CENSUS

Census action far from over post-2020 collection

Come the spring of next year, the federal government will begin to move on the 2020 U.S. Census that is a major determinant of the funding and grants each state and territory gets.

The Census Bureau’s preparation for the effort included several major contract awards over the past two years with the IT components adding up to a total around $2 billion. A list of those contracts can be seen here in this portion of the Census Bureau’s last status report posted in August.

Naturally, the buildup to the Census has resulted in a noticeable IT budget uptick for the Commerce Department in the government’s current fiscal year. Commerce could spend nearly $3.8 billion on IT for fiscal 2020 versus the $3.2 billion for 2019, analysts at ImmixGroup said at the company’s Government IT Sales Summit in Reston, Virginia, on Thursday.

Jessica Parks, civilian market intelligence analyst at ImmixGroup, told attendees that the Census Bureau’s most significant short-term priorities regarding IT will be to scale via cloud computing during the actual field count and security.

Also as Parks pointed out, the fact that most of the prime contracts have already been awarded is not a deterrent for vendors or other channel partners from eyeing opportunities related to the Census.

There will be a significant amount of work to be done after the data is collected. Parks said that post-Census, “the story will be transforming the data into actionable intelligence that can be used and studied by researchers.”

During the presentation, Parks highlighted one program to watch as an example of what the bureau will be looking to do with the data after it is all collected and particularly the sharing element.

CEDSCI -- short for the Center for Enterprise Dissemination Services and Consumer Information program -- will support the integration of legacy data systems into one shared services platform for processing both Census and economic data.

Parks said that with CEDSCI, the Census Bureau also wants to introduce additional search and display functions such as one for micro data. CEDSCI’s requirements will include data mining, business intelligence and analytics, and application integration.

Vendors and other channel partners that want to know more about CEDSCI should keep these contractors in mind that were shown in the presentation slides: Accenture, Deloitte, the Alliant Enterprise joint venture, Longview International and even ImmixGroup itself.

Consider also that the Census is not just there for its namesake activity.

“There’s a lot of other applications with their data and they do a lot of other surveys where there’s also applicability around security hosting and data tools,” Parks said.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also find and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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