Having Trouble Getting Used to beta.SAM reports? | Federal Compass

Having Trouble Getting Used to beta.SAM reports?

09/30/2020


If you were thinking that the beta.SAM data contract searches lack some of the intuitiveness and ease of use that you had gotten used to on fpds.gov, you wouldn't be the only one. Learn more by downloading the free eBook, Transitioning from FPDS Reports to beta.SAM Reports.

Below are a few of the difficulties we've run into while testing the new search system.

FPDS to beta.SAM report transition

Confusing workflow

How do you actually run a contract data search on beta.SAM?

Learning the ropes appears to include a fair amount of guessing, second-guessing, and stumbling upon the data you need after some experimentation.

Especially if you have extensive experience using FPDS to run your reports, plan to spend some time re-learning everything you thought you knew about contract searches.

Strange search parameters

With search conditions such as "like" and "not like" or "greater than" and "less than", searches have lost some of the clarity and precision that you would hope to have when combing through perhaps thousands of results.

With practice, users will likely become accustomed to the unusual search conditions. In the meantime, allow some extra time for trial and error rather than expecting to seamlessly translate your old FPDS knowledge into useful skills within the beta.SAM system.

Lack of clear explanations for search results

FPDS offered a dedicated manual with explanations and examples taken directly from search results using their system.

We seem to have once again traded precision for flexibility, here, in the transition to beta.SAM. The new MicroStrategy tool does have a manual, but because it is an off-the-shelf business intelligence tool, it lacks the nuance and depth of the original FPDS data. Expect to find explanations geared toward MicroStrategy's tool rather than real-life search results within the beta.SAM system.

How can you tackle the steep learning curve and get back to business as usual?

It's easy to get lost exploring and experimenting as you get used to the transition. While some trial and error is necessary, you can skip much of the confusion and frustration if you have the right market intelligence partner.

Choose a market intelligence solution that can help you cut through the noise and focus on what really matters. Federal Compass isn't just a product. We believe in providing you with the tools and knowledge to keep your business on track, no matter the size of your organization.

The Author

Kelly Ferguson Federal Compass
Kelly Ferguson
Marketing contributor and market intelligence junkie

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