Gas & Electricity Markets Authority (Ofgem)

Delivery Partner for Data Services

Incomplete applications

19
Incomplete applications
12 SME, 7 large

Completed applications

25
Completed applications
16 SME, 9 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Wednesday 1 May 2019
Deadline for asking questions Wednesday 8 May 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Wednesday 15 May 2019 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Overview
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work Ofgem require a highly skilled, collaborative supplier with experience in delivering cloud-based data platform, technical architecture design and external facing portals in line with the GDS Digital Service Standards to continue work and deliver the hub and exchange.
Latest start date Monday 3 June 2019
Expected contract length 9 months, with option to extend up to 2 years in total
Location London
Organisation the work is for Gas & Electricity Markets Authority (Ofgem)
Budget range We currently have a maximum budget ceiling of £2m, however, there is great pressure on Ofgem to minimise and reduce expenditure, so demonstration of continuous improvement, optimisation and savings targets will be highly considered against each evaluation criterion.

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done Ofgem must become capable of managing the growing volume/range of data available to enable effective regulation of the future UK energy market in a rapidly changing landscape.

Ofgem will use modern data management tools and governance approaches to improve data transparency, whilst reducing the data burden on industry. This will result insightful and robust exchanges with stakeholders and greater trust in regulatory data. Transparent, accessible data and methodologies will drive collaboration, innovation and accountability.

User research has identified the need to continue to embed the internal data hub, create data pipelines and deliver the data exchange to public beta.
Problem to be solved We need a delivery partner to continue development and delivery for the internal data hub and the external facing data exchange, as an integrated end to end data service. We need to continue user research and technical architecture design for the data service, embed the hub within Ofgem, and enable external adoption of the data exchange replacing other existing data transfer mechanisms.
Who the users are and what they need to do Internal users – use the data hub as a platform to gain insights into the data we hold as an organisation and use this to support policy decisions.
Other government departments – use the hub and the exchange to share data and gain better insights into the energy market
External data providers – use the exchange to securely exchange data with Ofgem and to have an audit trail when providing information to the organisation
Consumer bodies – to provide data to Ofgem and to understand what data Ofgem holds to gain better insights into the energy market
Early market engagement Not Applicable.
Any work that’s already been done User research, discovery, alpha and beta phases for both the hub and the exchange have been undertaken.

Drivers for changing our service
• Uncoordinated approach to data management
• Stakeholders increasingly innovating and managing their data in new ways
• Volume/range of industry data cannot be handled effectively
• Greater integration of energy industry data required

Benefits of delivering a collective vision
• Efficiency through automation: accuracy, speed, reduced errors
• Transparency through availability, accessibility and clarity
• New Insights through using powerful visualisation and analytic tools to access larger data sets
• Robust Security
Existing team Team leads – head of data, product owner and delivery manager
Business analysts *2
Data engineers *3
DevOps *1
Data business analysts *3
Junior analysts *2
Current phase Beta

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place Ofgem: 10 South Colonnade, Canary Wharf
Working arrangements The team are required to be co-located with the development team in London, Monday-Friday usual office hours. The project will follow the technology code of practice using agile methodology: daily stand-ups, sprint planning, sprints, demos, retrospectives, show and tells. The supplier will need to take a lead by being role models in agile ways of working, and invest time in knowledge sharing and coaching to increase the capability of the Ofgem development team.
Security clearance Confirmation that all staff working on site meet Baseline Personnel Security Standard clearance.

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions Ofgem shall have the right to terminate the Contract at any time, by giving 4 weeks written notice to the Supplier, and Ofgem’s liability thereto shall be for costs reasonably incurred by the Supplier up until the termination date. Suppliers must confirm acceptance of this term.

