OSC Launches

At OpenSource Connections, we focus on solving the search problems that others face. One of the problems that we have noticed is that tools for U.S. government acquisition officers are poor at best. The SBAs Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) and Central Contractor Registry (CCR) only provide the scantest of information to an acquisition officer who wishes to determine which companies are capable of performing required work. Resultantly, they turn to Google or Bing to search for companies and often have to do cross-referencing, which leads to human error. Worst of all, there is often a lack of subject matter expertise that allows the acquisition community to accurately identify when companies can perform the work, leading to false negatives and leaving the companies who could perform the work out in the cold. OSC views this predominantly as a search problem; there are no effective search tools which enable the contracting officer, in one place, to do market research and to find companies to perform work. Because of the lack of effective search tools, market research often fails or relies on a many-to-one relationship rather than a one-to-many relationship. In terms of relative effort, it is easier for a contracting officer to, through the use of a tool, find providers than it is for multiple providers to write deep responses to RFIs. Because of this problem, we have launched the SmallBizContracting website at In its current state, it is much more of a proof of concept website than something which is polished and hardened. However, we wanted to push out what wed been working on in our BHAG time to the public so that we could start to get comments on it. Briefly, we merged data from CCR, the Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE) database, and individual company websites to get a richer, fuller picture of corporate capabilities than any existing government tool provides. We simply have merged into one tool the capabilities of CCR, CVE, DSBS, and Google. Please leave a comment here, e-mail us at talktous at opensourceconnections dot com or contact us to let us know what you think. In the upcoming weeks, well provide our take on what deeper data analysis tools such as Accumulo and Mahout have to tell us about the publicly available information we have collected about tens of thousands of companies.