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Use of Hand Held Computers in United States 2010 Census: Lessons Learned So Far. Andrea Grace Johnson Doug Clift United States Census Bureau. Background on the U.S. Census. Mandated by our constitution Every 10 years in years ending in “0” since 1790

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use of hand held computers in united states 2010 census lessons learned so far

Use of Hand Held Computers in United States 2010 Census: Lessons Learned So Far

Andrea Grace Johnson

Doug Clift

United States Census Bureau

background on the u s census
Background on the U.S. Census
  • Mandated by our constitution
  • Every 10 years in years ending in “0” since 1790
  • Persons are counted at the household they “live or stay” as of April 1 of Census Year
  • Captures the following data items for each person in the household:
      • Sex
      • Age
      • Hispanic Origin
      • Race
      • Relationship to Householder
      • Housing Tenure (for household)
steps to conduct u s census
Steps to Conduct U.S. Census
  • Update Household Inventory
  • Enumerate
    • Deliver Questionnaires
    • Nonresponse Followup
  • Perform Quality Checks
  • Conduct Data Processing
  • Provide Initial Results to President by December 31st of Census Year
2010 hand held computer hardware
2010 Hand Held Computer Hardware

Tri color LED indicator

Internal Cellular

Antenna

Internal GPS

Antenna

Soft Power On/Off Button

SD Memory Card Slot

with captive protective cover

High Brightness Screen

with anti-glare coating

(almost 2x brighter than

Dell Axim X51)

4 Way Navigation buttons

with center execute

Six direct navigation

functions for

most popular functionst

Finger Print Reader for

Biometric Authentication

Power plug, mini-USB, RJ-11

With captive protective cover

where are we in 2008
Where are we in 2008?
  • Awarded contracts
  • Develop Census Systems
  • Conduct Dress Rehearsal
  • Address Canvassing Activities
  • Start in February of 2009
lesson 1 it takes time
Lesson 1: It Takes Time.

Planning for 2010 began in 2000:

  • Feasibility studies/ tests
  • Budget Evaluations
  • Development of
    • Contract Scope
    • Requirements
    • Statement of Work
  • Select Contractor
  • ….and then start software development.
lesson 2 don t automate questionnaires automate data collection
Lesson 2: Don’t Automate Questionnaires Automate Data Collection.
  • Pre-fill data fields and/or dropdowns
  • Build in consistency checks
  • Use technology to its fullest
    • GPS
    • Cellular Functionality
lesson 3 don t underestimate the user
Lesson 3: Don’t Underestimate the User.
  • Generally field workers enjoy working with the hand held
  • Non-technical users were able to successfully complete field operations using a hand held
  • Usability evaluations and our Dress Rehearsal helped us isolate areas for usability improvement
lesson 4 automation can t replace interpersonal communication
Lesson 4: Automation Can’t Replace Interpersonal Communication.
  • Daily in-field meetings between supervisors and workers are still needed
    • Resolve technical problems
    • Ensure quality and progress
    • Discuss intended work behavior
lesson 5 training presents new challenges and opportunities
Lesson 5: Training Presents New Challenges and Opportunities.
  • Training development dependent on software development
  • Use of computer based training (CBT)
  • Additional materials required for training sessions