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
  • deliver digital services using a multidisciplinary agile team.
  • demonstrate experience of large scale IT development with a number of third party integration points
  • deliver digital services using agile approaches (as in GDS Service Manual), that meet GDS Service Standards
  • Demonstrate experience of carrying out user research with range of users to a high standard
  • Demonstrate experience of developing appropriate technical architecture and functional design for cloud based platforms and external facing interfaces
  • Demonstrate understanding of the data protection act and the requirements of a data owner
  • demonstrate experience of setting up and use of analytics to inform service development and iterative design of services
  • demonstrate experience of creating reporting and management information package to enable operational teams to manage effectively
  • collaborate with teams as they develop new operational processes to transition to a business as usual state
  • be willing to co-source with Ofgem and provide a flexible team that is able to ramp number of contractors up or down based on Ofgem’s requirements
  • demonstrate how continuous improvement, optimisation and savings have been achieved
Nice-to-have skills and experience demonstrate relevant energy market 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
  • Overall approach, methodology and estimated timeline – taking into account findings from discovery/alpha and further user research and testing
  • Identification of risks, dependencies, and offered approaches to manage them
  • Approach to our existing technical architecture
  • How the approach or solution will meet user needs, including assisted digital and accessible users;
  • Project team structure (with roles and responsibilities);
  • Team availability and responsiveness
  • Skills and experience of the team
  • Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate your approach to engaging with internal 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 project team and seek actionable feedback.
  • Demonstrate how you will take responsibility to challenge the status quo and stand up for your discipline whilst involving staff.
  • Evidence of working with a government or organisation
  • Evidence of working with clients with different levels of technical expertise
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

50%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

30%

Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Who did the Discovery and Alpha? Ofgem has partnered with Valtech to deliver the phases of work to date.
2. Could you pls share who did the Discovery and who the Alpha phase, pls? Ofgem has partnered with Valtech to deliver the phases of work to date.
3. Can you advise whether you have worked with outside suppliers on the delivery of work completed to date in relation to this project? Ofgem has partnered with Valtech to deliver the phases of work to date.
4. Is there an incumbent in place for this piece of work? Ofgem has partnered with Valtech to deliver the phases of work to date.
5. Is there an incumbent supplier(s), who was involved in the discovery, alpha and beta phase for the hub and the exchange ? Ofgem has partnered with Valtech to deliver the phases of work to date.
6. Will they [the incumbent] be bidding for the Beta stage? That is a commerical decision for Valtech
7. Will the incumbent provider be bidding for this work? That is a commercial decision for Valtech
8. Are there any known roadblocks to project progress? "Delivery of this service is likely to be impacted by a range of cultural and delivery challenges including:
-          Agile delivery runs up against non-agile processes and ways of working across the organisation
-          Business teams find it difficult to adopt new ways of working with data as they do not have enough people with the right digital or technical capabilities
-          Business teams face cultural challenges to adopting new ways of working
-          Engagement from some areas of the business is not yet secured"
9. May a supplier offer collaborative bid alongside partners to fulfil the deliverables? Any bid we receive will be assessed based on the quality of how it will address all of the user needs / our requirements. If suppliers wish to make joint bids that can meet all of these needs, we welcome the opportunity to make the assessment
10. May a supplier offer offshore/nearshore delivery services? We have offices in London and Glasgow. There is no specific reason precluding offshore services. We will be evaluating proposals on their quality against the outcomes we need delivered. Please be attentive to the above question regarding challenges. Some of our biggest challenges are about evolvoing ways of working for Ofgem, we need proposals to demonstrate how staff at both of our Ofgem's offices are able to evolve their ways of working
11. What work has been done so far on the hub, data exchange and architectural design, and in what key technologies? The Hub and the Exchange have both been delivered into their "Beta" phase following GDS approaches to delivery.

The data hub has been built on the Hortonworks Data Platform distribution of Hadoop, under the Apache open-source license. The data pipeline framework has been built in Python. The infrastructure has been provisioned using Infrastructure-as-a-Service components, using terraform infrastructure as code, within the Azure public cloud.

The data exchange infrastructure has been provisioned using Platform-as-a-Service components, using terraform infrastructure as code, within the Azure public cloud.

