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Frequently Asked Questions

How and where will ODA host the technology?

The ODA team decided upon using the UK-based Azure Platform-As-A-Service.  This provides enables us to be:

  • open in our application choices (we can use several Business Intelligence tools)
  • scale the amount of data stored
  • scale our processing capability
  • secure and accessible to partners

How will partners connect to the ODA?

The ODA team will provide two mechanisms to connect:

  • Point-to-site connections.  Point-to-site connections enable the ODA to provide partners with demonstration devices.  These devices are provided on-loan and enable our partners to test and demonstrate the benefits within their own organisations.  The team have put in place a point-to-site VPN connection.
  • Site-to-site connections.  We intend to work with partners to provide site-to-site connections.  This enables partners to access the self-service BI applications from their own devices across their own networks.  Secondly, we intend to provide site-to-site links to enable partners to upload data to the ODA hub.  We will work with partners to determine the most appropriate method of putting in place site-to-site connections.

How will the ODA technology be managed?

We plan to engage a Managed Service partner to support the ODA Azure Hub.  An ITT has been released and we will seek to appoint the partner in June 2018.  The Managed Service Partner will provide:

  • Business-As-Usual (BAU)
    • Azure Management Portal Monitoring
    • Role Based Access Management
    • Back-ups
    • Patches
    • Security
    • Troubleshooting
  • Partner Onboarding
  • ODA Team Physical Device Build and support
  • Capability Improvement
  • Information Management and DBA Support

What security arrangements are in place?

The Azure cloud is utilised across a variety of a variety of industries.  Azure utilised both data at rest and data in transit encryption.  Our specific instance is undergoing penetration testing to ensure ongoing data security.  We will also work closely with partner security teams to ensure that data is securely and safely transferred between partners and the Azure hub.

We will ensure our Managed Service partner will follow application and cloud security principles, including:

With multiple partners providing data, how are you managing user access?

Users will be provided with role-based access.  Roles will be determined by the level of authorisation and required access.  Role-based access will be determined for the underlying

  • platform management
  • database access
  • application access

The underlying Azure database will be segregated into separate areas.  This enables partners to upload data into a locked-down area for their own use.  This enables the Azure hub to be provided as a DaaS (Data-as-a-Service) platform, whereby partners are provided access to only their own data and Qlik (or other self-service BI) applications.  A shared area enables multi-agency working.

How is the data format and structure within the ODA?

At present, data is transferred and stored according to the requirements of each Qlik app.  As further apps are developed, we will better understand the overall requirements of the data structure.  At a later date, we will undertake a rationalisation of the proposed data stores and produce an overall data structure.  This overall data structure will enable us to better manage new sources of information.

What tools are provided to the user?

We will initially provide QlikSense as our core self-service BI tool and Geo-analytics as our mapping tool.  Our platform is open by design.  This enables us to deploy other self-service BI tools and new capabilities.  We plan to deploy SPSS for predictive modelling in the new future.

How do you ensure data is up-to-date / how often are updates required?

We will work with partners to create automated links from source data systems into the ODA hub.  This removes the need for manual intervention.

Where automated links are not feasible, the requirements for data formats and upload periods will be based upon the Qlik app being deployed.

How much will it cost?

The on-going costs of technology management include:

  • Licensing
  • Azure processing
  • Azure storage
  • Managed Service Partner

The ODS will fund the technology provision until April 2019.  We will agree on a cost model with partners for provision post-2019.