4 Federal Data Sources for Recovery

June 07, 2021 by Savitha Swaminathan

4 Federal Data Sources for Recovery

As cities and states look forward to the end of the pandemic, data will be a critical element for recovery. In restoring fiscal health and revitalizing economies, governments can take certain steps, explored here, to build data into recovery strategies. Better access to information about economic trends and the programs most needed in local communities is critical to make effective policy decisions.

In addition to internal operational and administrative data, there are several open data resources published by the federal government that can be valuable to government leaders tasked with driving economic recovery. This data gives government officials greater insight into issues such as migration patterns, mobility in urban areas, and small business revenue. When connected, the information can help inform the most effective approaches for economic renewal and facilitate equitable policy development in local communities.

By publishing the data on API-enabled open data portals, the federal government makes it easy to access its information and apply it for local insights. The U.S. Department of Commerce, for example, offers a self-service hub where data analysts can easily access APIs to economic-indicator data, census data, and more.

Following are four additional open data resources that can help local leaders support recovery:

  • Census Data: Census data on annual business surveys can surface information on how local governments are returning to normal. This site also offers historical trends, data on migration between states, and state-level data from the 2020 Census for population trends over time.

  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: Data on the number of patent applications and patents issued provides a view into the tangible innovation which is a strong leading indicator for the U.S economy.

  • Public Health Data: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) publishes critical data on hospital capacity, hardest hit areas in each state, and health of rural communities. This real-time view of vulnerability in local regions can help government leaders better understand how COVID-19 continues to affect communities in their region. Trends that surface can support specific policy responses for your region’s reopening plan.

  • Historical Weather Data: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration offers climate data online so leaders can forecast and anticipate critical weather trends to inform emergency planning.

Access to relevant data facilitates better decision-making and smarter resource allocation. Particularly in a time of reopening and economic renewal, strategic use of data is a critical component of community stability and success. When third-party datasets are leveraged for local insights, governments and communities alike benefit greatly.

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