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RFP Language: Data

Data is at the core of any application or service. Below are some areas of consideration.

Here is an article about the data lifecycle that may help inform a general discussion about data.

RFP Language on data includes:

System Interoperability

  • Are standards for metadata being used? What are they?
    • Why are standards for metadata important?
      • In general, standards solve the most common problems and provide a standard solution. Metadata adds structure to data by grouping data into types. Data structure helps turn data into information. Here is an example of metadata from (used most often with web or SEO) and Dublin Core (more general purpose, spans multiple domains).
      • Another reason is change. Someday you may need to migrate to a new platform. Metadata will help make the transition easier.
  • What interoperability standards for data are implemented or used? For each response, describe how it's used.
    • Some possible answers around education-related data may include ​​​​Ed-Fi, OneRoster, CEDS, etc.
  • What does the vendor offer in terms of integration request?
  • What's included for system integration?
  • What interoperability organizations does the vendor belong to?
  • What contributions does the vendor provide to open standards organization?


  • Who owns the data? Who owns data synthesis or analytics that are produced?
    • If data is not stored on-premise, don't assume you're the owner the data.
    • Data is not just raw input and output. What's learned from data is valuable to your organization.
  • If data is visible to the vendor, what do they do with it?
    • Should vendors be allowed to analyze your data?
    • How does your organization benefit from having vendors analyze your data?
  • How is the capture and acquisition of data achieved?
    • Is it done by a machine? What equipment would be needed?
    • Is it people-powered? What training would be necessary?
  • How does the user update or edit their own information?


  • If you have state and federal report requirements, has the vendor implemented Ed-Fi compliant API integration with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction WISEdata system?
  • What are the requirements for data reporting and publication?
    • What reporting requirements do you have? Do you have state or federal reporting needs? How can the vendor assist with this?
    • Does the publication of reports protect student privacy? How does the system do that?


  • What data maintenance processes are being used?
  • What processes are being used for data archiving or purging?
  • Vendor shall ensure that all data in its possession and in the possession of any subcontractors, or agents to which the Contractor may have transferred data, are destroyed or transferred to your organization under the direction of an authorized organization when the data is no longer needed for their specified purpose, or at the request of the organization.
  • How is data recovery managed?
  • How will the organization audit its data?
  • What disaster recovery methods are used?


  • What does the process look like for data privacy concerns, risks, and reporting incidents?
  • Is the platform compliant with PII (Personally Identifiable Information) requirements for student privacy?
  • What encryption methods are used to secure data?
  • How does the vendor maintain or address FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) needs?


  • Where is the data stored?
  • System maintenance shall be performed during non-peak business activities.
    • How does your organization expect to be notified for system updates?
  • What is the vendor's Service Level Agreement (SLA)?
    • What does your organization reasonably expect for system uptime?
  • How does the system guard against data corruption and loss?
  • How does the system allow for remediation of lost or corrupt data?


  • What does data migration from an older platform to the new platform look like?
    • What can be automated versus manual re-entry?
    • What data transformation needs to occur for migration?


  • What training is available or ongoing? Does the vendor provide training?
  • How is training delivered?
  • What does the vendor recommend for training?

Functionality gaps

  • What services are available from the vendor to address functionality gaps?
  • What tools are available for analysis to help your organization make decisions based on data?


  • If your organization leaves this platform, what's involved with the migration?
  • The System shall have exportable data formatted as (JSON, CSV, Excel, PDF, SQL-dump, etc) for authorized staff.
  • If there are updates to the system, are they available free of charge? How does that process work?
  • What financial incentives does the vendor have for keeping your organization as a customer?
  • What future improvements to the system does the vendor plan to implement?