So here’s the deal: our newest (and super-cool) data tool launches later this spring, but apparently we’re better at data than at naming things: neither the “ACS Play-doh Factory” nor “MOE Better Data: A CI:Now-JW Joint” made it past the lawyers. Despite the public participation perils made clear from the storied Hooty McOwlface and Boaty McBoatface incidents, we still believe that y’all are the heroes we need right now.
In short, what we’ve been calling “the ACS tool” makes it much easier and faster to process data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the go-to for data on local demographics, income and poverty, household and family composition, housing costs, and many other issues this community cares about. Developed by Jef Waltman Technology Consulting, the ACS tool calculates aggregate estimates and margins of error on the fly. In other words, a nonprofit with a 21-census tract service area can calculate indicators for that custom area – or custom age groups, income groups, zip code groups, you name it – without tedious processing or complicated formulas. And you can save your custom groupings and queries and re-use them over and over again. Trust us, it’s magical.
Take a look at this short presentation to learn more about the tool and go to SurveyMonkey by March 15 to vote for your favorite name or write in a new candidate. But please don’t suggest Datatooly McDatatoolface – we can’t get that one past the grownups either.