The platform provides Business Intelligence analysis tools through Qlik-Sense integration and Zeppelin integration"
12. "What strategic technology choices have been made regarding the technology of the hub, the exchange and any MI analytics or insight interfaces?
If so, what are these please?"
"Technology decisions have been made at key stages during the beta development including:
-          Use of Azure public cloud
-          Build on Hortonworks platform distribution of Hadoop
-          Use of Zeppelin integration
-          Presently use of Qlik-Sense BI tool (no strategic decision made on enterprise BI solution, under review)"
13. As cloud-based platforms have their own characteristics, which platform is it desired that the provider have experience in? "Technology decisions have been made at key stages during the beta development including:
-          Use of Azure public cloud
-          Build on Hortonworks platform distribution of Hadoop
-          Use of Zeppelin integration
-          Presently use of Qlik-Sense BI tool (no strategic decision made on enterprise BI solution, under review)"
14. What data tools are currently being used on this project? "Technology decisions have been made at key stages during the beta development including:
-          Use of Azure public cloud
-          Build on Hortonworks platform distribution of Hadoop
-          Use of Zeppelin integration
-          Presently use of Qlik-Sense BI tool (no strategic decision made on enterprise BI solution, under review)"
15. If there is any documentation about the products that will be used for the project, can this information be made available to bidders? "Technology decisions have been made at key stages during the beta development including:
-          Use of Azure public cloud
-          Build on Hortonworks platform distribution of Hadoop
-          Use of Zeppelin integration
-          Presently use of Qlik-Sense BI tool (no strategic decision made on enterprise BI solution, under review)"
16. "If the Delivery Partner will be required to use any existing Ofgem products, can you please provide details of the products that will be used for this project?
For instance will there be a need to use the Energy Customer Database? "
The delivery partner will be using the data services (hub and exchange) developed by the data services team.

The data hub is built on the Hortonworks Data Platform distribution of Hadoop (Apache open-source license). The data pipeline framework is in Python. The infrastructure has been provisioned using Infrastructure-as-a-Service components, using terraform infrastructure as code, within the Azure public cloud.

The data exchange infrastructure has been provisioned using Platform-as-a-Service components, using terraform infrastructure as code, within the Azure public cloud.

The platform provides Business Intelligence analysis tools through Qlik-Sense integration and Zeppelin integration
17. In order to understand the resource profiles that may be required. Can suppliers have full disclosure on current technology solutions architecture and example Use Cases? See above. An example of our more mature work using The Hub and The Exchange is our domestic tariffs data pipelines. Here we carrying out up to daily data collection of all energy tariffs available for the whole of market. This data is security checked, validated, ingested and cleaned before conducting calculations and visualising outputs for the generation of insight the publication of derived data.
18. Has OFGEM already determined that the solution will be 100% cloud and that the data in scope is all suitable for Cloud? The Hub and The Exchange are cloud-based solutions. This part of our architecture will interact with wider parts of Ofgem's enterprise architecture, some of which is not cloud-based. We anticpate that the vast majority of this work will be cloud based, any remaining work will be encouraging greater interoperability with the Hub and Exchange cloud solutions. We expect that all of the data in-scope is suitable for cloud solutions
19. Have there been any upload problems to date? We have not encountered material upload problems. Related and likely of interest: The Hub and The Exchange have been built cohesively and are entirely compatible. For risk management reasons we have preferred to deliberately deliver The Exchange in isolation to The Hub in the first instance. The Exchange has now been delivered into its "Beta" phase. The Hub is already in live business use. An early piece of work will be to integrate these two parts of our architecture, enabling data to be uploaded directly by external data providers through the Exchange and into The Hub.
20. As a capped time and materials contract is required, please could you either indicate any flexibility on this or clarify your scope and project / work requirements? As indicated in the tender, the work may be extended, if there is a needs case for this and if the supplier is providing a value for money offering. We expect value to be demonstratably delivered early and on a continuous basis throughout the work, this is expected to involve scoping to take place on a regular basis in accordance with our agile approach to delivery
21. How much data is in scope? "The service team is collaborating with the business areas to identify what data should be brought into the service based on the value it can deliver to the end consumer.
The service is designed to hold any type of data that OFGEM requires for regulatory purposes.
OFGEM’s data needs will always be evolving so we expect new data needs to identified through our user research and data volumes to grow as the service develops."
22. Are all data sources discovered? "We have a clear understanding of the as-is data held throughout Ofgem. Ofgem’s data needs will always be evolving.
We expect new data needs to identified through our user research as we engage with data users and identify what data is needed for future regulation and policy challenges"
23. Does this include any legacy sources or non-canonical data, or unusual data formats? There are a wide range of types of data and format methods used in Ofgem's legacy systems. A key challenge in this work is to maximise the value we can obtain from this data and to train and enable staff throughout Ofgem to understand and follow best practice approaches to working with data
24. Has the data already been cleaned and validated? When working with each data pipeline, we will expect software delivered that automates data cleaning and validation rule testing. This has already been carried out for some datasets, but not for the majority. Increasingly, this cleaning and validation software will be applied during the data journey to The Exchange and as it is passed into The Hub.

