Department for Education

Skills Advisory Panels Data Tool: Discovery

Incomplete applications

Incomplete applications
10 SME, 1 large

Completed applications

Completed applications
15 SME, 2 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Monday 29 October 2018
Deadline for asking questions Monday 5 November 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Monday 12 November 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work The discovery phase should provide:

- clear understanding of users’ needs in terms of datasets and strategic questions needed to influence and

- clear prioritisation plan on which data/functionalities need to be incorporated into a first build of the solution and the ones we can possibly deliver at later stage.
Latest start date Monday 10 December 2018
Expected contract length 5 weeks for initial discovery
Location Yorkshire and the Humber
Organisation the work is for Department for Education
Budget range Up to £70,000

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done Skills Advisory Panels, delivering on a manifesto commitment are looking to build insight and evidence both nationally and locally of the skills system in relation to the labour market.

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and Mayoral Combined Authorities (MCAs) use a collection of over 100 labour market and skills datasets and statistics from DfE and a variety of other government departmental websites to conduct post-16 skills analysis.

The complexity of current datasets and statistics presents a gap in data accessibility and visibility as generates inefficiencies when local areas try to collect, disseminate, understand and communicate data and analysis about skill priorities.
Problem to be solved Skills Advisory Panels would like to refresh understanding of user’s and their needs and how they want to access data and statistics relevant to the skills sytem (labour market and skills).

We would like to discover how we can best make government data and statistics available to users and help tell clear stories leading to coherent evidence based decisions about the skills system through better use of data.

We want to improve the user pathway to publish data relating to the skills system (labour market and skills).

A new service would need to be available from March 2020.
Who the users are and what they need to do Example (not exclusive):

• As a LEP/MCA, I need to assess our local skills system in relation to the labour market to inform our skills agenda and be confident that I am making the right choices for our Local Industrial Strategy.

• As an Employer, I want to ensure I provide opportunities for high quality candidates and determine I'm providing the right level of training, so that I maintain and grow my workforce.

• As a Learning Provider, I need to ascertain whether I'm delivering the right courses, so that I can be confident my students will obtain employment.
Early market engagement N/A
Any work that’s already been done We have identified a gap in data accessibility and visibility which implicates analysts ascertaining skills data through SAPs feasibility study and DCMS/DWP data tool discovery phase.

However we require further discovery as within these projects only acknowledged a small, limited subset of those identified users and concentrated greater on their capability and use of data and statistics.
Existing team Service owner, Product manager/owner
Current phase Not started

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place Department for Education

The work can take place in any of the Department for Education offices in Yorkshire and Humber or the North East.

There is preference to co-location with the Product Manager/Subject Matter Experts in Sheffield or with the alternative Subject Matter Experts in Darlington.
Working arrangements a) We are looking for flexibility in the approach to completing this discovery (travel to other DfE locations will be required).

b) We will be working to Agile principles - i.e. regular stand ups, Show & Tells, Retrospectives

c) Necessary expenses will be paid in line with DfE standard policies
Security clearance None

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions N/A

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
  • Experience in delivering evidence-based research to inform a user-centred design, focus on user needs (including accessibility), end-to-end user journeys, motivations and goals.
  • Recent and demonstrable experience of designing and developing digital services that meet identified user needs and business objectives.
  • Recent and demonstrable experience in defining sets of functional and non-functional requirements and criteria that can be used to inform tool selection.
  • Expertise in identifying, designing and developing strategic alignments of technical architecture and design to meet clients’ business, digital and technology drivers and objectives; including Data Ingestion, Repository Design and Modelling.
  • In-depth experience developing the most appropriate solution/data/technical architecture to meet user’s requirements, fully integrating across different environments and technologies, implementing data target and transition architectures for transformation and operational projects.
  • Proven experience of defining data transformation and migration strategies and architecture for data collection and manipulation solutions.
  • Have experience of setting up and use of analytics to inform service development and iterative design of services
  • Experienced technical skills in analytical solutions including data visualisation supported by references of deliveries they have led or had significant involvement utilising BI Tools.
  • Recent demonstrable experience delivering discovery agile projects according to Government Digital Standards (GDS), including GDS Service Design Manual; the Digital Service Standard Assessment; Technology Code of Practice; wider industry standards.
  • Recent and demonstrable experience of managing and delivering discovery projects, meeting all requirements and successfully delivering outcomes within specified timescales.
  • Recent and demonstrable experience of working with in-house teams with limited agile experience and sharing knowledge to develop in-house team capability.
  • Can communicate effectively and capture and disseminate user journeys to engage and assist buy in from a wide set of users across government and externally (including senior level audiences).
  • Be agnostic of any particular digital ways and software, enabling us to consider a range of options to meet user needs.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrable evidence of working successfully with users in Local Enteprise Partnerships/Mayoral Combined Authorities, the school/education and employment/business landscape or within similar service contexts.
  • Demonstrable knowledge or experience of the skills and skills policy landscape.
  • Experience of developing design patterns and architecture routes that can be re-used for other services.
  • Demonstrable experience of managing and practively engaging internal stakeholders across multiple digital projects and building relationships to support wider digital transformation.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 3
Proposal criteria
  • Evidence that the proposed approach and methodology for discovery will successfully ascertain user needs and meet specififed objectives for the discovery.
  • Proposed plan of activities with clear deliverables and dates demonstrating the ability to complete the delivery of the discovery project within the required challenging timescales.
  • Proposed supplier team structure, with evidence to demonstrate a strong team and how their skillsand experience will deliver the required outcome.
  • Evidence that the supplier has an appreciation of the skills and skills policy landscape of this project and that the proposal is relevant to that context.
  • Identification of key options, assumptions, dependencies, risk and issues, with robust approaches to addressing them.
  • Evidence of how the proposal represents value for money for DfE.
  • Demonstration of appropriate approach to working with in-house teams with limited technical and agile expertise.
  • Proposed workable and flexible approach to co-location of the team within DfE.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate your approach to engaging with internal and wider government senior stakeholders undergoing cultural change and how this will support project success.
  • Demonstrate how you will work transparently, collaboratively and share your approach with the DfE Skills Advisory Panels project team and seek actionable feedback.
  • Experience in leading an agile team as well as to coach, mentor and upskill people in agile techniques and roles to build capability within existing teams.
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

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