Statistics NZ calls for business intelligence

Part of creating the statistical system of the future

Government agency, Statistics New Zealand, has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) calling for business intelligence solutions that will help provide a more efficient way to present the country’s statistics as a business service.

The summary of the RFP states the government agency is currently working through a 10-year transformation programme, called Statistics 2020 – Te Kāpehu Whetu, which, “... will create the statistical system of the future. This Programme [sic] will transform how we collect; share and deliver the statistical information that New Zealand needs to grow and prosper.”

Statistics New Zealand wants business intelligence providers to submit proposals detailing "their skills, services and experience in providing business intelligence services".

Investopedia defines an RFP as: "A type of bidding solicitation in which a company or organisation announces that funding is available for a particular project or program, and companies can place bids for the project's completion. The Request For Proposal [RFP] outlines the bidding process and contract terms, and provides guidance on how the bid should be formatted and presented. A RFP is typically open to a wide range of bidders, creating open competition between companies looking for work."

Statistics New Zealand project manager business intelligence, Tamsin Kirkus-Lamont, said, in a statement, “In 2011/12, Statistics New Zealand started a three-year project to improve our performance management and implement a business intelligence system.

“Our business intelligence project aims to improve the organisation’s performance through better decision making, and by ensuring that the right information is provided to the right people at the right time.

“The project will identify a suite of key performance indicators to monitor the organisation’s progress and meet the most important external and internal information needs. Performance data will be integrated from across the business so it can be easily accessed and used, and a process will be established for regularly reviewing and improving the data.”

One of New Zealand's leading suppliers of business intelligence has confirmed it will respondto the RFP. Stella Consulting managing director, Grant Broadbent, said, “You’d think of Statistics NZ as a heavily SAS dependent customer. They do statistical modelling etc. But a lot of what they do is hard statistics as opposed to soft trends, mathematical propensity trends.”

“They are forcing us to provide statistics, raw information, and they have a mandate to do that. Stats would be an absolute goldmine. We’d love to do a strategy for those guys and align it with the Government’s aspirations. It would be a big job. It would be a real goldmine of information. There’d be things they could find out that they didn’t even know about.”

Broadbent said the real added value his company can bring to Statistics NZ is how to effectively deliver the business model.

Business intelligence (BI) encompasses many aspects of business from who should be CEO to how data is stored and interpreted. The RFP is focused on how Statistics NZ can deliver statistical information effectively as a service and become more efficient at that business and generate income for the government.

Christchurch-based Montage Business Intelligence marketing and business development manager, David Tayler, said his company had a policy of not replying to RFPs. However, he did say his staff were excited about the RFP.

Another BI company that did not wish to be named said it was very interested in the RFP but as yet had not decided if it would respond.

The platform used is Microsoft and the due date for responses is August 8 with contract negotiations scheduled to take place in early September.

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