Implementing procurement analytics? Start with service design.

December 17, 2020
Procurement, Services

Ian Makgill, Founder, Spend Network

If you’re unsure what service design is, a good place to start is here . It’s a fascinating area of business that is concerned with making sure that services meet the needs of users. A good example of service design at work is Amazon. Amazon has a website, but this is only one part of their service. They also have fulfilment centres, transport and payments. The act of tying all of these things together into a coherent service is service design.

So what does this have to do with procurement and procurement analytics? Another way to think about service design is to think of it as the effort that goes into making sure that a product can keep running. If you’re setting up an analytics function, you need to know how to make it work for the long term.

An analytics function isn’t about just setting up a database and hiring a consultant to write some code to import the data. If you just buy code, the chances are that the analytics won’t work within six months, not because the code is bad, but because the source data has moved, or changed format.

xkcd.com

It’s no good thinking that you can predict or prevent all of the ways in which your data sources will vary or fail, you can’t. Equally, you can’t be certain that your database software won’t need patches, or that any of the tools you’re using to run the database will stay available and concurrent. You can’t just buy an analysis service and expect it to run itself.

You’ll also need to think about quality. If the number of records in your database starts to fall, you’ll need to do the work to find out what is going on. All of this takes effort and costs money. That’s not to say you can’t do wonderful things for not much money, but you can’t do something once and expect it to run forever.

All these complexities are why we need service design. Here’s a checklist of things you need to consider when implementing a procurement analytics service:

  1. Who will use the analytics and what are their user needs?
  2. Where are your data sources?
  3. Will you need to link your data?
  4. Will you need to augment your data?
  5. Is your infrastructure scalable?
  6. Is your platform scalable?
  7. How will you distribute your analytics?
  8. Will you need to add new data sources?
  9. What licenses are involved?

Addressing these issues requires some skills and experience, but just knowing what you will face will help you choose the partners with the right skills, or build your own team who can help to run the system. The important part is that you need to be ready to do this for the long-term.

To discuss our procurement tools and services, please contact us at contact@openopps.com

www.spendnetwork.com

Photo by NEW DATA SERVICES

September 29, 2022

£900k Government Fund To Help Charities Win Public Contracts.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) is running a Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Contract Readiness Fund grant...
September 27, 2022

New EU Procurement Instrument Now Law.

About a year ago, we wrote an article on the new procurement instrument approved by the European Union. In recent weeks this...
September 20, 2022

Blacklisting Gets Tested.

Back in June we wrote about blacklisting of suppliers and the Government’s intention to prevent poorly performing suppliers from bidding for government...
September 8, 2022

UK Risks Its Place On Anti-Corruption Body

The UK has been placed ‘under review’ by the 77-country-strong Open Government Partnership (OGP) due to its failure to meet mandatory criteria...
September 8, 2022

Thurrock Exposes Transparency Blind Spot

An investigation by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) into investments by Thurrock Borough Council has led to the resignation of the...
September 6, 2022

New Zealand Government Reviewing Procurement System.

It’s always encouraging when we see governments around the world looking to improve their procurement transparency and efficiency. The New Zealand Government...
September 1, 2022

Collecting Data For Sustainable Procurement In Construction

Over the last few weeks we have been looking at setting a sustainable procurement framework in the construction industry, and what kind...
August 30, 2022

Selecting Data For Sustainable Procurement In Construction

It is estimated that around 40-50% of natural resources are transformed into construction material, and that as much as 30% of all...
August 25, 2022

Setting A Sustainable Procurement Framework For Construction

When procuring construction projects, it can be useful to underpin sustainability criteria on existing policy and regulation. When assessing the enabling framework,...
August 18, 2022

Big Net Zero Contract Win For Small Cornish Business

A small Cornish company has purportedly won a £70bn contract to help deliver the country's transition to Net Zero. The Penzance based...
August 16, 2022

Supporting Sustainable Procurement In ICT

One of the key challenges of sustainably procuring ICT lies in the lack of transparency in supply chains. To overcome this challenge,...
August 11, 2022

Why Is Sustainable Procurement Important For The ICT Sector?

The extraction of raw materials, manufacturing, transportation, use, and disposal of ICT products is associated with a number of environmental, social, and...
August 10, 2022

Shifts Towards Sustainable Sourcing

A while ago,  we shared an article on findings by the Boston Consulting Group and the World Economic Forum that showed procurement is responsible...
August 9, 2022

Supporting Sustainable Procurement In The Construction Industry

Construction projects are usually long and complex, involving the participation of different stakeholders throughout the different project stages. There are certain factors...
August 4, 2022

Why Is Open SPP Important In The Construction Sector?

The construction industry is estimated to account for 6% of global GDP, with Africa's construction market valued at around USD 5.4 billion...

Newsletter

Compelling research, insights and data directly into your inbox.

Recent media stories

The Times
May 30, 2022
CIPFA
August 3, 2021

Search

Scroll to Top