|Documents/DOCCSP/7: Interactive Data on BEA.gov|
Develop an Interactive Data System.
Overview: BEA produces many of the nation’s most closely-watched economic statistics. Our numbers show the health of the economy through its GDP statistics; the impact of each industry on the U.S. economy; economic activity by region, state, and metropolitan area; and economic transactions between the U.S. and other countries. BEA produces thousands of economic series to meet critical data needs of businesses, policymakers, academia, and the American public. In an effort to keep these key economic statistics easy to access and easy to understand, BEA has developed a new Interactive Data System. The wealth of data on BEA.gov is now available, in a prototype format, to the public with an improved look and feel, easier search and navigation capabilities, and greatly enhanced analytical capacity. BEA pays close attention to its customer feedback. As a result of this feedback, the Bureau has embarked on a project to improve the information architecture, look and feel, and usability of its Web-based products. Not all of BEA’s data products share common IT platforms or even a common look. After conducting a Web usability study, BEA carried out a major overhaul of its public Web site. Tables and charts that appeared distinctive and seemingly unrelated now appear seamless, and BEA customer ability to cull, view, and analyze the data has been significantly improved. BEA set out to ensure that its Web site presented common features and functionality across all of its data pages, all using the same navigation tools. With the new prototype system, our customers can now navigate between different data sets through a common Interactive Data System—a system with greater functionality for charting, graphing, and downloading data files. Benefits to BEA customers include: * Easier and faster data searches, providing more efficient use of customer time spent on the Web site; * Data products that have the same look and feel across the entire Web site; * New integrated and interactive charting and mapping functions; * Data that can be downloaded in multiple formats, providing usability to almost any software the customer is using; * New cutting-edge data visualization capabilities that allow the data to be looked at in picture format; * New personal accounts that allow the customer to save their queries and data searches—the customer does not have to start their search from scratch each time; and * The ability to insert fully-formatted color charts and graphs into papers, presentations, and PowerPoints. This new tool delivers an improved customer experience behind the scenes, as well. The new application loads faster than the legacy system, while also reducing the strain on BEA’s Web servers, reducing costs and improving service delivery. BEA continues to collect customer feedback on the new system, and will remain committed to implementing improvements that meet the needs of our customers (Customer Satisfaction on BEA’s Web products is one of BEA’s Balanced Scorecard measures). The feedback on the new Data Interactive System has been very positive and will continue to be improved through ongoing customer feedback.
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