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Census Digital Transformation

Screenshots of the America's Economy App

Guest blog post by Lisa Wolfisch, chief of the Web and Social Media Branch, Center for New Media and Promotions

It has been three months since the release of the Federal Digital Strategy. At the Census Bureau, we were already undergoing a digital transformation and have continued to align our efforts with the strategy. It is part of the overall transformation effort at the Census Bureau, which now provides for Internet responses to 60 different surveys.

 At this three-month anniversary, we are excited about our most recent innovations, which work toward providing the public with access to our statistics “anywhere, anytime, on any device,” a key goal of the Federal Digital Strategy.

As of today, real-time statistics about the U.S. economy are available at your fingertips, straight from your iPhone, iPad, and Android phone or tablet through our “America’s Economy” mobile app. The app combines statistics from the Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of Labor Statistics and includes 16 key economic indicators. The app gives you the ability to view trends over the past few years, add alerts to your calendars, and readily share the news on both Facebook and Twitter

If there is something else you need from Census Bureau statistics, you can make your own app for that too. Today’s release comes on the heels of the July 26 release of our first-ever public Application Programming Interface (API), which crowdsources solutions to users’ needs. The API enables developers to make their own apps, using two of the Census Bureau’s most popular data sets, the American Community Survey and the 2010 Census. In the first three weeks since the API’s release, users generated 24 million data requests, an average of 18 per second, and 860 developers received keys to access these data sets.

We want to support the creativity of the developers who use the API and have created a developer’s forum for them to share ideas, ask questions, and provide feedback. This collaboration with the developer community will help us improve the API. If you would like to see some of the apps already created from the API, just visit our app gallery, which we will continue to update with some of the great apps that users have created.

With the release of the API, the mobile app and other forward-looking online communications improvements, the Census Bureau is meeting the goals of the President’s digital strategy to make information and services more transparent and customer-centered. We are excited about using technology and adopting new paradigms to make our statistics even easier to access and encourage you to follow along with our progress as we continue to innovate in alignment with the Federal Digital Strategy.

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