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Halloween Data Snapshot: How scary is this?

On October 31st, millions of children across America will don costumes and head excitedly into the twilight in search of sweets. (According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 41.2 million 5-14 year olds in 2013).

Open Data Impact: How Zillow Uses Open Data to Level the Playing Field for Consumers

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of guest blogs examining how Commerce data is helping drive innovation across the U.S. This series will include stories from members of the Commerce Data Advisory Council, who are helping to develop new recommendations to further the Department’s open-data mission and develop a data-driven government.

In the mid-2000s, several online data firms began to integrate real estate data with national maps to make the data more accessible for consumers. Of these firms, Zillow was the most effective at attracting users by rapidly growing its database, thanks in large part to open data.

Weather Data, Cybersecurity and Workforce Skills Focus of Upcoming Data Advisory Council

CDAC Group Member PhotoAs "America's Data Agency", the U.S. Department of Commerce delivers the most valuable open government data to businesses than any other federal government organization. We strive to continually improve the dissemination and use of this data. Through the Commerce Data Advisory Council, the department has an opportunity to engage directly with industry leaders to get recommendation on how to improve our operations and refine our vision.

Data Enabling a New Kind of Journalism

Statistics in journalism have been around for a long time -- most often associated with sports and financial stories. However, with new tools to help visualize complex statistics, data today is powering new and better ways to tell compelling stories.

Manufacturing Pays

Historically, manufacturing jobs have offered relatively high pay, good benefits, and job security. However, as the economy has changed, the manufacturing sector's reputation for offering higher-paying jobs has been called into question – but our research rebuts this criticism.  In a new short report  available on the Department of Commerce's Office of the Chief Economist's website, we use ten federal datasets to compare the average pay of manufacturing employees to the average pay of private sector employees and find that a pay premium still exists.

What is Natural Capital? New York Roundtable Considers the Question, Evokes Teddy Roosevelt

Columbia UniversityThe third natural capital business roundtable took place in New York City on September 18th, in collaboration with Columbia University's Earth Institute. The natural capital roundtables bring together industry leaders, academics, government officials and non-governmental organizations to identify opportunities and challenges associated with integrating natural capital values into companies' business models. These sessions are helping to inform the development of a Commerce Department natural capital website featuring data, case studies, tools, methodologies, best practices, and other information that businesses have identified as important for decision-making.

A Timely Portrait of America's Business Owners from the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs

I'm pleased to announce the beginning of data collection for the inaugural Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs. This new survey will be a supplement to the U.S. Census Bureau's Survey of Business Owners, which is conducted every five years as part of the Economic Census.

U.S. Census Bureau Data Shows Gulf Coast's Recovery from Hurricane Katrina

Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina struck the U.S. Gulf Coast, forever altering the lives of many of its residents. As we pause to reflect on the impact of the storm, we can see a story of recovery told through Census Bureau statistics on population, housing and businesses.

Natural Capital in the Big Apple: Upcoming Roundtable Set for Columbia University’s Earth Institute

North Carolina CoastHosted by the Commerce Department, the third natural capital business roundtable in a series focusing on coastal regions is set to take place September 18th at Columbia University's Earth Institute. The three target industries for the day-long New York City meeting will be financial services, real estate development/construction, and re/insurance.

Council Advises Continued Data Improvements

Council Advises Continued Data ImprovementsOn July 30th, the Commerce Data Advisory Council  convened its second meeting to review and provide guidance on the Department of Commerce's data.  This one-of-a-kind gathering of digital technology executives was eager to dive directly into the work of the Department and provided dozens of excellent recommendations.  A great deal of the feedback can be summarized as "Thumbs up.  Continue the good work."  Though there were some very specific suggestions for improvement areas.  But as with any insightful discussion on how a business is using its information to help its customers, the conversations about improving data led to provocative and fundamental questions about the processes, tools, and skills required to deliver on the Department's strategic data objectives.


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