The modern economy has never been more reliant on data. Businesses, governments, and families must navigate the complexities of a world made possible by new technologies and innovative business practices. Without reliable information about the economic and social environment, it is impossible in many instances to make sensible choices.
For example, when deciding where to locate distribution centers, stores, and warehouses, the American Community Survey’s (ACS’s) accurate local data have proven invaluable to retailers (Kleinhenz 2015). Researchers know significantly more about the impact of pro-work policy reforms in the 1990s due to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)—and are better prepared to advise policy makers on future reforms. Addressing fundamental questions important to families, the ACS aids prospective students in making better college and career choices.