October 20, 2023
Employing mixed-methods user research to pave the way for a forward-looking eProcurement and data strategy for the Welsh Government
Building on prior collaboration with the Welsh Government (WG) for a Discovery review of procurement spend data processes and tools, we set out on a 6-week mixed-methods user research programme. Our mission was to engage with over 100 end-users of procurement and data systems across the WG, including government, business, and third sector. Our goal was to deeply understand their needs, challenges, and aspirations. This entailed structured user testing of existing technical systems like Jaggaer, Atamis, Excel, and Power BI, providing us with both quantitative data and qualitative insights about system usage. Our overarching goal aimed to co-design programmes and solutions that would shape the future of eProcurement and procurement data strategy, with a specific focus on recommending Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) systems capable of delivering approximately £2 million in annual savings.
Our journey unfolded in the context of a shifting environment, characterised by imminent policy changes impacting Welsh procurement. These changes included the Procurement Bill and Welsh SPPP Bill, with contract renewal deadlines approaching for e-procurement vendors. To address this challenge, we collaborated closely with end-users representing various teams within WG, spanning data, policy, commercial, and service departments. Together, we outlined the technical prerequisites for efficient procurement data sharing and e-procurement systems. These requirements were seamlessly woven into a comprehensive technical architecture designed to facilitate data sharing across Welsh e-procurement and EPR systems. This architecture covered provisions for OCDS-implementation standards, the introduction of automated ETL pipelines via APLs, and the creation of a centralised spend data hosting and visualisation solution powered by Tableau.
Our user-centric research and strategic approach have helped contribute to the transformation of the procurement landscape in Wales. By deeply understanding the needs of various stakeholders and applying technical expertise, we have paved the way for WG to implement a forward-looking eProcurement and data strategy. One that is in sync with evolving policies and standards, driving efficiency, cost savings, and enhanced data sharing across systems.
Working with DLUHC over a 3-year period to conduct a robust, research-driven evaluation of 60+ local government digitalisation programmes
Working with BEIS to enhance user engagement with digital services to drive its Climate Finance Accelerator (CFA) initiative
Partnering with the BEIS to design and establish an effective digital policy engagement system to propel the energy sector toward a Net Zero future
Supporting the Frontline Digitisation team in the NHS to design a programme of support for hospitals purchasing and implementing electronic patient records (EPRs)