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State Water Board Seeks Assistance from IT Vendors in Data

The State Water Resources Control Board has released an Invitation for Bid in an effort to do more with data literacy, a core organization principle.

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A key state water entity wants to do more with data and is looking to IT vendors for assistance.

In an Invitation for Bid (IFB) released Tuesday, the State Water Resources Control Board seeks “bids from firms that are able to provide web-based data literacy capacity building and statistical diagnostic assessment services,” with the intent to “make a single agreement award to the most responsive and responsible firm offering the lowest bid.” Among the takeaways:

  • The Office of Information Management and Analysis “in conjunction with others at the State Water Board” has identified data literacy, which it defines as “the ability for the entire organization’s workforce to understand its data needs and capabilities” as one of its five “core guiding principles for [the] organizational data management strategy” during the next five years. To support this principle, the water board has organized a data literacy initiative with multiple projects centered on improving the entity’s “relationship with data.” The strategic projects supporting data literacy include “training and/or educational products,” per the IFB. Traditional training products like classrooms are part of the strategy but the board has “determined that for some foundational data science knowledge/skills/abilities (KSAs),” web-based diagnostic and education delivery would be “much more efficient and effective.” This, it said, will allow the entity to “assess and deliver data literacy KSAs to both individuals (or classes of individuals - e.g., program managers, executives, etc.) and teams (e.g., a performance-based management report card development effort, etc.)” on key areas or related projects in the board’s data management ecosystem.
  • Contractor deliverables include a diagnostic assessment of 20-25 questions, and system access and permissions setup with login credentials for 1,500 to 2,000 water board staffers; and a secure website. There’s also a “curated playlist of data literacy modules” for participants following the data literacy diagnostic assessment; and data literacy modules for all competencies “addressed” in the literacy diagnostic assessment. And there’s access to an analytics dashboard on the contractor’s site, an “openly accessible” data set portal for the board’s data sets, plus staff access and permissions to update that portal. The contractor selected will also be responsible for software maintenance and support for “up to three years” from the contract start date, as well as “enhancements, upgrades, and bug fixes” to empower users to “perform all items” in the IFB’s scope of work.
  • Bidder minimum qualification requirements include at least three years’ experience with online data literacy training; and proof the bidder’s online system has configurable data literacy diagnostic assessment modules capable of supporting 1,500-2,000 water board users; and that it can allow for online public access to explore water board data. The system must also cover data literacy competencies including correlation versus causation; data visualization; statistical reasoning; and data security.
  • The contract is expected to be roughly 36 months long. The pact must be approved by the California Department of General Services as well as by both parties, and the term may change with the timing of an award. Questions are due by 3 p.m. Sept. 27 and answers will come by 3 p.m. Sept. 30. Bids are due by 3 p.m. Oct. 11 and will be opened by 11 a.m. Oct. 12. A precise start date and value are not indicated.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Techwire.