This is a guest post by Eduardo Hernández Incháustegui, Founder and CEO of ibiDs.io.
ibiDs.io is a platform that helps users pull useful business insights out of public government procurement data in the Dominican Republic. ibiDs.io lets users view government contract information fast enough to capitalize on opportunities with the help of an embedded analytics dashboard for analyzing historical contract data.
Built from the ground up with Amazon QuickSight and an AWS architecture, ibiDs.io makes it straightforward for users to learn about and track relevant new opportunities in their industry, do strategic market research, find potential partnerships among suppliers, create proactive marketing plans, and automate their requests for proposal (RFP) reply documents.
In this post, we discuss how ibiDs.io delivers embedded analytics using QuickSight to help customers maximize bid competitiveness.
Building a better way to navigate government tenders
The government of the Dominican Republic releases a significant number of procurement contracts every year. Roughly 300 RFPs are released daily, seeking 1,500-2,000 goods and services. However, although the official system is comprehensive in terms of data availability, it has serious limitations when it comes to converting the data into actionable commercial intelligence, meaning companies were missing out on lucrative opportunities.
We saw an opportunity to create a user-friendly interface that would put commercial intelligence from the official dataset at our user’s fingertips, while addressing some of the more pressing issues in the existing system:
- The manual and tedious tracking of processes, especially those with short response times
- The lack of opportunity segmentation by items
- The absence of real-time follow-up in the open data section
- The error-prone, manual preparation of economic offers that causes disqualification risk
ibids.io was built to empower government contractors with an improved experience to access information and with automation tools to enhance competitiveness. For a monthly flat fee per user, companies are able to capitalize on government tender opportunities to generate revenue faster than ever before.
So, how did we go about it?
We already had the data—it was all public domain, on the government website. We just needed a way to create user-friendly embedded analytics dashboards capable of pulling that data and presenting it in a consumable, user-relevant fashion.
The platform would also need to grow with the business to support the needs and volume of new customers. And those customers would need to be able to filter the information on the dashboards, so they would see only the most relevant information. Our plans also include regional scaling, so from the beginning, we needed a solution that allowed for handling an increasing number of datasets.
We knew we needed a business intelligence (BI) solution that would allow us to do all that easily, and that would also make it effortless to:
- Integrate with our data collection and processing workflows on AWS
- Integrate other value-added sources of data seamlessly (plug and play), such as payments to contractors and the national budget
- Integrate with other systems like Odoo and Zoho, allowing users to integrate the data into their existing sales and accounting workflows
- Make it straightforward for users to take immediate action directly from the dashboard
- Keep costs low and scale affordably with use (in line with our subscription model)
- Create executive summaries of critical information
For all those reasons and more, we chose QuickSight.
QuickSight: Our gateway to smoother RFP exploration and bid tendering
Although we looked at a few other options for BI tools, QuickSight quickly stood out as the perfect fit for our new offering. It presented the following benefits:
- Offers customizable dashboards – QuickSight made it straightforward to create tailored, interactive dashboards with extensive filtering capabilities and embed them into an accessible React-based web application.
- Offers seamless user access – We already used an Amazon Cognito user pool to authenticate users on our web application, so we wanted to be able to use the same user pool and integrate it with QuickSight so that only authenticated users could access the dashboards.
- Allows built-in quick actions – Users can link back to the official source for each RFP, guaranteeing robustness of information. Users can generate emails expressing interest and initiate RFP reply workflows directly from the dashboard. Equally important, QuickSight was also able to integrate with third-party systems like Odoo and Zoho, for workflow initiation in users’ existing CRM and accounting ERP environments.
- Makes putting bids in easy – Aside from being able to do everything from the dashboards, we were able to incorporate Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES) notifications based on user-defined filters, along with AI-generated summaries and links to generate bid documents.
- Scales effortlessly with use – The QuickSight pay-per-use model gave us flexibility to scale as needed in line with our growth strategy.
- Generates executive data summaries – The Paginated Reports feature allows us to schedule executive weekly reports covering the week’s activities for our users.
- Reliable service from a trusted provider – Finally, the fact that it’s backed by AWS gave us faith in the performance and reliability of the solution, which is crucial for a paid service.
ibiDs.io’s embedded analytics dashboard
The essential embedded analytics component of ibiDs.io was created with the support of AWS. The team built the dashboards on QuickSight using the data available in Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), after which we would embed the analytics dashboards into our web application.
End-users are authenticated on the web application using Amazon Cognito, and the embedded URL is fetched from QuickSight using an AWS Lambda function.
The web application hosts our embedded analytics dashboards, which are capable of pulling real-time information on tenders and RFPs. The filtering capability we built in also lets users tailor the dashboards to their own unique needs. For example, users can pick the number of days they would be shown open tenders in select industries or products.