Our approach to building data pipelines has been incremental, cleaning and validation are parts of a pipeline. When data is ingested in to the data hub, it is validated against data rules (e.g. schema) and business rules (e.g. conditional data rules).
25. Is the data pipeline ready? Ofgem has a need for a large number of data pipelines. Some pipelines have been delivered many have not been started. We expect each pipeline to be the subject of continuous improvement and development as per user needs and prioritisation decisions dictate
26. What work has already been done on metadata and taxononomies? We handle these as we prioritise working with each incremental data pipeline, ensuring that we grow a responsible Master Data Management framework. We have delivered a Minimum Viable Approach to metadata management of the data pipelines we have worked with to date. In time we expect to prioritise further investment in maturing our metadata, taxonomy and data provenance. It will be very important to ensure that this work is conducted in a fashion that promotes coordination across the energy industry to maximise consumer outcomes
27. Does this include potential external data providers and stakeholder publishers? Ofgem has a regulatory need to collect data from companies operating across the energy market and sometimes other sectors. The Exchange is our strategic solution for carrying out that data collection. As our infrastrcuture is further developed it is our expectation that it will be enhanced to also allow for any-given party to consume data from us via The Exchange. This will require appropriate governance, processes and security/privacy controls.
28. Your information above states that "the question will be published with the buyer’s answer by Tuesday 14 May 2019. ". The closing date for submission is the 15th May. Would it be possible to have a little more time tolerance between your responses and the submission date? We are publishing answers to questions ahead of the 14 May deadline, where possible. We are therefore content to keep the deadlines as they are.
29. Please provide a definitive list of ‘skills’ required The delivery partner will be using the data services (hub and exchange) developed by the data services team. We require the delivery of the data service as an integrated end to end service. The skills needed to deliver this service is a decision to be made by the delivery partner, we are not specifying what roles we require.
30. For the Agile approach, will it be sufficient to detail examples where Agile is followed within engagements, but not following the GDS Service Manual? If there is any deviation from the agile approach, it would be sufficient to document this and engage with GDS in the 2 weekly conversations in place of the GDS assessment.
31. What are the security requirements for the solution? The work will be delivered in accordance with government best practice and normal legal requirements. This includes reccommendations from: GDS (Cabinet Office), NCSC ICO, GDPR
32. Relating to a capped T&M commercial model, what are the rate limits for the required roles? This is a commercial decision to be made by the shortlisted bidders as part of their competitive written response.
33. Related to the “Project team structure”, what roles will Ofgem retain? The delivery partner will be using the data services (hub and exchange) developed by the data services team. We require the delivery of the data service as an integrated end to end service. The skills needed to deliver this service is a decision to be made by the delivery partner, we are not specifying what roles we require.
34. What is the scope of the continued user research? Data services is based upon the user needs for the end to end service.
35. What existing data transfer mechanisms will the solution be replacing? The data exchange is replacing email, huddle, data sticks, ad-hoc data transfer portals, sftp and any other data exchanges that currently reside in the organisation
36. Can detail from the User research, discovery, alpha and beta phases already completed be provided, including the existing technical architecture? We are proposing to hold a presentation morning within the 2 week tender process to provide more information for the work done to date, for any supplier that has been shortlisted
37. What tools are being used by Ofgem, including visualisation and analytics tools? We are currently using Zeppelin and QlikSense. There has been no strategic decision made on enterprise BI solution, the tools are under review.
38. Does Ofgem have a preferred cloud platform for the solution? Technology decisions have been made at key stages during the beta development including the use of Azure public cloud. We are cloud agnostic, however any decision to migrate will be taken in line with the broader business needs
39. Can you please share the outputs of previous phases of work on both the data hub and the exchange? We are proposing to hold a presentation morning within the 2 week tender process to provide more information for the work done to date, for any supplier that has been shortlisted
40. Can you please confirm which suppliers worked on the discovery, alpha and beta stages of work for the data exchange and hub? Ofgem has partnered with Valtech to deliver the phases of work to date.
41. Will any of these suppliers continue to be involved in the project during this beta phase? There may be a small period handover to the winning bidder for this phase.
