This client was charged with evaluating Requests-for-Proposals (RFPs) as his company prepared to make a $3.5M/year decision. Over his 14 years in his industry, he knew which questions to ask and how to analyze the responses. The challenge:

  • Presenting text answers and verbal explanation to managers wouldn’t be meaningful. Visuals were needed.
  • A grading tool would help the client quantify and measure the qualitative the responses.

Client provided the questions divided into 11 categories and requested:

  • Questions receive a maximum of 5 points
  • Points and categories are non-weighted
  • Summarize the scores for the categories and overall scores for each vendor
  • Create visual representations that I think would help “see” the data

Final Product

  • Single Excel workbook that updates in real time as questions are graded on the front page.
  • The client was very happy with the number of views and summaries provided.
  • The graphs (below) were a critical piece of the analysis that helped the company make a final decision.

NOTE: The images below have been modified to protect proprietary data

Click on images to see in a larger window

RFP Grader Page 1

  • Grid with six vendors across the top, questions along the side divided into the client’s 11 categories
  • Validation:
    • User isn’t allowed to enter anything other than numbers 1-5
    • Cells with formulae are protected so that they can’t be accidentally corrupted or deleted
  • Upper part of the page.
    • Numerical summaries of the 11 categories.
    • Green highlighted boxes show highest scores in each category. Here, we see that Vendor F tied for high score in 1 category and Vendor B scored highest in no categories.
  • Lower part of the page is a stacked bar graph as visual representation of the upper part.
    • It’s easy to see that Vendor A scored the highest overall.
    • Notice: the red sections represent Disaster Recovery. Vendor A didn’t score as well as C and E. This may be enough to knock A out of contention. It may be inconsequential. Maybe the client will request more information.
  • Bar graph on top is a high level view of the vendors side-by-side divided into the 11 categories.
  • 12 mini graphs
    • The blue shows the overall scores
    • Peach colored graphs are the 11 categories and another way of seeing things like:
      • Vendor A is highest overall
      • Vendor A scored 3rd highest in Account Management and Disaster Recovery
      • Vendor C scored second highest overall and was more consistently #1 or #2 across all categories.