Articles

23Feb

IA Discusses Census Bureau Ask U.S. Panel on Research Business Daily Report

Research Business Daily Report (RBDR) explored the growing controversy over the Census Bureau’s attempt to launch their own probability-based online panel to compete with the insights industry, and spoke with the Insights Association to learn more.

The Census Bureau and the federal government already run surveys, RBDR’s Bob Lederer noted, “so why create something like this?”

Howard Fienberg, Senior VP Advocacy for the Insights Association responded that, in theory, the project would allow the Bureau to “do more dynamic ongoing studies on-demand… [like] the Pulse Surveys of households and businesses” which launched during the pandemic. Those are “run-of-the-mill surveys as far as we’re concerned in the insights industry, but they are a big deal” for a large federal bureaucracy otherwise tied to complicated rules restricting how and when data can be collected.

Ultimately, Fienberg, suggested, the Census Bureau may just want to be “the uber provider of research to everybody.”

Of course, as IA has been informing the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the project will likely cost more than 10 times as much as the Bureau has so far estimated, with high ongoing operating costs, and require specialized expertise and technology that is not possessed by either the organization with which the Bureau has contracted for help, nor the Bureau itself.

Watch RBDR’s full interview and discussion:

About the Author

Howard Fienberg

Howard Fienberg

Based in Washington, DC, Howard is the Insights Association's lobbyist for the marketing research and data analytics industry, focusing primarily on consumer privacy and data security, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), tort reform, and the funding and integrity of the decennial Census and the American Community Survey (ACS). Howard has more than two decades of public policy experience. Before the Insights Association, he worked in Congress as senior legislative staffer for then-Representatives Christopher Cox (CA-48) and Cliff Stearns (FL-06). He also served more than four years with a science policy think tank, working to improve the understanding of scientific and social research and methodology among journalists and policymakers. Howard is also co-director of The Census Project, a 900+ member coalition in support of a fair and accurate Census and ACS. He has also served previously on the Board of Directors for the National Institute for Lobbying and Ethics and and the Association of Government Relations Professionals. Howard has an MA International Relations from the University of Essex in England and a BA Honors Political Studies from Trent University in Canada, and has obtained the Certified Association Executive (CAE), Professional Lobbying Certificate (PLC) and the Public Policy Certificate (PPC). When not running advocacy for the Insights Association, Howard enjoys hockey, NFL football, sci-fi and horror movies, playing with his dog, and spending time with family and friends.

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