42. Can you please give an example of the level of analytics required to inform service design so that we can gauge the seniority of date scientist or analyst required? Ofgem has an appetite for advanced analytics, such as machine learning techniques and clustering analysis, but the nearer term appetite will predominently focused on delivering rigourous data management across the organisation. Our precise requirements will be subject to iteration throughout the work, but we do anticpate conducting some advanced data science to complement the more foundational analytical work we require
43. Does Ofgem have a high-level definition of the roles and quantity of roles that a supplier is expected to provide? The delivery partner will be using the data services (hub and exchange) developed by the data services team. We require the delivery of the data service as an integrated end to end service. The skills needed to deliver this service is a decision to be made by the delivery partner, we are not specifying what roles we require.
44. Will Ofgem be providing more information for suppliers that qualify through the initial evaluation, so that proposals can be produced? We are proposing to hold a presentation morning within the 2 week tender process to provide more information for the work done to date, for any supplier that has been shortlisted
45. Will scoring from the evidence stage be taken through to final evaluation scoring? As opposed to being used solely for the purpose of shortlisting. The two stages are completely separate for evaluation purposes, so the shortlisting scores will not be taken through to the final selection stage.
46. How will Ofgem evaluate and compare suppliers on price, which accounts for 30% of the evaluation weighting? The price evaluation score will be split between the total price offered and the tendered rates, comparative to the lowest prices bid.
47. How will Ofgem evaluate and compare suppliers on price, which accounts for 30% of the evaluation weighting? Scores will be split between total price and weighted average daily rates, taking into consideration the size of the proposed team, as distributed over the 9 months of the contract.
48. Does capped time and materials mean a supplier must not exceed budget cap? Alternatively, does this mean Ofgem seek to follow DOS definition of coped time and materials where the supplier completes work at their own cost? The budget is to cover the 9 months of work and the supplier must not exceed the cap, however if we require an extension or variation to agreed SoW we will review the upper cap limit.
49. Is the budget of £2m largely expected to cover 9 months work? Alternatively is the £2m to cover 9 months plus optional 2 year extension? The budget is to cover the completion of the agreed SoW. The budget will only be increased if the contract is varied, not necessarily if the original contract expiry is just extended. Note, extension option only takes total contract duration to 2 years, as allowed by the DOS framework guidelines. That is, 15 months on top of the original contract duration.
50. Please describe the procurement process and dates beyond 15th May, in particular dates for proposal response and presentation? Once sifted the applications after the 15 May, we will invite 5 suppliers to tender which will be open for 2 weeks. We will invite the suppliers to a presentation shortly after the 2 weeks, however we do not have firm dates yet.
51. Please can you clarify:
1) Has one company been providing the discovery and alpha phase services to you on this project?
Ofgem has partnered with Valtech to deliver the phases of work to date.
52. 2) Are you still working with this company? Currently, yes.
53. Please can you provide more details of what is required under the section – Essential Skills and Experience : demonstrate how continuous improvement, optimisation and savings have been achieved. We expect our partner to work with us to ensure that we are optimising how we develop the services and work with and train/enable the rest of the business. We will look to deliver a service that supports Ofgem to deliver efficiencies in how it manages its data and to drive efficiencies across the external marketplace through effective data-driven regulatory policies. We would expect a partner to be able to show evidence of its commitment to minimise cost of the contract or delivered additional value and efficiencies.
54. Is the project currently in Private Beta or Public Beta? The hub has entered private beta, working with the organisation to ingest data into the platform. The exchange is ready to enter private beta having completed a minimum viable product beta phase, and ready to begin testing with external data providers.
55. Has the current Beta been delivered by an internal team or an external supplier? Ofgem has partnered with Valtech to deliver the phases of work to date.
56. If there is an incumbent supplier, are they eligible to bid for this work? Yes. Valtech will not be precluded from bidding.
57. Are you able to share outputs from the discovery, alpha and beta phases with suppliers at this stage, or shortlisting? We are proposing to hold a presentation morning within the 2 week tender process to provide more information for the work done to date, for any supplier that has been shortlisted
58. What technology stack are you using for the service? "Technology decisions have been made at key stages during the beta development including:
