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Innovation @ BEA: Exploring New Data Projects

Man pressing airplane icon.BEA is working on a variety of projects this year to bring new economic statistics your way. The goal is to give business people, policymakers and households additional tools to make informed decisions and deepen their understanding of the U.S. economy. At this point, it's too early for us to say exactly when these new statistics will be introduced, but here's a look at what we're planning.

Visualizing Atmospheric Rivers

Editor's Note: The Commerce Data Service recently launched the Commerce Data Usability Project to feature tutorials and case studies in order to assist data scientists, programmers, researchers and other data users access and utilize a range of Commerce Department datasets. As part of this project, a number of external organizations are sharing tutorials illustrating their innovative use of Commerce data. In the guest blog below, Mapbox explains how to visualize NOAA precipitable water data. To learn more about this project, visit www.commerce.gov/datausability.

Atmospheric Rivers (AR) are narrow regions in the atmosphere that transport water across the world. Like a river suspended in the air, these phenomena carry moisture from the humid tropics to temperate areas, where it has the potential to fall as rain or snow. ARs can range in size, and we depend on them to resupply water reserves. However, when a large AR stalls over an area, it also can bring the risk of heavy, damaging rainfalls and flooding.

Announcing the Commerce Data Usability Project

The U.S. Department of Commerce collects, processes and disseminates data on a range of issues that impact our nation. Whether it's data on the economy, the environment, or technology, data is critical in fulfilling the Department's mission of creating the conditions for economic growth and opportunity. It is this data that provides insight, drives innovation, and transforms our lives. The U.S. Department of Commerce has become known as "America's Data Agency" due to the tens of thousands of datasets including satellite imagery, material standards and demographic surveys.

Commerce Data Service: Software vulnerabilities and the impact on our lives

Commerce Data Service Graphic

Editor's Note: The newly launched Commerce Data Service is working with the 12 bureaus that make up the Commerce Department to identify opportunities to maximize their data to better serve the public. Among the Service's priorities is developing data visualizations that simply and effectively explain complex data sets.

You've probably noticed it in your periphery - every few months on the news, on Facebook, or Twitter - warnings to update your computers or phones lest they be vulnerable to an attack or other bad outcome. It's an accepted reality in most American's lives that the tools that empower us may also leave us vulnerable to cyber threats. The impact of these vulnerabilities can range from minor inconveniences to large financial losses.

Census Bureau Projects U.S. and World Populations on New Year's Day

Graphic of New Year Population EstimateAs our nation prepares to ring in the new year, the U.S. Census Bureau today projected the United States population will be 322,762,018 on Jan. 1, 2016. This represents an increase of 2,472,745, or 0.77 percent, from New Year's Day 2015. Since Census Day (April 1) 2010, the population has grown by 14,016,480, or 4.54 percent.

CDAC Takes the Next Step

The Commerce Data Advisory Council (CDAC) has just launched two new working groups to further explore topics it touched upon at its late October meeting in Boulder, CO. During that meeting, the CDAC explored NOAA’s efforts to unlock environmental data as well as department-wide efforts to improve our data privacy and cybersecurity operations.

Department of Commerce Honored for Data & Technology Innovation

FedScoop 50 AwardsFedScoop, a Washington DC-based government IT media company, recently honored three Department of Commerce innovators under its annual "FedScoop 50" awards.  Commerce's CIO, Steve Cooper, won the "GoldenGov Federal Executive of the Year".   The Department's new prioritization on Data was also a winner in two ways.  First, the newly hired Deputy Chief Data Officer, Tyrone Grandison, won "Most Inspiring Up & Comer".  Second, one of the data products the Department invented – a civic information integrator called "CitySDK" – won "Innovation of the Year".

From Education to Housing Costs, the American Community Survey Provides 10 Years of Local Statistics for Every Community Nationwide

The American Community Survey helps local officials, community leaders and businesses understand the changes taking place in their communities.For 10 years, the American Community Survey has provided U.S. communities with detailed information critical for making informed decisions about their people, places and economy. Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released the latest American Community Survey five-year statistics, allowing users for the first time to compare two nonoverlapping five-year data sets: 2005-2009 and 2010-2014.

Upcoming Natural Capital Business Roundtable set for Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment with Focus on Tech and Tourism

Photo of Stanford Woods InstituteThe fourth natural capital business roundtable will be hosted by Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment on December 9, 2015. Natural capital includes the air, water, soil and living resources that provide a range of goods and services on which the global economy depends.  The December 9th meeting will focus on the technology sector and tourism. Representatives from the private sector, non-governmental organizations and academia will come together with Commerce Department and local governmental officials for a day of brainstorming to identify the opportunities and challenges associated with integrating natural capital into business models. Commerce Department Chief Data Officer Ian Kalin will be the keynote speaker for the Stanford roundtable.

Bureau of Economic Analysis Releases Two New Data Sets to Deepen Understanding of U.S. Economy

Bureau of Economic Analysis LogoIn the past two days, the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has released two brand new sets of economic statistics that business people, entrepreneurs, policy makers, households and others can use to make more informed decisions in their professional and personal lives.

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