In July, we celebrate America, our independence, and our freedom. Thousands of fireworks take off one after another across our beautiful night skies and we have fun with family and friends.
This year, we have one more reason to celebrate — at least in the IT and data communities.
Over the July 4th weekend, our Connections II program launched an interactive, real-time Connections II dashboard. The tool allows Connections II users to view and analyze non-classified data on federal IT purchasing activity awarded under GSA’s Connections II.
Data turned into actionable information will allow government to buy smarter, help agencies make better buying decisions, and lead to smoother bid and proposal processes. More information can help agencies better understand purchasing trends, conduct better market research, and be better negotiators. Ultimately, government buying decisions based on consistent, shared information deliver dollar savings to U.S. taxpayers.
We collectively are opening up data, sharing it, and working together to find additional value. At GSA, we look for ways to make government purchasing data more open, transparent, and accessible, and the Connections II dashboard is one way to do this.
The Connections II dashboard creates a single point of access for all data on Connections II task order obligations, number of awards, agency/bureau, and industry partner activity.
Users have quick and easy access to the dashboard. Search results display in easily understood lists, graphs, and charts. The real-time dashboard gives meaningful and timely program information–whether to industry or government–at any time. Users can search for specific items, sort data, and create and download custom reports.
We try to give customers and industry partners real-time data whenever they need it – at both the agency and order level so government can increase data quality and spend analysis, and make better business decisions, and so industry partners can tailor their offerings.
Other reasons to celebrate
GSA is just getting the big data explosion started with using and sharing our data to everyone’s benefit. GSA has several other data transparency efforts underway for the government IT acquisition community:
■ Use the Prices Paid tool for GWACs and now Wireless BPAs for aggregate pricing information. (It requires a .gov or .mil login.)
■ Prices-paid pilot programs are underway for Schedules and our satellite program.
■ GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service is working on the common acquisition platform as a critical resource for federal buyers. It will contain even more tools, capabilities, and government-wide data on acquisition vehicles, intelligence, and prices paid.
If you want more information about Connections II, read about Connections II and transitioning to IPv6. We have several Statement of Work (SOW) templates you can download: IPv6 SOW to assist with IPv6 transitioning, DNSSEC SOW to help agencies with security transitioning from DNS to DNSSEC and email authentication based on the deployed DNSSEC, and a Unified Communications SOW template to help agencies combine voice, data, and video.