Improved Access to U.S. Economic Indicators: Implementation, Outreach, and Future Development*Mark Edward Wallace, United States Census Bureau
Keywords: economic indicators, search tool, data visualization,trend charts
The U.S. Census Bureau's Economic Database Search Tool is a user-friendly web application, a one-stop-shop for data from all of the Census Bureau's economic indicators. Economic indicators are key inputs to the Gross Domestic Product estimates and are important to monetary and budgetary decision makers, economists, business analysts, and economic researchers in assessing the health of the economy and making corporate investment decisions.
This paper provides a vision for including data visualization features to help users de-mystify complex data. Data users want to see statistics from disparate data sources to obtain a more complete understanding of the economic and social environment. When combining statistics, however, care must be taken to account for differences in coverage, reliability, and timeliness. Accordingly, we present an approach for offering data visualization tools that combine data from different programs, balancing the perspectives of marketing, data analysis, and statistical methodology to support data presentation and analysis while maintaining strict compliance with established data visualization guidelines.