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February 28, 2019updated 19 Jul 2022 12:33pm

BoE Waves £22m for Data Science Support

£21.8 million allocated for data science and governance support, Python, Scala, Hortonworks, PowerShell, Linux, Ansible skills...

By CBR Staff Writer

A new £21.8 million Bank of England contract reveals the bank is planning a major overhaul of its IT estate, with a particular focus on getting value from its data.

The central bank needs data scientists, help with web application development, support with React/Redux, Hortonworks, Jenkins, Linux and more, the tender shows.

The BoE is setting up a “multi-lot, multi-supplier development, data, analytics and modelling and early career engagement” framework agreement, a notice on a European tenders page said.

The 48-month contracts are broken into four lots.

The framework agreement was welcomed by GlobalData analyst Alaa Owaineh.

Read this: The Old Lady Roadblock: Bank of England IT “Archaic” and Hindering Payments Innovation

He told Computer Business Review: “The BoE’s outdated systems have been a barrier to innovation in the financial sector, and many promising fintech startups have been having to work around the BoE, rather than be supported and enabled by it (as in the case of the 20+ year old RTGS system).”

“It’s good to see that the BoE is finally investing in a broad range of technological capabilities, to keep pace with the rapid developments in the wider industry”.

Bank of England Contract: What the Bank Wants, What the Bank Needs …

The Bank of England contract/framework agreement is being split into four lots.

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Lot 1: With a budget of £6 million allocated, the BoE said it needs to suppliers who can provide skilled resources spanning the development of web apps, MS Windows form apps, web APIs, Windows service apps, business intelligence (BI) systems; c#, .net 4.5+, MVC, Javascript/JQuery, React/Redux, SSIS/SSAS/SSRS, SQL 2008+ and more.

Lot 2: With a budget of £10.5 million allocated, this is the requirement for which the BoE has set aside the largest budget. It says it needs data science and engineering suppliers who can support the bank with data science consultancy, big data, data governance, enterprise ingestion, R, Python, Scala, Hortonworks, Linux.

Lot 3: This £3.4 million lot is for data administration and devops. “The Lot 3 high level desirable skills are: Production Hortonworks management, extended digital platforms, 3rd party master data management, TFS/GIT, PowerShell, Linux, Ansible, Artifactory, Hortonworks, and Jenkins”, the Bank of England said in the tender.

Lot 4: This £2 million contract is to furnish the bank with junior tech professionals.

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Bob Lyddon of Lyddon consulting told Computer Business Review: “It seems like a colossal amount of money to spend on creating database tools as the basis for analysis and reports. It speaks of a desire to enjoy Big Data but where the data is held in a series of different databases, which use every conceivable variety of database models and languages.”

He added: “This may be legitimate where data is held externally to the BoE and they want to access it and import it into their models, but there has to be a suspicion that the BoE holds much data internally on old databases, and that this project creates an overlay on top of those databases, rather than porting the data onto a newer database from which the data can be accessed via a simpler, and cheaper, database management system.”

See also: New Payments Architecture: “The Mother of All Contracts”

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