KC Research Data Center to Help Fill Need for Data

Kansas City
One of the most consistent messages that the Policy Dialogue on Entrepreneurship has delivered over the years is that there is a relative paucity of data to best inform decision makers hoping to spur entrepreneurial growth in their communities, cities and countries. Last week, Kansas City-area researchers received a bit of good news with the announcement that the city would land a new Census Bureau research data center (RDC) in the fall of 2015.

The RDC will provide area researchers with access to some of the nation's highest-quality data for analysis of the U.S. economy and public policy issues. The data are used to produce economic indicators such as gross domestic product, personal income, consumer spending, corporate profits, the unemployment rate and more. Research using the underlying microdata can provide a better understanding of the regional and national economy, including analysis of structural and cyclical changes that are affecting businesses and households. It also will provide researchers from across the region in fields such as economics, entrepreneurship, demography, urban and regional development, statistics, health care and public policy with the data needed to answer research questions.

The RDC will be supported by a consortium including the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the Kauffman Foundation and nearby universities. A U.S. Census Bureau employee will staff the center and be responsible for helping researchers gain access to the data.

The Kansas City RDC will become the 19th such data center across the U.S., joining: Atlanta, Boston, California-Berkeley, California-Irvine, California-Los Angeles, California-Stanford, California-USC, Census Headquarters, Chicago, Michigan, Minnesota, New York-Baruch, New York-Cornell, Northwest, Penn State, Texas, Triangle-Duke, Triangle-RTI International.

The research data center program is administered by the Census Bureau's Center for Economic Studies.

[Flickr credit: Maureen Didde]

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