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State Data Center
Business and Industry Data Center Network
2001 Annual Report
Submitted to the State Data Center/Business and Industry Data Center Network
by Renee Jefferson-Copeland
Program Administrator, State and Governmental Programs,
Customer Liaison Office, Census Bureau
State Data Center/Business and Industry Data Center
2001 Annual Report
The Census Bureau's State Data Center (SDC) program was created in 1978 to provide an effective vehicle for the dissemination of Census Bureau information and data to state and local governments. The SDC program component, the Business and Industry Data Center (BIDC) Program, was added in 1988 to meet the needs of local business communities for economic data. The SDC/BIDC program is one of the Census Bureau's longest and most successful partnerships.
The Census Bureau's Customer Liaison Office (CLO) administers the SDC/BIDC program.
To create a SDC/BIDC program that is a model of Federal-State cooperation by being well managed, providing efficient and timely access to data and meeting the needs of the government partners and the ultimate customer, the data user.
To efficiently provide access to Census Bureau data and data products through a wide network of SDCs, including lead, coordinating, and affiliate partnerships in each state.
Program Core Competencies (established in 1998) and activities for program year 2000.
The network and the Census Bureau have adopted core competencies to insure the effective operation of the program. These competencies define a minimum level of participation for each state's SDC/BIDC network. The core competencies and the network's year 2000 activities are as follows:
SDC/BIDCs and Census Bureau Programs
The network has actively supported Census Bureau programs. A few program areas that have benefited from SDC/BIDC involvement include the:
CLO and SDC/BIDC Coordination and Cooperation
CLO convenes meetings and conferences with the SDC/BIDC steering committee and the entire SDC/BIDC network. CLO supports the program by offering on-site training and program assistance and by disseminating products to the network. In fiscal year 2001, CLO provided the network with 67,000 data products at no cost to the network. CLO also arranged for the network to receive data on an embargo basis to allow them time to prepare for local data user and media inquiries.
State Data Center/Business and Industry Data Center
2001 Annual Report
The Census Bureau's State Data Center (SDC) program was created in 1978 to provide an effective vehicle for the dissemination of Census Bureau information and data to state and local governments. The SDC program sub-component, the Business and Industry (BIDC) Program, was added in 1988 to meet the needs of local business communities for economic data. The SDC/BIDC program is one of the Census Bureau's longest and most successful partnerships.
The SDC/BIDC network includes lead organizations in each of the states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa. There are 56 lead organizations, 148 coordinating organizations, 1,174 affiliate organizations, and 401 BIDCs. The network has an elected steering committee that consists of a chairperson and 8 network representatives. Each SDC and the Census Bureau enters into a Memorandum of Understanding that defines each organization's roles and responsibilities.
The Census Bureau's Customer Liaison Office (CLO) administers the SDC/BIDC program.
To create an SDC/BIDC program that is a model of Federal-State cooperation by being well managed, providing efficient and timely access to data and meeting the needs of the government partners and the ultimate customer, the data user.
C. Mission Statement
To efficiently provide access to Census Bureau data and data products through a wide network of SDCs, including lead, coordinating, and affiliate partnerships in each state. The network accomplishes this mission by working in partnership with CLO and the Census Bureau's 12 regional offices.
Each SDC/BIDC is an official source for the Census Bureau's demographic, economic, and social statistics. The Census Bureau makes these data available to the network at no cost(fees may be charged for customized products). The SDC/BIDCs make Census Bureau data accessible to state, regional, local, and tribal governments and to non-government data users at no charge or on a cost-recovery or reimbursable basis as appropriate.
D. Core Competencies of the State Data Center Program
The SDC/BIDC network and the Census Bureau have adopted core competencies to insure the effective operation of the program. These competencies define a minimum level of participation for each state's network. The 2000 SDC/BIDC annual report information (see Section II below) is based on the following core competencies:
The core competencies provide the SDC/BIDC network and the Census Bureau with a mechanism to evaluate the program as a whole, its individual partners, and the Census Bureau's support of the program.
II. 2000 Annual SDC/BIDC Report
For 2000, the most recent reporting period, the SDC/BIDC network provided information for their program year activities. The SDC/BIDC reporting periods vary. Depending on the requirements of their authorizing agencies, lead organizations report their activity on a calendar year, fiscal year, or school year basis.
A. Program Administration
The lead organizations, along with their other responsibilities, act as managers to ensure state-level administrative functions are performed. It also is the responsibility of the lead organization to ensure that the remaining core competencies are performed by either the lead, coordinating, or affiliate organizations. The lead also has the option of arranging for another data center to perform functions other than those designated as administrative in nature.
