its Data Strategy assumptions and refined them accordingly", which external suppliers has NHS Digital worked with to refine thinking during this early engagement?
NHS Digital has worked with a number of external parties and partners to test its solution as well utilised internal subject matter specialists.
13. With respect "Early engagement has taken place and the DSC has tested its Data Strategy assumptions and refined them accordingly." Are NHS Digital aware that there has been a recent major shift in data technology, which changes the way you think about managing, operating, governing and utilising data (when compared to traditional methods)? If so, are there any government departments (who are already working with modern technologies and approaches) who NHS Digital have contacted to learn lessons from? If so, which are the other government departments that NHS Digital has learned lessons from?
The DSC welcomes any innovative thinking and approaches to developing its data strategy - including utilising bleeding edge approaches (as long as they are viable to our business need).

We work closely with a number of Government departments across a number of areas. We aren't able to disclose specifics at this stage. We expect the successful supplier to be able to leverage relevant and specific experience to shape and develop our data strategy and its underlying deliverables
14. Whilst the work is to deliver a data strategy, can you please describe any illustrative high level user needs or business cases, that NHS Digital consider that the data strategy could serve that might be considered high priority or high value?
1) Business Intelligence and Risk platform: the data strategy will provide underpinning for a user-centric platform that provides actionalble business intelligence to a variety of stakeholders - from policy through to technical
2) Needs around controlling quality, quantity, and veracity of data that is used to ultimately inform business decisions regarding to service improvement, enhancement, or identification of new services across the NHS and it's various sectors (i.e. Primary care, Secondary care)
3) Needs around demonstrating benefits realisation for cyber investments across the programme
4) Needs around ensuring that reporting via the BI&R platform is accurate, timely, and relevant
15. With respect "extract maximum value from Data assets; blueprints" do any blueprints already exist, is so can you please describe these at a high level?
Only limited blueprints exist currently. A high-level functional architecture and blueprint of the Business Intelligence and Risk Platform exists. This outlines key features and functions of the platform as well as how it relates to wider, inter-dependent parts of the DSC interact with it. The data strategy will ultimately inform and refine / shape that blueprint while providing other blueprints to support the manner in which the DSC utilises its data assets to achieve its objectives.
16. Will access to subject matter experts who understand the nature and purpose of current data assets be possible during the planned phase of work?
17. Will access to the data assets be possible from the first day that the supplier starts work? If not when will access to the data assets be possible?
Intention is the first day but this may not be possible for all assets. Within the first week or within five working days of the supplier asking for specific additional assets.
18. Can you please describe the different data assets in terms of 1) volume 2) variety (i.e. .CSV, relational database, unstructured data) 3) Velocity ( i.e. how often the data sources update, weekly batch, overnight, daily, hourly, near real-time, real time)?
1) ~260 onsite assessments; ~100 CE+ assessments; ~5 CQC assessment results; 2) CSV; structured data sets; unstructured data sets; 3) Mixture of daily, weekly, monthly, and ad-hoc..
The supplier is expected to recommend data structure types, frequency of updates etc. to meet the needs of the strategic objectives.
19. Can you please describe at a high level what the different data assets are?
This is not an exhaustive list: Risk management control framework; onsite assessments; DSPT returns; CE+ assessment results; SOC trend data (threats etc.); CareCERT Alerts; CQC Inspecition results etc.. The supplier will also identify additional data assets as required.
20. Can you please describe at a high level what the different data assets are?
Update to question 19:
This is not an exhaustive list: Risk management control framework; onsite assessments; DSPT returns; CE+ assessment results; SOC trend data (threats etc.); CareCERT Alerts; CQC Inspecition results etc.. The supplier will also identify additional data assets as required. They will also provide designs for processes to on-board and consume new data types and feeds that are not currently identified.
21. Can we ask what criteria NHS Digital will be using to judge whether an evidence answer 'exceeded' requirements and therefore scores full marks (3)?
Suppliers are asked to provide at least one example (unless otherwise specified) of how it meets the essential criteria. A good, relevant example of appropriate scale will score 2 (ie, the criteria is met). A score of 3 will be given where the response provides evidence of the ability to meet all of the requirements, but exceeds the question in some areas. The response will show a thorough understanding of the requirement and provide additional information / context with the example, such as providing detail about processes/procedures followed, successful outcomes, etc.
22. With respect the Additional Information section, could you please provide the "NHS D Supplementary Terms"?
Supporting information can be found on our Bravo portal by following the link and clicking on 'View our Live Opportunities' and then the project titled 'DSC Data Strategy'.

You will need to login to Bravo or register in order to be able to open the information contained in pre_84.

There you will find the Draft NHSD T&Cs