The G-Cloud: Helping Public Sector Organisations Access High-Quality Data Annotation Services

Sarah Lowe Leave a Comment

Appen has been accepted as a supplier of its Figure Eight data annotation platform on G-Cloud, part of the UK Government’s Digital Marketplace. G-Cloud is an online platform designed to help public sector organisations more easily procure services and offers significant benefits for buyers and sellers alike. The UK Government launched its Digital Marketplace in 2012 with the aim of making it more straightforward and cost-effective for government, public and third sector organisations (including local government and the NHS) to buy common goods and services. Overseen by the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) it comprises different frameworks that group together similar providers and encompasses a wide range of disciplines, from project management, human resources and sales to digital and cloud-based services. For the first time, Appen is now part of this marketplace. The company has been accepted as a supplier on the G-Cloud framework, which brings together providers of cloud-based hosting, software and support. Through the framework, Appen is offering its Figure Eight data annotation platform and tools, combining machine learning and human data labelling in a single interface for data science teams. The platform offers secure on-premises, private cloud and hybrid cloud deployment options. Appen helps clients develop high-quality training data for machine learning, including sentiment analysis, search relevance, content moderation, data collection and enhancement, image and data annotation for computer vision, text annotation and entity extraction. To be included in the G-Cloud framework suppliers must complete an application process, only open when the Official Journal of the European Union publishes a contract notice, usually once a year. Suppliers have around six weeks to make their ‘supplier declaration’, which must, among other things, explain their services, say how they will work with buyers and set out pricing. If a supplier is accepted onto G-Cloud, the CCS carries out regular spot checks to make sure they are meeting the required standards and that their supplier declaration is accurate. Public sector organisations like councils or NHS trusts can search G-Cloud and other frameworks for providers. Once they’ve made their choice, they still need to agree and sign a ‘call off contract’ with the supplier for each service. For buyers like these, cost-effective, efficient procurement is becoming more and more vital, with financial pressures increasing year on year. The Digital Marketplace is an easy to use ‘gateway’, making procurement simpler and quicker and helping buyers find the right service first time. Buying services this way is also more cost-effective than using individual procurement contracts, bringing significant savings for the public purse. Of course, suppliers like Appen that are accepted onto G-Cloud and other frameworks benefit too. Although participation in the scheme does not constitute ‘accreditation’ as such, the application process is challenging and not all suppliers are successful. Being part of the Digital Marketplace shows a provider meets certain standards, including in areas where Appen excels, such as quality assurance and secure data handling. Through the scheme, suppliers are also able to introduce their services to many potential clients, yet at the same time focus on building close links with the customers who really need their services. It’s a simple idea – making the right services more accessible to the buyers who need them. But it’s one that is mutually beneficial; saving time, resources and money for everyone involved.   Find out more about Appen’s services on G-Cloud at:

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