Users can view the following:
- The annual purchasing plans of the Dominican’ Republic’s contracting entities
- Historical purchases, showing the seasonality of when items were purchased
- Active processes—what is being purchased right now, with information on dates and estimated prices based on historical data and a percentage of match to expressed interest
- Awarded contracts, allowing users to discover potential subcontracting opportunities or see how the competition is doing
- Contracts of the awarded items, including insights into top contractors
- Prices of items before bidding
- Treasury department payments that government entities have paid to suppliers
- The level of implementation of the government budget
- The current database of providers
- The current database of contacts at contracting entities
- Weekly RFP summaries tailored to each user’s interests
The following screenshots show some examples of these dashboards.
Our tech stack
We used an extensive stack to create ibiDs.io:
- Amazon API Gateway – We use Amazon API Gateway to invoke the Lambda functions from the application whenever users log in and request dashboards.
- Amazon Cognito – We use Amazon Cognito to authenticate the users who log in to the application. These users will then be registered within QuickSight to access the embedded dashboards.
- AWS Lambda – We use Lambda to create the functions required for generating embedding URLs, registering users with QuickSight, and adding user group membership to registered users.
- Amazon QuickSight – QuickSight serves as the BI layer of the solution, and it’s used to build the dashboard that will be embedded into the React application, as well as the paginated reports.
- React application – The web application, built in React using the AWS Amplify, is where the embedded dashboards can be accessed by authenticated users.
- Amazon RDS – This serves as the primary data source for the QuickSight dashboards. The RDS database stores all the tenders, contracts, budget, and product-related information.
An easier way to capitalize on government tender opportunities
QuickSight not only met our technical needs, but it provided a scalable, cost-effective, and reliable solution that aligns with our growth plans. The integration with Amazon Cognito ensures secure and authenticated access for users, and the robust data visualization platform fulfills our goal of delivering intuitive, tailored insights to subscribers.
This successful implementation has positioned ibiDs.io as a provider of a dependable and valuable service in the government procurement data domain—and choosing QuickSight was key to all of that.
With QuickSight, we were able to accomplish the following:
- Create a working embedded analytics prototype in just a matter of days
- Scale at the pace of subscribers so we never lost money by paying for more capacity than we needed
- Monetize data effectively
- Create a product that has had less than 5% churn
“QuickSight and the AWS ecosystem enabled a fast go-to-market strategy with a product that immediately created value for end-users while providing incredible flexibility to instantly incorporate user feedback and push to production. As a startup, the ability to respond to early user requests and develop new features is critical to growth.”
—Eduardo Hernández Incháustegui, Founder and CEO, ibiDs.io.
We want to offer the world’s publicly available procurement data on ibiDs.io. To achieve this, we need a robust partner like AWS that has large-scale data solutions in their DNA. AWS’s cloud-native data ecosystem is eminently scalable and is a sound platform for machine learning and other optimizations, and we completely trust its resiliency. Wrangling and creating extract, transform, and load (ETL) processes for the world’s public contracting opportunities presents many challenges, but we’re confident AWS is the right partner to help us face these challenges.
We are currently working on an embedded use case for mobile usage of our QuickSight application, allowing our users to access insights on the go.
We’ll also delve into unstructured datasets to increase the informational value our clients can get from public procurement data, using tools like Amazon Textract. With generative AI, we’re considering expanding into new areas such as helping generate bids for customers and providing automated notifications with dynamic and personalized content.
We also want to explore advanced integration by expanding ibiDs.io’s capabilities to other ERP and CRM systems, and by looking into the possibility of enhancing insights by integrating additional external data sources into the platform. We see ourselves evolving into a tender management platform—with everything from data to integrations to CRMs and accounting systems.
Working with AWS—and being able to tap into their data ecosystem—gives us confidence that we have the right partner to go after exciting new opportunities.
Get started with QuickSight
Using QuickSight to embed dashboards into our application made it possible for us to go—after an extensive period of subject matter R&D—from zero to launch in under a week.
QuickSight lets us scale our operations endlessly at a low cost to serve. We’re very pleased with the results so far, and are looking forward to expanding further.
To learn more about how QuickSight can help your business create exciting new applications, improve cost-effectiveness and scalability, and democratize data insights, visit Amazon QuickSight.
About the Authors
Eduardo Hernández Incháustegui, Founder and CEO of ibiDs.io, is a Dominican govtech entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in the public sector. Leveraging his background in legislative and diplomatic realms, he brings data-driven solutions to the private sector. Eduardo holds degrees in Economics and Political Science from the UPENN and a Master’s Degree in Strategy from NDU in Washington, D.C. His passion for open data advocacy and govtech innovation fuels his work.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/business-intelligence/how-ibids-io-used-embedded-analytics-dashboards-to-create-a-new-user-friendly-product/