Census Data Offers More Than Just a Head Count

Last week I attended a webinar hosted by the US Census Bureau and found that the information they collected is more accessible than ever. They are really working to make it easier to utilize the gazillion bytes of data that they (and other government agencies) collect. There are three specific resources I’d like to direct you to:

First, the US Trade site offers an overwhelming amount of information. This includes information about target markets and seasonal trade conditions and corporate profiles. This covers trade in both directions—what is going out and what is coming in. It will take you a while to learn how to utilize this most effectively, so start with the tutorials in the help section.

Or maybe you want to start more visually? A fun tool is the Interactive Map. You can put in an HTS code and see where the products are going. It will give you a world map with all markets and with a quick mouse over a dot, you’ll see volume and value of an export product:

Finally, want to really understand what’s available here? Actually, maybe this should be your first stop…the library of webinars. You will find training on all sorts of data sources, both domestically and internationally and using the tools they are creating for you. For example:

  • Find New Buyers, Finance Deals and Get Paid
    • Learn about tools and resources to help grow your business abroad. Combine financing and credit insurance to unlock even more business potential in foreign markets.
  • Online Tools for Finding New Markets
    • Discover the power of data for researching foreign market opportunities through online tools courtesy of the Department of Commerce.
  • Economic Programs Webinar Series: Construction
    • Learn about the different types of construction data at the Census Bureau and how this information can be valuable to you. Understand practical ways to use our data through real life experiences, learn about available resources, and how to compare and contrast the different types of available data.

This is your tax dollars at work, organizing the data you and your competitors and customers and suppliers provided—go check it out!

Elizabeth Baldwin is Environmental Compliance Officer for Metropolitan Hardwood Floors. In her 25 plus year career in the wood industry has visited over 70 countries and hundreds of facilities of all sizes and types. She describes herself as a “jack of all wood trades.” Familiar with jungles of all sorts–having camped out along the Amazon and walked the halls of Congress–she blogs for the NWFA on both environmental and regulatory issues for educational and informational purposes only. Her blog is not intended and should not be construed as legal advice. Persons seeking legal advice on compliance with CARB, TSCA, the U.S. Lacey Act or any other law, regulation, or compliance requirement/claim should consult with the regulatory agency directly and/or a qualified legal professional.

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