The Government seeks to provide an automated business/market intelligence collection and analysis capability that utilizes web-based machine learning to support program managers who are engaging in exchanges with industry, through the issuance of formal questionnaire-based Requests for Information (RFI’s) and sources sought announcements. The capability must integrate into existing VA systems and be fully accessible from within the VA firewall for conducting market research. This capability will be utilized to facilitate both tactical and strategic market research efforts, in a variety of industry business sectors. This capability will be used to support acquisition planning for the procurement of unique services and commodities ranging from simple to very complex requirements. This capability is intended to make the process of conducting market research efficient, effective, expedient, effortless, and fully compliant with VA market research policy requirements. This capability is intended to be universally easy to operate, by users having little or no prior market research experience, but also provide advanced functionally for more sophisticated users as well.
In the wake of precedential Federal court decisions (referenced below), the VA has implemented various Veteran Affairs Acquisition Regulation (VAAR) changes, intended to establish Agency specific market research policy requirements. Pursuant to VAAR 810.001-70, it is the expectation that market research not only enable the Agency to identify businesses within an appropriate North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code, but to also ensure that the identified businesses “are capable of performing the work and likely to submit an offer/quote at a fair and reasonable price”. To this end, to satisfy the reasonable expectation criteria for making procurement set-aside determinations, market research must be sophisticated, data-driven, auditable and defensible. Ultimately the Automated eRFI Generator and Data Collection Tool must enable its users to effectively satisfy the Agencies market research policy requirements. This capability is intended to support 15 – 25 users responsible for preparing an anticipated volume of 125 – 300 questionnaires annually. The provider of the automated business/market intelligence collection and analysis capability will be responsible for reporting data collection results using tailored dashboards, and a variety of presentation methods to interpret analysis most effectively. The provider of the automated business/market intelligence collection and analysis capability will also be responsible for hosting data on a backup server.