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Census counting on cloud service for survey design, data management

The Census Bureau conducts a wide range of household and business surveys across multiple programs.  This has led to siloed data collection systems, which in turn increases duplication, complexity and costs.

To make it easier to collect and work with data, the Census Bureau is looking for a software-as-a-service solution for survey design and programming as well as the collection, review and analysis of its own data and the commercial and administrative datasets it ingests from third parties.

The bureau envisions its Data Ingest and Collection for the Enterprise program as a system of systems that will provide a shared platform for survey design as well as efficient and cost-efficient data collection and analysis, Census said in a March 15 solicitation. DICE is also expected to expand Census’ surveying capabilities and minimize redundancy, lower complexity and avoid costs related to duplicative data collection operations.

Central to the bureau’s strategy is that cloud-based survey design software be user friendly, allowing business users, subject matter experts or contract employees with no specialized programming skills to program a survey and collect data. With this capability, the bureau’s various surveys groups can quickly develop and deploy surveys at varying levels of scale.

The web-based DICE will use application programming interfaces to deliver respondent data collected in businesses’ cloud environment to DICE. It is to be hosted in an environment approved by the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program.

Responses are due March 31.

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