Ordnance Survey looks to future as a ‘data-as-a-service’ provider

Written by Sam Trendall on 8 February 2018 in News
News

Mapping agency seeks input for three-month project to define long-term data strategy, including necessary skills and technology infrastructure 

Ordnance Survey is looking towards a future where it provides “data as a service”.

The national mapping agency last year established a Data Office and hired Caroline Bellamy as chief data officer. Since then, it has completed the first phase of creating a long-term data strategy for the organisation. This initial phase, which was finished in December 2017, “focused on defining the need for a data strategy and the benefits it will deliver”, OS said.

The agency is now looking to commence the second phase, and has issued a contract notice seeking a supplier to undertake a three-month project to help OS come up with a “comprehensive data strategy to be developed and implemented” in the coming months and years. The chosen supplier will “be expected to deliver expert data-consultancy services” across four defined work streams.

The first of these is “Customer Use Case Definition and Viability”. This work stream will involve providing detailed analysis of the scope and nature of the organisation’s designated use cases for its data – which are not specified in the contract notice, but will be shared with the successful bidder in due course, OS said. For each of these use cases, a breakdown of potential public- and private-sector partnerships must be provided.


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The second work stream is “Capability Assessment and Prioritised Execution Plan of Use Cases”. Work in this area will involve assessment of the organisation’s existing capabilities and where it will need to foster additional skills – gain access to them in through partnerships.

The third work stream – dubbed “Information Architecture” – will see chosen supplier help OS to create “a clear and detailed definition of the optimal ‘big data’ information architecture to deliver the chosen use cases”. This area will involve work the creation of a detailed “roadmap” covering technology, budget, and best practice.

The final work stream is “Insight and Managed Service”. In this area, OS is seeking help in defining how it can achieve its ultimate goal of commodifying its data.

“OS aspires to provide ‘data-as-a-service / data ready for services’ to meet future customer needs,” the mapping agency said. “The successful participant must also work with OS to define how this could be achieved. This must include: defining the insight that must be applied to the raw sources of data to ensure they fully address customer use case needs; [and defining] the optimum ‘service structure’ needed to provide OS data-as-a-service.”

Bids from potential suppliers are invited until 16 February, with a contract scheduled to commence on 26 February and last for three months. The deal is expected to be worth between £100,000 and £150,000 to the winning bidder.

 

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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