recommended reading

A New App Takes Government Contracting Mobile

Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock.com

The race to open up government data to the public is typically described in terms of creating better services for citizens and new opportunities for businesses and nonprofits.

The benefits of open data can sometimes show up closer to home, however, as demonstrated by the new mobile application hōrd, which allows government contractors to track project solicitations from their iPhones.

Hōrd was developed by the company GovTribe, founded by three former Deloitte consultants. The app allows users to search for federal contracting notices and awards using keywords. They can also search by a contractor’s name to keep tabs on what their competitors are up to.

App users can also “hōrd” a particular notice to receive alerts every time it’s updated.

GovTribe released a beta version of hōrd in January and an updated version last week. The app is free for now. Once everything is up and running, the company plans to offer some basic services for free and to charge a subscription fee for other services, CEO Nate Nash said.

The idea for hōrd grew out of the GovTribe partners’ own experiences being frustrated with how difficult it was to track and manage federal contracting notices, Nash said. Contractors typically have to search through a government website to discover new contract solicitations and can only learn about changes to those contracts via daily email alerts that are difficult to set up or change.

The app is built primarily with data from the Federal Business Opportunities website, the System for Awards Management site and contract dispute documents from the Government Accountability Office, Nash said. GovTribe built its own data mining tools to parse through that data and deliver it to the mobile app.

The company is also working with some historical contracting information from USASpending.gov, but hasn’t displayed that information to users yet, he said.

Nash credits the government with making strides in opening data up to the public, but says agencies still have a ways to go in making their data easy for developers to use.

“The promise of open data isn’t just that this information is readily available to read, it’s that it’s available in a format that makes it easy for a machine to read,” he said. “That’s what powers innovation and it’s not available all the time.”

For entrepreneurs interested in working with government data, Nash said he recommends thinking less about what data’s available and more about what products would be useful for consumers.

“The data itself is sort of irrelevant,” he said. “You have to do something to remix it, to combine it with other data that answers a question or draws a conclusion or promotes some action. Just presenting data to people doesn’t necessarily do much. People don’t care if a product is built on open data, they care if it does something better or faster.”

Vital Stats

The app: hōrd

The company: Gov Tribe

The story: Three consultants saw how government contracting could be managed better

The data: Federal contracting information from the General Services Administration, the Government Accountability Office and agency contracting officers

The business case: A subscription service with some free components

Advice to government data entrepreneurs: Think about the business case first, not the data

(Image via Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock.com)

Threatwatch Alert

Network intrusion / Stolen credentials

85M User Accounts Compromised from Video-sharing Site Dailymotion

See threatwatch report

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.