Guest blog post by Mark Doms, Under Secretary for Economic Affairs
I was honored to deliver the keynote address this morning to over 800 of today’s data leaders. In preparation I had one goal: to tell the story of data -- how far the Department of Commerce has come and it’s potential for the future. These are exciting times. Over the past decade, jobs in data fields have grown at a rate 6 times faster than the economy as a whole, and these jobs pay 73% more than the typical American job.
The federal government provides fundamental statistical building blocks about our population, our economy, and our climate. This information is so pervasive that people often are unaware they are using government data. For instance, one survey found 301 billion weather forecasts are consumed per year -- information that is delivered by an array of sources, but begins with the National Weather Service, part of the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Indeed, many of the companies attending the Big Data Innovation Summit today in Boston rely heavily upon government data.
Since 1790, when the first Census occurred, our government has taken the time to collect information that tells the demographic and economic story of our nation. We take this commitment very seriously at the Department of Commerce and we welcome user input.