US government invests in data management storage

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The US Census Bureau has invested heavily in data management storage by opening a research data centre in Atlanta.

It is not just businesses who invest in document scanning and data management storage services, as evidenced by recent activity in the US.

The American government’s Census Bureau has opened a research data centre at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in Georgia.

Designed to act as a secure document storage facility for the organisation’s big data, the facility will allow the government and selected other parties to perform crucial analysis of the information collected from the US public.

The Census Bureau has teamed up with a number of partners to launch the site, with Georgia State University, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Georgia and the University of Alabama at Birmingham all involved.

Federal agencies will be able to send qualified researchers to the secure facility, while selected academic experts and other approved individuals will also be granted access to the potentially sensitive information.

However, before this happens, they will be subjected to a full background check and sworn to secrecy for life over the confidential data they will be privy to.

Census Bureau director Robert Groves explained that the facility will become very useful and eventually help the US improve its data gathering and analytics techniques.

"The Atlanta Census Research Data Centre will allow the research community across the southeast to conduct statistical analyses that otherwise would not be possible on a wide range of research projects in the social sciences," he said.

"Making microdata records available in a controlled, secure environment to sophisticated users will uncover the strengths and weaknesses of these records, thereby providing us with the best way to check the quality of the data we collect, edit and tabulate."

Meanwhile, the latest statistic to come from the US’ secure online data warehouses shows that the percentage of people who changed residences between 2010 and 2011 was just 11.6 per cent – the lowest recorded value since the variable was first tracked in the Current Population Survey in 1948.

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