Why forecast sales?
Humans have the magical ability to plan for future events, for future gain. It’s not quite a uniquely human trait. Because apparently ravens can match a 4-year-old.
An abundance of data, and some very nice R packages, make our ability to plan all the more powerful.
A couple of months ago we looked at sales from an historical perspective in Digital Marketplace. Six months later. In this post, we’ll use the sales data to March 31st to model a time-series forecast for the next two years. The techniques apply to any time series with characteristics of trend, seasonality or longer-term cycles. Continue reading “But can ravens forecast?”
Revisiting an old post
Last September I wrote a post entitled Is the Government realising its ambition for SMEs on G-Cloud? Six months on, I wanted to revisit and update this article, fold in a second Digital Marketplace framework, and share the R code here. Revisiting an old post also provides an opportunity to see if one can simplify and improve older code. Continue reading “Digital Marketplace. Six months later.”
Why take a deeper look at G-Cloud categories?
The last blog – “The key to unlocking services on G-Cloud” – touched briefly upon their overlap. And as the concept of G-Cloud categories was newly introduced in the current iteration (G9), it may be worth taking a deeper look at their impact in advance of the next.
So, in this blog, I want to explore the extent and effects of category overlap. And let’s see what insights may be drawn. For example, are some categories of less value than others? Could some suppliers gain an advantage? Perhaps by aligning each service to many categories so buyers find them irrespective of their carefully crafted search criteria?
Continue reading “Do G-Cloud categories need a tweak?”
The importance of keyword-rich descriptions
There are nearly 20,000 services on G-Cloud. Suppliers have strewn their services with G-Cloud keywords designed to grab the attention of buyers. So what should buyers search for, and how does that vary by cloud service category?
Only selected parts of the suppliers’ content are indexed for searching: The service title, a 50-word summary, and bulleted features and benefits. So suppliers must cram in thoughtful keyword-rich phrases to optimise their chances of success.
In this blog, I want to compare and contrast the most frequent keywords used by suppliers. I’ve selected four categories from the Cloud Hosting lot for this purpose: Continue reading “The key to unlocking services on G-Cloud”
Background to G-Cloud pricing
The Digital Marketplace is helping those transforming public services by making it simpler, clearer and faster for them to buy what they need. G-Cloud focuses on cloud-based services. Since its launch in 2012, it has evolved through multiple iterations, with the current version being G-Cloud 9.
So, the introduction of a set of categories in G-Cloud 9 provided a natural step forward. These offered a level of granularity below the three lots of Cloud Hosting, Software and Support. As a result, buyers are able to find and compare groups of suitable products more easily.
Yet there is plenty of opportunity to further simplify the buyer’s task in future G-Cloud iterations. For example, around price comparison. Continue reading “Could G-Cloud pricing be simplified?”
The risk of choice overload
In his book The Paradox of Choice, American psychologist and professor of social theory Barry Schwartz argued that choice overload can, in the long run, lead to decision-making paralysis.
The launch of the G-Cloud framework opened up the market to SMEs via the Digital Marketplace. And with successive iterations of G-Cloud came lots of choice.
Continue reading “Does G-Cloud 9 provide too much choice?”
G-Cloud and the ambition for SMEs
Rewind to 2011, and the Cabinet Office articulated, in its Government ICT Strategy, an intent to “streamline the procurement process to break down the barriers that impede SMEs from bidding for contracts”. They could thereby create a fairer and more competitive marketplace. Continue reading “Is the Government realising its ambition for SMEs on G-Cloud?”