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

Recent Posts

Learn What's on the BIC MAC Menu

Learn why everyone is talking about BIC MAC. It's more than just an OASIS 2 recomplete, it's a one-stop shop for solution-centric professional services. BIC MAC is positioned to significantly disrupt the market. We've seen from OASIS trends that contractors can expect widespread adoption across federal agencies. During this webinar we'll explore the broad range of services that can be expected on BIC MAC and the large number of contractors that are sure to participate. We'll also investigate why certain contractors have more post-award success that others, and some of the techniques to finding the right teaming partners.


written by Jim Sherwood, published 06/28/2021


Polaris Recap: We'll Explore What's Changed with Polaris

With other big-ticket vehicles already competed, Polaris offers another onramp for contractors to get in on the action. We'll explore historic Alliant spending and discuss strategies for Polaris.


written by Jim Sherwood, published 05/18/2021


The March Toward GWACS: CIO-SP4, POLARIS, 8(a) STARS III

Is your company prepared for the shifting landscape within Federal IT procurement? For nearly twenty years, GSA Schedules and agency-IDIQs paved the way for the evolution of second-tier competitions. In 2019, GWACs outpaced IDIQs, for the first time, to become the Government's preferred pathway. Every Federal customer interacts with GWACs, and these vehicles continue to lure in new adopters. From the broad range of services to the number of contractors vying for work, the loyalty to IDIQs is waning as customers begin their march towards GWACs. For many, this statement makes sense; however, getting on a GWAC, let alone finding success, creates a challenge unique to these types of vehicles. It isn't enough to know POLARIS, CIO-SP4, and 8(a) STARS III; a clear vision and strategy are critical to determining the right team, surviving the scorecard, and moving into post-award with a proactive plan to capture business, rather than hopelessly reacting.


written by Jim Sherwood, published 03/09/2021


The Small Business Catch-22: Available Resources Limit Critical Processes

Revenue growth is the primary focus of every small business, but in a market as complex and fluid as the federal contracting market, growth can often stall due to the lack of the right resources. And when effectively managing expenditures puts the right resources out of reach, small businesses often get caught in a growth Catch-22.


written by Jim Sherwood, published 01/25/2021