If you’re a government contractor, you’ve likely heard of the Federal Procurement Data System,? Next Generation (FPDS-NG), the GSA’s central database repository of statistical information on federal contracting. With a web interface that allows government agencies to enter data directly into the system, FPDS-NG offers information on many contracts almost immediately. In fact, this past year the GSA updated the system with a new look and additional data as well as enhanced reporting and tools to further improve data timeliness and accuracy.
Indeed, many contractors seeking information on a specific contract refer to this portal, which offers free access to more than 12 million contract actions spanning the entire federal government.
However, some don’t realize that FPDS-NG can be leveraged as a more powerful resource for data mining. Market Connections and several of our government contractor clients often utilize it as a key source for secondary market research as well as a tool for developing and/or refining primary research studies. For instance, the database can reveal:
- Contract awards by contractor type, including large business, small business and education
- Proposals or statements of work for specific contracts
- Procurement habits and trends of specific government agencies and departments
Competitors who are under government contracts to sell specific kinds of products or services
- Estimated market shares of products, services, or companies based on spending within the overall government or within specific agencies/departments
Here’s a case in point. A client recently asked Market Connections to conduct a survey of government agency decision makers regarding a group of products and services. However, because the client was primarily a commercial firm with only a handful of government customers, they weren’t sure which agencies to target with their offerings or, therefore, the survey.
Since Product Service Code (PSC) data is available in the FPDS-NG, Market Connections determined the appropriate PSCs for the products and services of interest. From there, we ran a report detailing the dollar value for each PSC by agency and department. With granular spending data relevant to their offerings, the client was able to intelligently prioritize and target government entities, to which Market Connections then targeted the survey.
Of course, FPDS-NG is a sophisticated self-service tool. So, to optimize searches and create useful reports, users should first review the User’s Manual and help files to familiarize themselves with the system. To learn more, visit http://www.fpds.gov or call us here at Market Connections.