SpendInsight History and Background

SpendInsight was developed as a practical first step for our eProcurement clients.

When we implement eProcurement, generally we are faced with a mass of data sitting in a number of back office systems. Analysing where best value lies in all of this has traditionally been a laborious job and one which slows down the adoption of new systems and processes.

SpendInsight solves these problems – and more – by:

  • integrating data from disperate sources into a single queryable database,
  • reverse-engineering the supplier catalogues from the purchase order data, and
  • identifying the key suppliers and products that will benefit most from the controlled pruchasing environment of eProcurement.

It is clear that our clients have the potential to make significant savings, however, identifying, prioritising and actioning these is challenging especially in large complex organisations.

Three year project

We set out to create a technology driven solution which could give us the answers we required quickly and at low cost.

SpendInsight was created by cloudBuy as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with University of Reading and Goldsmiths’ College (University of London).

SpendInsight also draws on the 30 years of UK government purchasing data collected by cloudBuy subsidiary Coding International.

Track record

Following a 3 year research project with University of Reading and Goldsmiths’ College (University of London), SpendInsight delivered the results we hoped for.

For the last 12 months of the product development cycle we worked with an NHS body – The London Procurement Programme – to analyse the spend of the London NHS Trusts.

SpendInsight performed well and coped with this very large task; London’s spend is around 25% of all NHS spend.

Coding International and NSV

Coding International was part of the public sector until it was privatised in 2000. Its role was to manage and develop a standardised coding and classification structure across all public bodies.

The national Supplier Vocabulary (NSV) system operated at line item level and could identify individual items, multiple vendors and functional equivalents as well as pricing and pack sizes.

This level of granularity means that items such as apples were always compared to apples, and pricing fluctuations and sourcing opportunities were easily available to buyers.

At the outset of the project Coding International had a complete view of the 500,000 most commonly bought items across the public sector and a 30 year history of pricing and changes in manufacturers part numbers. They continue to enhance this and create new codes for clients using NSV for their coding and classification.

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) team worked with Coding International to understand the structure of the data and how individuals approached the creation of a new classification. This human thinking was then developed into the artificial intelligence that underlies the technological tool.

All (products) will be assimilated!

SpendInsight is an intelligent agent which can apply anything from simple matching to a product classification, through to complex decision trees and attribute search. As it processes more data it learns and continues to deepen its capability to extract value from client data in all shapes and forms.

Collaboration and knowledge transfer

Six organisations, spanning the public sector and the private sectorall helped create SpendInsight:

  • cloudBuy
  • KTP
  • University of Reading
  • Goldsmiths College London
  • Coding International
  • London Procurement Programme

SpendInsight makes it possible to analyse your spend in a way that allows us to guarantee that it is worth the effort.