Census to update online database

The Census Bureau wants to make it easier for people to find demographic information online after the 2010 census.

The bureau recently awarded a contract to IBM Global Business Services Federal to replace its Web portal for population data, called American FactFinder.

“It will have much more extensive capabilities,” said Brenda Dixon, a partner at the company.

She said a wide variety of people use the site, from researchers to children working on school projects. “Building a site for all these groups of people is probably our biggest challenge,” she added.

Dixon said IBM has already begun creating a model for the new site. The first version will launch in early 2011, immediately after the close of the 2010 census.

Updating FactFinder isn’t IBM’s only responsibility. The contract runs through the economic census of 2012, for which IBM will handle data tabulation and dissemination. The company is currently working with data from the 2007 economic census.

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