A disparity study is a legal and analytical framework commonly used to assess whether underrepresented and disadvantaged groups, such as minority and women owned business enterprises (MWBE), are discriminated against in public contracting. A central component of a disparity study is the comparison between the availability of these business enterprises in the applicable markets against the utilization of them in public contracts.
Procurement processes can generate large quantities of data, including information on the list of vendors solicited, responses received from vendors, and awards. This data is the building block of a valid disparity study; however, it is not always stored in a structural way due to, for example, changes in technology (e.g., from paper-based forms to computer-based ones). For many public agencies, mining the large quantities of procurement-related data accumulated through the years is a challenge.
Vega’s team of experienced data scientists designed a customized a solution for Frederick County to combine state-of-the-art data processing techniques and algorithms, statistical sampling, and meticulous manual reviews to prepare the data for its disparity study.