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Case Study

U.S. Census Bureau boosts productivity of 400K field staff for 2020 Census

  • Launched ECaSE project to streamline and modernize data collection process
  • Drove a 48.57% increase in enumerator productivity
  • Completed 90% of the Census six weeks before the deadline

“The Census Bureau worked with Pega because of the flexibility it offered us in the solution that we needed. We had concerns about privacy, about security – and these were all solved by what the Pega solution offered us.”

Zachary Schwartz Division Chief, IT Service Management Office, U.S. Census Bureau

The Business Issue

The U.S. Census Bureau conducts the Decennial Census of Population and Housing every 10 years. Outside of the decennial census, the Bureau also collects a wide variety of data on the nation’s inhabitants and economy, which is crucial for informing key efforts such as community planning and the allocation of billions in federal funding.

Like many government organizations, the Census Bureau struggled with cumbersome manual processes that were prone to errors.

To modernize and streamline its data collection and processing operations, the U.S. Census Bureau launched the Enterprise Census and Surveys Enabling (ECaSE) project to create an integrated, enterprise solution for shared data collection and processing.

The Solution

The Pega Government Platform™ served as the backbone for the Bureau's ECaSE operations. This included:

  • Survey operational control to manage case workloads and track the progress of response data collection across survey collection channels, including web, mobile, paper submissions, and telephone call centers.
  • Field operational control that ingested all workload information across the Census’ field operations, such as address canvassing and non-response follow up (NRFU), as well as assigned cases and distributed work orders to field workers.
  • Data collection, including:
    • Survey response management to process and control survey data collected from the Census website, paper form submissions, field enumeration collection via mobile devices, and by phone through the Census’ telephone call centers.
    • Field enumeration for collection through an application on iOS, used by field enumerators to perform surveys with residents that didn’t respond via online, phone, or paper questionnaire.
    • Self-response instrument for response collection, used by Census Questionnaire Assistance (CQA) agents to interview respondents that contacted a call center.
    • Self-response case and event consolidation for all responses collected from the Census website and paper form submission, along with sufficiency checks to determine cases to be enumerated.

The Results

The 2020 Census marks the first time that enumerators were able to complete all aspects of their work on mobile devices. This included receiving assignments, viewing the most efficient order for visiting each household, submitting their hours, and securely recording, encrypting, and transmitting each respondent’s information – all powered by the ECaSE project.

Pega software processed all responses for the 2020 Census, including via online, telephone, and paper responses in addition to the mobile app. The U.S. Census Bureau saw the following results:

  • 48.57% increase in enumerator productivity from 2010 to 2020
  • Zero downtime experienced after solution was launched
  • 80% of self-responses were received via internet
  • Census was 90% complete a full six weeks before the deadline
  • 400,000 unique logins supported in one weekend

Related Resources

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Take a look inside the digital transformation of the U.S. Census Bureau.

See how the agency managed 2.5M residency applications with Pega.

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Tags

Industry: Government Product Area: Platform Solution Area: Enterprise Modernization Solution Area: Operational Excellence Solution Area: Workforce Optimization