The 13 Federal statistics agencies are, in a sense, the nation’s doctors. Through collecting data, they measure the pulse of the economy, the performance of its schools, the condition of its population. Without their work, we do not know who we are, how we are doing, or where we are going.
For the nation to know itself, these agencies must be adequately funded. They are not. Want to know how AI and robotics is transforming the economy? Good luck with that.
But there is more to our collective future than collecting the right data. The data must be accessible and comprehensible and usable.
STATS for US is an ongoing project to explain the value of government statistics, how they can be used, what we risk by not collecting data, and what we can gain by designing data for democracy.