-          Use of Azure public cloud
-          Build on Hortonworks platform distribution of Hadoop
-          Use of Zeppelin integration
-          Presently use of Qlik-Sense BI tool (no strategic decision made on enterprise BI solution, under review)"
59. What cloud platform are you using for the service? Technology decisions have been made at key stages during the beta development including the use of Azure public cloud. We are cloud agnostic, however any decision to migrate will be taken in line with the broader business needs
60. What analytics/BI technology and products are you using for the service? We are currently using Zeppelin and QlikSense. There has been no strategic decision made on enterprise BI solution, the tools are under review
61. Is the current beta open source and can you provide a link to project resources? Our code is not published, however we will share some of this in our presentation to the shortlisted suppliers
62. Do you have a target date for GDS assessment? We do not need a full GDS assessment, we have regular meetings with GDS in place of this formal assessment.
63. Do you have a roadmap for the service and are you able to share this? We are proposing to hold a presentation morning within the 2 week tender process to provide more information for the work done to date (including the roadmap), for any supplier that has been shortlisted
64. Have any of the technologies already been selected for any parts of the platform or is this up to the potential partner to propose the platform tech stack? "Technology decisions have been made at key stages during the beta development including:
-          Use of Azure public cloud
-          Build on Hortonworks platform distribution of Hadoop
-          Use of Zeppelin integration
-          Presently use of Qlik-Sense BI tool (no strategic decision made on enterprise BI solution, under review)"
65. Some of our developers are remotely located. Our core programme team can be located on site at your offices, but is it essential for all the developer resource to be located on site as well? We have offices in London and Glasgow. There is no specific reason precluding remotely located services. We will be evaluating proposals on their quality against the outcomes we need delivered. Some of our biggest challenges are about evolving ways of working for Ofgem, we need proposals to demonstrate how staff at both of our Ofgem's offices are able to evolve their ways of working
66. We asked a question about this opportunity last week. There has been no reply to date, but the deadline for responses is the 14th of May with the tender deadline set to the 15th of May. Unfortunately we have been unable to respond to the large number of questions as quickly as we would have liked. The last deadline for questions is Midnight 8 May, with the closing date for answering questions on 14 May.
67. The information we require is pertinent to our submission and the time between receiving an answer from the buyer and the deadline for submissions is insufficient to include. Please can you answer our question sooner or extend the deadline for this opportunity. Unfortunately we have been unable to respond to the large number of questions as quickly as we would have liked. The last deadline for questions was Midnight 8 May, with the deadline for answering questions on 14 May.
68. To understand the overall team profile, please could you clarify whether the existing team described is being replaced through this opportunity, to continue their work, or whether this is the team that the partner will co-locate with to work alongside. The data services team currently comprise of business analysts, data business analysts, team leads, and a small engineering community. We run a hub and spoke model, with a core hub engineering team and analytical/engineering capabilities embedded within Ofgem's policy teams. The delivery partner is expected to co-locate and work alongside the hub and spoke teams, to continue and build on the work done within data services.
69. Can you please describe the approach for supplier selection after the RFP evaluation stage? "Ofgem will sift the responses from the request for the proposal:
- 50% technical competence
- 20% cultural fit
- 30% price
5 suppliers will be invited to tender shortly after the sift is complete."
70. In addition to our onshore team, are there any restrictions to us using our offshore team and capabilities? We have offices in London and Glasgow. There is no specific reason precluding offshore services. We will be evaluating proposals on their quality against the outcomes we need delivered. Please be attentive to the above question regarding challenges. Some of our biggest challenges are about evolving ways of working for Ofgem, we need proposals to demonstrate how staff at both of our Ofgem's offices are able to evolve their ways of working
71. "Our current understanding is that you will require assistance with the following: • Application development
• BI and analytics from the solution
• Solution and architecture managed service
• Agile programme management
Could you please confirm the proposed proportion split across these services?
"
"This list also requires Data Engineering and Data QA Engineering capabiltiy to meet the end-to-end needs of our data pipelines.
We also look to applicants to identify other capabilities that can add value to our outcomes

