I have been driving my social media presence lately to try to do as much as I can to advance the government contracting mentality to one of proactive versus reactive responses. As my tweets circulate and my blog posts get some traffic, I have started to get some great feedback. Then, a company reached out to me and asked that I take a look at their product and blog about it. I had a long pause – is this really something I want to get into? The answer was a resounding “NO.”
I kicked around the idea of asking for a “fee” to do such a thing, but decided to take a look at what they had anyway. I clicked the link and landed on a very well-written article about the app this company had developed for government contracting.
I don’t have an iPhone – the app is on the iPhone – my wife has an iPhone – there is no way my wife would let me put this on her iPhone. I guess a cursory review is better than nothing at all. I dug into the details on the website first to see what I could find out.
- Competition data
- Contracting Officer or Agency info
- Topic area
These are all relevant to the govcon world, but how does it work? Also, this sounds a lot like Big Data analytics and mining. I quickly started to like where this was going. Still no iPhone, I went back to the article they had forwarded:
The first app from startup GovTribe, hōrd was created to alleviate the high costs of government procurement data. Currently, contractors rely on a handful of websites and various email distribution lists to receive notifications on new RFPs (requests for proposal). However, these sites and emails often provide limited useful information, send delayed updates on opportunities, and require individual contractors spending valuable time finding and tracking new opportunities.
Whether it’s a topic (e.g., global health), organization (e.g., USAID), or person (e.g., a specific contracting officer), users can search through hōrd’s data and add things to their “hōrd.” From there, they receive real-time notifications on their hōrded items, allowing them to be among the first in spotting and pursuing new opportunities. If you’re unsure of what to track, hōrd has a trends feature for exploring the most viewed or most hōrded items. The app also allows users to track competitors and see their contracting histories, as well as send notifications when they win contracts.
I have written about Big Data and the ways in which it can really make a difference for decision makers going forward. This is one of those rare times in government contracting where there is someone out there setting the pace. Although I still have to reserve judgment because I can’t really play with the app, I am optimistic about the trend here. DoD is pushing STEM (potentially to drive big data analytics) and companies everywhere are trying to synthesize and analyze tons of data that is out there in the “cloud.” It appears that GovTribe has started this at the right time, but only time will tell.
…I have also decided I probably need an iPhone for work.