For 2000, the network reported the following information:
B. Data Dissemination
The lead and/or coordinating (and affiliate as appropriate) organizations provide technical assistance and consultation in locating and understanding data from the Census Bureau and other data sources.
The network provides information services to customers through the use of Census Bureau and SDC/BIDC publications, CD-ROM's, on-line services, mail, e-mail, and FAX. They also provide data to the public through newsletters, press releases, and specialized data products. The SDC/BIDCs ensure that reasonable walk-in access to data is available to the public.
For 2000, the SDC/BIDCs reported the following information:
C. Data Analysis, Technical Assistance, and Consultation
The lead and/or coordinating (and affiliate as appropriate) organizations prepare data products based on Census Bureau data.
For 2000, the network responded to about 416,000 requests. These data requests included more in-depth work than those reported in section II B. above. This included verbal consultations, assistance with databases, data extraction, and data dissemination data through the Internet.
D. Customized Programming and Product Development
The lead, coordinating, and affiliate organizations prepare data products based on Census Bureau data. In 2000, the network prepared 24,000 customized products, the majority of which were based on Census Bureau data. This activity required extensive programming on the part ofthe network staff. It also included products developed and disseminated in a form other than the product's original format.
E. Training, Education, and Promotion of Census Programs
The lead and/or coordinating (and affiliate as appropriate) organizations provide periodic training for their subordinate organizations as well as the public. They conducted informational meetings for affiliate SDC/BIDC personnel and promoted training activities for their local data user communities.
In 2000, the network conducted the following activities in support of the Decennial Census:
In 2000, the network conducted the following activities in support of the Economic Census:
In 2000, the network conducted the following activities in support of other Census Bureau programs:
F. Assistance with Census Bureau Operations
The network assisted the Census Bureau by supporting data collection and geographic updating operations. They supported the Census Bureau's Geographic, Economic, and Demographic programs, including the American Community Survey, by conducting training sessions, preparing news articles, and locating and providing training space.
In 2000, the network reported the following:
G. Web Presence
As a condition of their Memorandum of Understanding, each SDC/BIDC network is required to maintain a Web (Internet) presence.
In 2000, the network reported the following:
H. Regional and National Conferences
At least one organization in each state's network must participate in regional and/or national conferences.
In 2000, about 60 SDC/BIDC representatives attended either an annual or regional conference.
The SDC/BIDCs reported having the following technological capabilities:
J. Network Comments for Program Improvements
In addition to reporting their program activity, the network organizations provided comments about the SDC/BIDC program. Some of their comments included suggestions that the Census Bureau perform the following activities:
The CLO will determine the feasibility of their suggestions.
III. SDC/BIDC and Census Bureau 2001 Activities
SDC/BIDC Support of Census Bureau Activities
In 2001, as in years past, the network organizations participated in Census Bureau product review and evaluation and served as beta testers of Census Bureau software and products. They participated in testing the software for the Census 2000 Summary File 1 CD-ROM. They also continued to assist in the development of the American FactFinder (AFF). The AFF staff received useful comments from the West and East regional SDC/BIDC conferences and the Census Bureau implemented several of the network's suggestions. The suggestions that were implemented included: a notation to users to indicate which version of Netscape was compatible with the American FactFinder, graphical enhancements, the restoration of the block level Public Law Quick Table as a selection item, and the addition of county subdivisions to "Basic Facts for Quick Tables."
In 2001, the Census Bureau began to release Census 2000 data. The network was actively involved in preparing local data users for the receipt of the first Census 2000 data products. This included analyzing, interpreting, and disseminating Census 2000 Public Law and short form data. Several SDCs were instrumental in assisting their states in preparing for their redistricting activities. The SDCs also played an important role in preparing their states for their legislators' receipt of the Demographic profiles and the Summary File 1 data. Several SDCs combined their technical expertise and resources to write programming code to produce generic Summary File 1 profiles to meet their local data users' needs for immediate access to Census 2000 data. In addition, the state networks served their local media by assisting in the preparation of news articles and participating in news conferences. They also assisted their communities by helping them interpret the Census 2000 Summary File 1 data and its impact on local population and housing issues. They provided assistance to those communities that questioned their Census 2000 population and housing counts by advising them about the Census Bureau's Count Question Resolution program. In addition the SDCs participated in the Census Bureau's internal review of the Summary File 1 data.
The SDCs assisted in disseminating American Community Survey and Census 2000 Supplemental Survey data to their communities. They conducted informational meetings on these topics and assisted their local media in analyzing and interpreting the data. In addition to their support of the demographic programs, the SDC/BIDCs provided support for the Census Bureau's Economic surveys and programs. They were instrumental in disseminating 1997 Economic Census data and other economic data to their communities. The BIDCs made economic data available to their communities for local planning and small business development.
