American Community Survey Development and Testing

for U.S. Census Bureau -
American Community Survey

We support the complete end-to-end data processing environment of the ACSO, the nation’s largest mandatory and continuous survey (formerly the Decennial Census Long Form). The Program surveys 3.54M people per year with a very high response rate (~76%), and has extensive self-response and interviewer-assisted data collection procedures.

We began assisting the ACSO with business improvements, technical expertise, and project management expertise in 2011, and still support the program today. Highlights of our work include:

Full, detailed requirements for all survey year changes for the 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 survey years.

Design and development of code, modules, or full processes, e.g.:

  • Redesign of inefficient code (SAS, UNIX, C shell), to identify bottlenecks and reduce runtimes.
  • Data and business rule integration and transformations using Visual Basic.NET and Oracle, integrating with SAS datasests.
  • Data analysis and mining to identify outliers and potential data issues; work with subject matter experts to determine and implement solutions.
  • Migration of code to new environments and to implement new tools (such as SAS upgrades and the PBS Professional scheduler).
  • Innovations such as online dictionaries, automated data output verification tools, and early creation of complex system test data.

Automated and manual testing, to include full test environment with “reset” capabilities, and detailed defect reporting and tracking.

Project Management for small and major projects, such as the 2014 and 2016 Content changes, Data Year Post-Data Collection change implementations, specific data collection instrument updates, and testing efforts. We assisted to advance and mature — full requirements traceability capabilities, requirements and verification progress reporting, risk management, operational and technical automation efforts, and executive-level reporting.

See also


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