Commentary

Sapient And Census Bureau Put American Economy In Your Pocket

Census-BPolicy wonks and marketers alike can never have enough numbers regarding demographic and economic trends, and Sapient has joined with the Census Bureau to put much of the American economy is their pockets. The America’s Economy app is the product of a three-year mobile development contract between Sapient Government and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Well, not quite all of the economy. The app truly mobilizes the top-line economic indicators at the most recent update. Stats like the durable goods orders, business inventories, housing sales, and the much-watched unemployment rate are all visible on a first screen that scrolls through the headline, an up or down arrow indicator of trends, and a click-through for more. The landing page for each headline offers about a paragraph of detail, sharing tools (Facebook, Twitter, email) and background details. You can get a pdf of the related press release, a schedule of future announcements for the metric, and an explanation of the statistic. A handy calendar offers an overview of the release schedule for all of the upcoming economic indicator reports.  

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The app also allows you to customize the report order for easier quick viewing. You can also set alerts for any of the upcoming reports.  

The app relies on sources like the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis. The aim of the app is to keep both local and state officials apprised of the latest economic information but to put the data into everyone’s hands more directly and easily.

While the app itself is a bit sluggish, it is usable. There are more than a few kick-outs to the Safari browser on iOS. Deeper searches of the government back-data and PDF versions of press releases require the external browser, which seems a bit antiquated and unnecessarily disruptive. These are the kinds of functions that should be embedded in an app. There are both Apple and Google Play versions available.  

 

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