Eighteen SDC/BIDCs assisted the Manufacturing and Construction Division's Residential Construction Branch update the sample frame for the 2003 Building Permits Survey. They identified 6,000 places out of the approximately 22,000 active governments that the Census Bureau will contact in 2003 to obtain building permits data.
Geography Division also benefited from the support of the network. Fifty-one out of 52 eligible SDC/BIDCs participated in the Census 2000 Public Use Microdata Area (PUMA) Delineation Program. Of particular note was the work of Carol Rogers of the Indiana SDC/BIDC. Ms. Rogers and her staff made extraordinary efforts to ensure that Indiana's delineation process was open to the public by working with various local planning organizations to define the PUMA boundaries. The Geography staff was extremely pleased with Ms. Rogers' contribution and recognized her efforts at the October 2001 SDC/BIDC Annual conference.
B. Census Bureau Support of the SDC/BIDC Program
In fiscal year 2001, CLO provided on-site training and support to the network by convening monthly Census Bureau and SDC/BIDC steering committee telephone conferences, a National conference, two Regional conferences, and two formal steering committee meetings. These conferences provided the organizations with opportunities to learn about the full range of Census Bureau programs and products and to inform the Census Bureau on how they can assist in program planning and implementation. (Note that the SDCs cover their costs for their participation in National and Regional conferences. The Bureau incurs the cost for Steering Committee meetings.)
CLO and the regional office staff provided on-site training and consultation at 16 SDC/BIDC data user conferences and seminars. They presented training and information about Census 2000 data products, the American FactFinder, Census Bureau geography, the American Community Survey, Census 2000 Supplemental Survey, Economic Census data, the Census 2000 Count Question Resolution Program, and other Census Bureau data information. In addition, CLO convened two joint SDC/BIDC and Census Information Center conferences in January and February 2001 for the Texas and Puerto Rico-based data dissemination organizations, respectively.
In fiscal year 2001, CLO provided the network with Census Bureau data products. CLO provided, at no cost to the network, approximately 67,000 data products (including paper products and CD-ROMs). The retail cost of these products was about $2.0 million. Geography Division provided the network with paper copies of the Public Law 94-171 County Block maps, Voting District/State Legislative District maps, and Census Tract Outline maps. In addition to mailing products to the network, CLO also released data to the network through the Census Bureau's embargo, File Transfer Protocol, and the CLO-controlled SDC/BIDC secure server sites.
In 2000, CLO and the steering committee worked together to obtain the Census Bureau's approval to allow the network's lead organizations receive Census Bureau data on an embargo basis. This allowed them to receive data prior to dissemination to the general public, and in some cases, the media. In 2001, CLO extended the embargo agreement to allow the lead organizations to, with the Census Bureau's approval, extend their embargo privileges to their coordinating and affiliate organizations. This arrangement allowed the organizations the additional time they needed to prepare for media and public inquiries about Census Bureau data. Thus, saving Census Bureau headquarters and regional office staff the need to expend budget and staff resources necessary to respond to local data inquiries. At no time did the Census Bureau provide the network with Title 13 or confidential data.
Over fiscal years 2000-2001, CLO arranged for the network to receive 181 used personal computers from the Census Bureau's surplus inventory.
In addition to CLO's support, each of the Census Bureau's 12 Regional Offices provided the SDCs with on-site support, product and program information, training, and technical assistance. CLO, the Regional Offices, and the network worked together to support the network's organizational needs and to meet the needs of their local data user communities. These data users included local governments, planning agencies, academic institutions, local business communities, profit and nonprofit organizations, and local media and citizens with an interest in Census Bureau programs and data. CLO staff, Regional Office Geographers, and Information Services and Partnership Specialists held workshops, participated in media events, and made presentations at SDC-sponsored workshops throughout the nation.
In 2002, the Census Bureau will continue to support the SDC/BIDC program and thecommunities they serve. In addition to the continued emphasis on the network's support of the demographic and geographic programs, CLO will work to enhance the BIDC operations to coordinate their support of economic programs and surveys. Special emphasis will be placed on keeping the network informed and involved in support activities for the American Community Survey, the Economic Census, and planning for the 2010 Decennial Census. CLO will explore the development of generic training materials for the network and will continue to market the program to the Census Bureau's internal and external audiences. CLO will continue to provide program management, technical assistance, on-site consultation, and training. CLO also will continue to disseminate Census Bureau data to the SDC/BIDC network so that they may further disseminate the data to state and local data users.