Federal agencies' response efforts to Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico was hampered by imperfect address data for the island. In the aftermath, emergency responders gathered together to enhance the utility of Puerto Rico address data and share best practices for using what information is currently available.
Purchase-to-Plate Crosswalk (PPC) links the more than 359,000 food products in a comercial company database to several thousand foods in a series of USDA nutrition databases. By linking existing data resources, USDA was able to enrich and expand the analysis capabilities of both datasets. Since there were no common identifiers between the two data structures, the team used probabilistic and semantic methods to reduce the manual effort required to link the data.
A recent collaboration between the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) helps shed light on the segment of the American workforce employed by foreign multinational companies. This case study shows the opportunities of cross-agency data collaboration, as well as some of the challenges of using big data and administrative data in the federal government.
Bureau of Economic Analysis / Bureau of Labor Statistics
Through its Enterprise Learning Agenda, Small Business Administration’s (SBA) staff identify essential research questions, a plan to answer them, and how data held outside the agency can help provide further insights. Other agencies can learn from the innovative ways SBA identifies data to answer agency strategic questions and adopt those aspects that work for their own needs.
The Census Bureau team produced a new interactive mapping tool in early 2018 called the Response Outreach Area Mapper (ROAM), an application that resulted in wider use of authoritative Census Bureau data, not only to improve the Census Bureau’s own operational efficiency, but also for use by tribal, state, and local governments, national and local partners, and other community groups. Other agency data practitioners can learn from the Census Bureau team’s experience communicating technical needs to non-technical executives, building analysis tools with widely-used software, and integrating efforts with stakeholders and users.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) Mapping Medicare Disparities Tool harnessed the power of millions of data records while protecting the privacy of individuals, creating an easy-to-use tool to better understand health disparities.