Spend Network vs. do it yourself

Overview

Choosing how to aggregate and process data for your products matters. You need to be able to trust the data you send to your customers, but the cost of gathering and processing data from hundreds of sources is just too much.
Spend Network gives you the reliability of a constant flow of data, with predictable, monthly costs, so that you can focus on your customers and leave the data wrangling to us.

What does Spend Network do?

We’re a bit like an oil refinery, we take raw data (crude oil) from all over the world and use a variety of procedures and processes to make it useful and usable to our customers (petrol).

We then make the data easy to access, by building tools like our API that mean our customers can spend their time working on their products and their customers rather than building data pipelines.

Why this data matters

Government procurement represents $13tn of spending each year. It tells us about  suppliers, global markets, future demand and the cost of critical services. It tells us about governments, their policies and their investments.

It is a window into the business world which can’t be replicated in any other sector, showing how our businesses and services function.

Pricing

The day to day cost of running a service matters. That’s why we offer a flat fee subscription based on the amount and type of data you access. Once you have bought the data you can publish it and resell it as many times as you like.

You don’t have to worry about costs of servers, costs of staff, breaking sources or finding new sources. We do all of that for you, including finding and adding new data sources within your subscription.

You just have to look after your customers.

Building our service yourself

Below we outline what it takes to mirror create your own procurement data web service in your own business.

Estimated working days: 600 days 

  1. Get list of all of the existing data sources for public procurement
  2. Write a new data harvester for each of those sources.
  3. Map each new source into a common data standard, including data formatting and cleaning algorithms.
  4. Set up a database with back ups, failover and dynamic scaling capacity.
  5. Create a harvesting platform to trigger and schedule each script you run.
  6. Create a data validation platform to monitor the health of scripts and data.
  7. Create a script to clean up and add country names where no country name or a bad country name is in place.
  8. Create a script to clean up and add addresses where no address or a bad address is in place.
  9. Create a script to categorise all of the data regardless of the language being used in the source data.
  10. Create a script to clean up and make buyer names consistent.
  11. Create a script to clean up and make supplier names consistent.
  12. Build out a search engine that returns data from string searches, values and date ranges.
  13. Set up a website that queries the database and displays results to authorised users.
  14. Add alerts and email notifications for users.

Using our API

Below we outline what it takes to use create a new web service using the Spend Network API.

Estimated working days: 30 days.

  1. Set up an account with Spend Network.
  2. Set up a website that queries the database and displays results to authorised users.
  3. Add alerts and email notifications for users.

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