Recommendations about the proportion of services required is something that we expect applicants to propose based on their expertise and experience"
72. Were there any data quality issues experienced in the alpha release of the solution? If so, to what extent did it impact the use of the current data hub? Ofgem works with a range of data of different quality. Our quality needs vary depending on each use case for it. We need an effective working practice for the range of data we already have, delivery of best practice for any new data collections ofgem undertakes and, related, delivery of best practice for data-driven policies as we set regulatory expectations on the marketplace

Our prototyping "Alpha" phase with the Hub led to our responding to our data challenge by having it designed to promote flexibility to work with ranging types and qualities of data.
73. What is the business purpose of the information stored within the data hub? The majority of data which Ofgem collects will enter the hub. The data Ofgem collects is used for multiple purposes, to monitor the market, enforcement action, policy decisions and publications.
74. Can you please provide an overview of the type and nature of data that you expect to be collected and held within the data hub? "Ofgem's data needs are evolvoing rapidly. Our primary requirement is that we have an effective agile service that is capable of evolving to meet the ever chaning needs for regulation by the marketplace.

Examples of the type of data we presently work with include retail data (such as customer accounts, tariffs, complaints) and systems data (network asset properties and associated financial information, wider price control data), wholesale generation and trading data, environmental schemes data
75. Could you please provide a list of the nice-to-have and essential technology skills you require as part of your assessment criteria? (Refer Section 12, Efficiency through automation). Our statement about Efficieny: "Through automation…" was in reference to the labour intensive ways Ofgems internal and external users are presently conducting anaytical work (typically using Microsoft office packages). Our Hub and Exchange are promoting software languages, such as python and SQL and business intelligence tools to our users. However, beyond this, within our service team we require a high-ended technical capability that is able to operate, develop and automate our cloud-based platform, manage our data architecture and enterprise master data management and conduct effective assurance of the work delivered across our organsation and with external users
76. Can you please highlight the areas of the current solution that need to be extended, automated or redeveloped from scratch? The Hub and The Exchange are considered to be effective at meeting our needs, in both cases we anticipate a roadmap of further developments that will enhance their utility. These enhancements will be a mix of taking further advantage of automation and the adding of additional functionality. Additional functionality is particularly important to our data Exchange, which is currently considered to only have developed modestly beyond its Minimum Viable Product. Two significant milestones will be the integration of the Hub and Exchange into a single piece of architecture and enabling the exchange to publish data out of Ofgem.
77. Can you please provide an overview of external and internal system integration points for the existing data hub solution and future external facing data exchange? The Hub and The Exchange are cloud-based solutions integrated into Ofgem's wider digital estate. We will be providing additional technical information about our solution architecture following the shortlisting of proposals
78. Can you please provide a solution architecture diagram which outlines the technology infrastructure and applications currently used for the internal data hub? Can you also include a descriptive overview of each technology component? We are proposing to hold a presentation morning within the 2 week tender process to provide more information for the work done to date, for any supplier that has been shortlisted
79. Is Question 7 (demonstrate experience of setting up and use of analytics to inform service development and iterative design of services) seeking to see experiences in using analytics to improve services development and design of interfaces for the purpose of data monetization? One of the key outcomes of data services is to reduce the burden on industry and benefit the end consumer. We do not anticipate using the analytics developed by data services using industry data for data monetization.
