Awarded to The Open Data Institute

Start date: Tuesday 10 September 2019
Value: £49,250
Company size: SME
Greater London Authority

London Datastore Discovery

16 Incomplete applications

14 SME, 2 large

33 Completed applications

28 SME, 5 large

Important dates

Monday 24 June 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 1 July 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 8 July 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Work alongside our internal team to deliver a discovery phase that will inform the specification of the next iteration of our data-sharing website, the London Datastore.
Latest start date
Monday 2 September 2019
Expected contract length
6 to 8 weeks
Organisation the work is for
Greater London Authority
Budget range
Max £50,000

About the work

Why the work is being done
London has long been recognised as a world leader in the field of city data. Through the ‘Smarter London Together’ roadmap, the Mayor of London and his Chief Digital Officer have set out strong ambitions to continue to innovate and build upon this success.

The GLA is looking to develop the next iteration of its data sharing website, the London Datastore, to enable it to better meet the needs of its users. We are looking to deliver this project in an agile way.
Problem to be solved
We are planning to undertake a discovery phase that will inform our vision for the future of the London Datastore – one of our flagship data projects. The successful applicant will work alongside our internal team demonstrating leadership and expertise in the field of public sector data to lead us through this discovery exercise – ensuring user needs sit at the heart of what we do.

The deliverables are a specification for the next iteration of the London Datastore and identifying the resources required if we choose to build a solution in-house.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As an open data user I need to access information from the Datastore for a broad range of uses, such as to more effectively deliver public services or undertake academic research.

As an open data publisher I need to share data for public consumption to fulfill my commitments to being a transparent organisation.

As organisations collaborating on a data project we need to securely and efficiently share data that may not be suitable as open data, including the sharing of IoT, sensor and big data through live data feeds.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
The existing website has been live since January 2010 and in its current iteration since November 2014. Last year we undertook a survey of our users to gain some initial insight into who our users are and what they have been using the website for. The Datastore has also recently undergone a Digital Service Standard assessment to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of the site and help inform our future ambitions.
Existing team
Our existing team is very small, consisting only of a product manager and content manager. We are looking to build on this capacity based on the requirements that emerge from the discovery phase. Additionally, other staff build processes that publish data to the DataStore or front-end tools for users, built on top of the DataStore.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
City Hall
The Queen’s Walk
Working arrangements
Security clearance
A building pass will be issued.

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
  • Experience of scoping, defining and delivering discovery phase for websites of public sector organisations
  • Able to draw upon appropriate skills mix to inform discovery including UX, audience-mapping (personas, needs/user stories, user journeys), user research, user insight, analytics, visual design etc.
  • Experience delivering projects in the field of government/public sector data
  • Able to develop a discovery report/output/recommends that can easily be developed into a backlog for Alpha (either as enhancements to existing website or as new development requirements)
  • Able to draw upon wide variety of methods in order to develop a robust understanding of users and their needs
  • Experience of agile product development
  • Experience of digital publishing and conveying complex messages
  • Passionate about using data creatively to deliver innovative solutions, solve specific user problems and drive organisational change
  • Understanding of the modern data landscape
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Proposed approach and methodology
  • Estimated timeframes for the work
  • Value for money
  • Use of agile methodology
  • Skills and experiences of supplier
  • Approach to quality assurance in user research and delivery management
  • How risks and dependencies are identified and approaches to manage them
  • Approach to maintaining control, transparency and assuring quality
  • Approach to working with the customer as part of an integrated team
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes
  • Take responsibility for their work
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Is the expectation for the supplier to work full time on-site? Or are you open to a supplier to work remotely and come to your workplace for e.g. meetings, show-and -tells, user research activities?
We are happy for suppliers to work remotely, and to attend meetings at City Hall as required. We are also happy to attend meetings, show-and-tells and user research activities at other venues, if time permits.
2. Does the budget include VAT?
The budget excludes VAT.
3. What budget has been identified/allocated for the future development of the London Datastore, subsequent to the Discovery budget?
The discovery phase will inform our approach to long term funding.
4. Who currently provides support for the existing London Datastore site?
Development and web hosting is provided by DataPress. The GLA London Datastore team manage the strategy and content.
5. Please confirm who the people on your selection panel are and their individual roles and responsibilities.
The selection panel will consist of three people: the current product manager of the London Datastore, the GLA’s GIS and Infrastructure Manager (who manages a team of GIS experts and data scientists as well as leading on other projects involving the improvement of London’s data infrastructure) and one other TBC (likely a senior role with a background in DDAT and agile delivery).
6. Can you please provide more context / detail on what you mean by "modern data landscape?"
We’re looking for candidates with some understanding around the current issues and opportunities surrounding the use of government data. Things like the potential of APIs to support reproducible analytical pipelines and sharing of live data, the importance of data standards for interoperability and so on. Experience of working on data-focussed projects in a local/city government context would be especially welcomed.
7. Could you publish a link to the Digital Service Standard assessment please?
Our assessment was against the Local Government Digital Service Standard. Unfortunately, as our current development and hosting is provided by external providers, we have decided not to publish the results of the assessment publicly. We do not wish any weaknesses of the current service to be misinterpreted as a criticism of our current providers and damage our relationship with them. We will, however, share the results in full with the successful candidate.
8. Do you have contact details of existing users of the Datastore who could be invited to take part in research? If so, how many people are on this list?
Breaking our users in to two groups, data publishers and data users:
We have contact details for all of our current publishers of which there are approximately 30 who have been actively publishing data in the past 12 months.

Regarding users of the data, we have a mailing list of around 3.4k email addresses that we can send invites out to. Additionally we can share an invitation to take part in user research directly on the Datastore (for which we average around 50k users a month) and potentially share over our social media accounts.
9. Will the GLA supply the users for user research activities, or is there an expectation for the supplier to contact and recruit users?
We can support the supplier by recruiting users from our existing contacts (see Question 8 for more details).
10. Can you expand on what you mean by 'digital publishing'?
A number of organisations (such as newspapers) are moving to a 'digital first' approach to publishing, where the workflow after analysis leads directly to content designed for viewing over the internet. We have an ambition to move in that direction, which will change the way in which we use the London Datastore.
11. Can you give an example of 'conveying complex messages' as you see relevant to this opportunity?
The GLA often deals with detailed technical or policy subjects and there is a particular art to making this accessible and understandable. It is also true that some of our users are also technical and want to be able to access the full nuances of the data. A recent example was work on broadband connectivity where we needed to show a number of levels of access rather than just a simple yes/no for broadband availability.
12. Can you clarify what is expected to be included in a discovery report/ output/recommends that can easily be developed into a backlog for Alpha?
We do not wish to limit the supplier to a specific list of outputs at this point. We have stated the deliverables in the requirements above and are open to suppliers proposing what they see as the best way to achieve these.
13. Can we see the full report (or key headlines) from the survey in 2018 and/or Digital Standards Service?
Some headlines from our user survey undertaken in 2018 can be found from slide 20 in the following slide deck: