Common Search Gotchas

Common "Gotchas" when trying to search/ navigate Government Data

Place of Performance (Location)

Place of Performance (POP), also called Location by some, is a manually entered field by the Contracting Officer/Specialist which is prone to inconsistencies and error.

If you add Virginia as a POP Filter:

If you add Virginia as Keywords:

Why did I do "Not Virginia, USA" as a filter? So that you don't get duplicate results to sort through between both searches.

As you can see, if you were to just have Virginia as a POP, you would miss out on quite a few results potentially, like the result below for example:

So what does GovTribe recommend?

Due to the inconsistencies in the data, you should create two separate searches, one with the POP as a filter and the other using the location as keywords to be sure you do not missing any solicitations/opportunities you may be interested in.

NAICS & PSC vs. Keywords

NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) and PSC (Professional Service Codes) are both ways the Government classifies their spend. If you're experienced in the private space, think UNSPSC. The Government uses these values quite a bit; however not always and even when they are used, Keywords are typically still needed to filter amongst the categories to ensure you find what you are looking for.

In other words, you are going to have to use a combination of NAICS & PSC Filters as well as keywords to ensure you have a holistic view of Government records applicable to you.

So what does GovTribe recommend?

To ensure you capture every potential record you may want to see, you will have to have a few Saved Searches. One for NAICS, one for PSC, and one for Keywords.

The idea being you would have one search that would include all of the NAICS which matter to you, another for all the PSC's that matter to you and another for Keywords and phrases.

If you are unsure of how often/ how many records you may miss out on, you can use the "Exists" or "Does not exist" option for NAICS or PSC to see how many records are missing one of these values (example below):

As you can see, there are 803 results where there are no NAICS on opportunities; therefore if you were searching by NAICS you would have missed these results.

Examples of the 3 searches you would want to have should look like this: 1. A Search that includes all of the NAICS you know are used by the Government for the work that you do:

2. A search that includes all of the PSC categories you know are used by the Government for the work that you do:

3. A search with the keywords which matter to you:

Once you are sure you have all of the NAICS/ PSC categories you would be interested in, you can add filters for "Not" on the other searches to ensure there are no duplicate records across your 3 searches if you so choose. For example: On the NAICS Search: NAICS any of XXXXX PSC not any of XXXXX (list of the PSCs you want from the other search) This would ensure you wouldn't get any of the records you see on the PSC search also in your NAICS search.

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