80. Do you intend to use the Government design system and style guide? Throughout our previous phases we have followed GDS principles, and we will continue to do so in the next phase of work. We do not need a formal GDS assessment however we do have regular catch ups to review the work done within data services.
81. In order to meeting the standards normally requires a design team and user researcher, but this doesn’t show in the list of resources. Is there a reason? The delivery partner will be using the data services (hub and exchange) developed by the data services team. We require the delivery of the data service as an integrated end to end service. The skills needed to deliver this service is a decision to be made by the delivery partner, we are not specifying what roles we require, however we do not currently have an in-house user researcher.
82. As this is gov.​uk delivery do you intend to meet the full 18 service standards? We do not need a full GDS assessment however we are intending to meet the 18 service standards. We have regular meetings with GDS in place of this formal assessment.
83. Is remote working an option? We have offices in London and Glasgow. There is no specific reason precluding remotely located services. We will be evaluating proposals on their quality against the outcomes we need delivered. Some of our biggest challenges are about evolving ways of working for Ofgem, we need proposals to demonstrate how staff at both of our Ofgem's offices are able to evolve their ways of working
84. Can you confirm if GDS has conducted a review of the Alpha or Beta stages and if they will be conducting a review of the proposed architecture? Throughout our previous phases we have followed GDS principles, and we will continue to do so in the next phase of work. We do not need a formal GDS assessment however we do have regular catch ups to review the work done within data services.
85. What are the existing data exchange mechanisms that you refer to? Ofgem uses email, huddle, sftp and purpose built data portals to exchange data with any third parties.
86. What metrics have you used to measure the success of the Beta stage of the project to date? We have worked with GDS throghout our delivery, assuring that it meets Cabinet Office expectations for digital services, we have similarly benefited from peer review from the UK Regulators Network. We have OKRs regarding user uptake of the infrastructure and we measure the delivery of data pipelines which are passed through standardised assurance measures. As we federate the service throughout Ofgem we are able to assess the quality of our service through its uptake by management. Externally, we have conducted ongoing user research and proceed only with demonstratable evidence that we are meeting our users' needs.
87. In question, demonstrate experience of setting up and use of analytics to inform service development and iterative design of services- Are you trying to ask if we have used analytics to improve development services and iterative designing of services. We are seeking support to help Ofgem mature its own expertise. Ofgem has a need for analytical data-driven services. We prefer the approach of iterative improvements to our service offering. We require the support of a supplier who is able to develop our services and enable Ofgem to achieve independence in this regard
88. Is Ofgem planning to utilise other capabilities like ML and AI for better insight generation and analytics. Our work will always be driven by user needs and prioritisation, however, it is likely that these analytical methods will help us meet some of those needs. A signficant part of our efforts in the near term will be readying our data to better lend itself to these techniques. Some of our data is already suficiently prepared for these analysis techniques.
89. What are existing data transfer mechanisms with third party? How is data transferred to a third party as of now. Ofgem uses email, huddle, sftp and purpose built data portals to exchange data with any third parties.
90. Was User research, discovery, alpha and beta phases for both the hub and the exchange done internally or was it done via a third party supplier? The previous phases have used our delivery partner's (Valtech) user researchers.
91. Is Ofgem currently using any modern data management tools Technology decisions have been made at key stages during the beta development including:
-          Use of Azure public cloud
-          Build on Hortonworks platform distribution of Hadoop
-          Use of Zeppelin integration
-          Presently use of Qlik-Sense BI tool (no strategic decision made on enterprise BI solution, under review)"