Rosslyn Analytics p*** off the Government with procurement data analysis offer

You have to give Rosslyn Analytics credit. On a marketing budget of not a lot, they get more press coverage than firms many times their size. And the latest coup was offering (in conjunction with QlikTech) to carry out a UK central Government-wide spend analysis free of charge.

Now predictably, the offer has been rejected, so there's another tranche of publicity in terms of Rosslyn telling the world why John Collington, who leads the Cabinet Office centralising procurement initiative, rejected the offer (and why they think he's wrong). And Rosslyn have got the Tax Payer's Alliance on their side which is impressive; it's still unusual for TPA to speak out against the current Government.

I'm not sure I'm smart enough from a technology standpoint to take sides here. (Any thoughts Jason? Purchasing Insight?) It strikes me that it may well have been difficult to get the data from all the Departments in a format that Rosslyn could have used. And as someone once said, "just because something is free doesn't make it good". On the other hand, might I have been tempted to call Rosslyn's bluff if I were in Collington's shoes, and see what they could actually come up with? I don't know.

In another sense, it's also a brave move by Rosslyn. Possibly silly, but definitely brave. One can't help thinking that they're not the most popular firm in Whitehall right now...

But finally, the idea of a huge specially created data warehouse for spend data (which seems to be the plan) doesn't seem to quite fit with the real-time, agile, cloud-based strategies that government is generally propounding. So I don't fully understand that approach to spend data  - would be good to get the informed view on the issue from Cabinet Office.

Voices (5)

  1. colin cram:

    Purchase spend analysis using raw data from purchase/ payments ledgers is pretty straight forward.The data needs to be cleansed (using a computer programme – which makes it a little rough and ready, but is quick) and can be run against other data bases to get information such as spend with SMEs and with social enterprises. I have commissioned it 3 times for groups of organisations – over 30 took part last time, each organisation having very different finance systems. The results were extremely informative and challenged people’s assumptions about the procurement landscape. I was interviewed on this by Jon Hansen, who runs the Canadian PI Window on Business and BlogTalk Radio.

    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/jon-hansen/2011/04/21/why-the-uk-gov-turned-down-an-opportunity-to-analyze-spend

  2. Spend mouse:

    Just another marketing gimmick!

  3. richard:

    They did it at budget time 2010 – because a far sighted Grade 2 in Civil Service saw the nudge opportunity. He retired from the post and the ex-Androids took over.

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