Archive for the 'API' Category

BEA’s API Expands Access to International Services Trade Data

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More good news for developers and other “power users” of BEA data: The most detailed data on U.S. international trade in services published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis are now accessible through our application programming interface, or API. This includes detailed annual statistics on U.S. trade in services by type of service for 90 countries and areas, including new estimates of trade related to information and communications technology. Previously, only the more aggregated trade in services statistics released as part of the U.S. international transactions accounts were available through BEA’s API.

The new API dataset is named “IntlServTrade.” The statistics in this dataset correspond to data on trade in services presented in tables 1.1 through 3.3 of the International Services data available through BEA’s interactive data application. Data presented in International Services tables 4.1 through 5.4 on services supplied through affiliates of multinational enterprises are not included in this API dataset. Appendix M, under the DataSet Reference section in the API User Guide, provides a short description and example API calls for this new dataset.

BEA’s API provides developers and analysts a mechanism to search, display, analyze, retrieve, or view BEA statistics. For example, researchers can use BEA’s International Services data along with services trade data from other countries to make international comparisons of trade in services. Or developers may design a new tool to visualize BEA’s economic data. The API includes methods for retrieving subsets of BEA statistical data and their meta-data using HTTPS requests. It delivers data in two industry-standard formats: XML (Extensible Markup Language) and JSON (JavaScript Object Notation).

To use the API, you need to register first. Full documentation is available in the API User Guide.

BEA’s API is just one way BEA is supporting open data. Visit BEA’s Open Data site for a complete listing of BEA’s datasets in a machine readable JSON format, along with access to downloadable datasets and other data tools.

BEA Unveiling New Data Tool Aimed at Faster Access to Economic Statistics in United States, Europe

In a show of collaboration between the United States and Europe, BEA is unveiling a new data tool that aims to make it easier to access, compare and visualize economic data between the two regions.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Commerce Data Service, which are both part of the U.S. Commerce Department, have teamed up with Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union, to build this new open-source data tool.

bea-eu-blog-combined-logos-v2The tool is being built on the statistical programming language called “R” that taps into BEA’s and Eurostat’s huge databases and provides analysts, researchers, economists, data-savvy entrepreneurs  and others quick access to economic statistics – requiring only a few lines of code to do so.

GDP, disposable income and employment by industry and by geographic region are among the key economic statistics that will be available as part of the new data tool.

How could this new tool be used?  Here are just a couple of examples:

  • Economic developers in Europe and the United States could use the data to aid decisions about where to target resources to attract economic development to specific areas. These data also support research related to understanding local economic dynamics and the longer-term impacts of different development strategies.
  • Business people and marketers (on both sides of the Atlantic) could analyze the data to make decisions on hiring and investing, such as identifying regions in  Europe and the United States to build new plants or facilities or targeting regions to expand operations. These data also could provide a better understanding of the local industrial structure and how growth in a set of industries may affect the composition of the workforce in the area, thus leading to more informed decision making.

Justin Antonipillai, who leads the Commerce Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration with the Delegated Duties of the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs, is highlighting the open-source data partnership between the United States and the European Union while at the Web Summit this week in Lisbon, which bills itself as “Europe’s largest technology marketplace.”

Announcing the Commerce Data Service

data servicesThe Department of Commerce provides valuable services and data products that fuel the modern technology services Americans rely on every day.  These data sets include information on technological innovation from the Patent and Trademark Office, demographic and economic data from the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, export data from the International Trade Administration, and information on natural phenomena from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  This is why we call the Department of Commerce “America’s Data Agency.”

However, as technology constantly and rapidly advances, people across the country are using public and private sector data in new and exciting ways to drive their businesses and improve society. The vast data resources at the Department of Commerce are contributing to this technological growth. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker recognized this as an opportunity and challenged the Federal government to innovate with data to improve the way we deliver to our customers, the American people.

Consider these opportunities for improving our data to positively impact America’s competitiveness:

  • How should we connect businesses with growth opportunities through data science on U.S. exports in order to improve America’s competitiveness abroad and also improve data-driven decision-making of policy-makers?
  • How should we integrate disparate income data and develop a new engagement technology platform in order to help different groups of people to better understand and take action on relevant issues?
  • How should we build a suite of products to improve the data architecture and systems for delivering patent data to the public in order to help businesses to more easily safeguard and discovery intellectual property?
  • How should we invent and deploy a service that overcomes the pervasive and systemic absence of data standards in order to integrate data from across government Bureaus in order to increase the accessibility, dissemination and use of government data and maximize the positive impacts of Department of Commerce data on society?
  • How should we develop and aggregate use cases, tutorials, and technology user interfaces for processing, analyzing and visualizing Commerce data like oceanic and atmospheric forecasts in order to drive up the consumption of Commerce data for public benefit and increase the integration of Commerce data by businesses to help fuel their growth?

All of these are not just data challenges, but also business challenges.  That’s why the Department of Commerce is excited to announce a new initiative to deliver these kinds of solutions: the Commerce Data Service.

Built in the spirit of America’s entrepreneurial technology ventures, the Commerce Data Service is a start-up within government, that consists of diverse team of top-notch designers, developers, software engineers and data scientists. We are passionate about our mission, building new tools, and delivering improved ways to get work done.  We are agile product developers transforming government services by building world-class software products and raising standards of software development throughout the Department of Commerce. Through partnerships with the twelve bureaus that make up the Commerce Department, the Data Service will deliver products and services to help government agencies better deliver information to their customers.

To help this initiative get off the ground, I am pleased to announce that the Department has hired Dr. Tyrone Grandison to lead our team as the Deputy Chief Data Officer.  Dr. Grandison brings a wealth of experience as an entrepreneur, consultant and software engineer, most recently serving at the Department of Labor as a Presidential Innovation Fellow.

Now we’re actively recruiting data experts, from outside and inside government, from three general professional areas:

  1. Front-End Developers – experience with interface design & development, search engine optimization, and interactive and static visualization.
  2. Back-End Engineers – experience with Extract-Transform-Load (ETL), distributed data systems, devops, and Application Programming Interface (API) construction.
  3. Data Scientists – experience with machine learning, predictive algorithms, and visualization.

If you are an expert data geek, there is no better way to have a giant impact while improving our government than to join the Commerce Data Service.  For more information, and to submit your resume for potential employment consideration, please visit commerce.gov/dataservice.


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