GSA rolls out dashboard for Connections II purchases

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Accessing non-classified government purchasing data just got a little easier with the launch of the General Services Administration’s Connections II dashboard. 

Announced in a July 14 blog post by Mary Davie, GSA’s assistant commissioner in the Office of Integrated Technology Services, the dashboard will create a single point of access for all purchasing activity awarded under GSA’s Connections II, an award program for telecom equipment, labor, building and campus infrastructure solution needs. 

“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,” Davie wrote in the post. “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.”

The dashboard displays a bar graph of the non-classified Connections II purchasing data for the Homeland Security Department. Source: GSA Connections II Dashboard The dashboard displays a bar graph of the non-classified Connections II purchasing data for the Homeland Security Department.
Source: GSA Connections II Dashboard

On the dashboard, users can view panels of data for total non-classified purchases under Connections II, purchases by federal agency and purchases made with an industry partner. Each panel contains data from 2012 to 2014 and has the capability to display the information in a bar or line graph. 

“Users have quick and easy access to the dashboard,” Davie said. “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.”

2014_07_Screen-Shot-2014-07-17-at-3.46.35-PM-compressor The new GSA dashboard is similar to the agency’s GWAC dashboard, which was released almost two years ago.

The launch of the dashboard is one part of the agency’s larger transparency efforts. In the fall of 2012, the GSA launched a similar dashboard for its Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts. And last month, Davie introduced Networx, the agency’s telecommunications program that collects data about what federal agencies are purchasing and how they are paying for it.

Davie said more than 136 federal agencies have used Networx to purchase more than $760 million worth of network and telecommunications services. In addition, GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service is working on a common acquisition platform, according to the post.

This platform will contain more tools, capabilities and governmentwide data on acquisition vehicles, intelligence and prices paid, according to Davie.

“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,” Davie said. “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.”

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Agencies, big data, Connections II, dashboard, data analytics, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Departments, General Services Administration (GSA), Government IT News, GWAC Dashboard, Innovation, Mary Davie, open data, open government, Tech
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