The United States Census Bureau is turning to cloud services, in the form of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), to design and deploy surveys.

In a posting, the Census Bureau said it is in the acquisition planning stage and will eventually award a contract to furnishing all required labor, material, facilities, and equipment to fulfill its requirements for user-friendly, commercially available cloud computing services.

The SaaS solution will need to be hosted on a FedRAMP approved environment. The Census Bureau is looking for a subscription service software that is a user-friendly platform for survey programming, administration, data collection, data review, and data analysis. The posting said that the platform must allow users with no prior coding experience to program a survey and collect data.

The Census Bureau said it envisions using the cloud service provider’s environment to:

  • Develop survey collection instruments.
  • Import Census Bureau survey sample/universe describing the survey participants.
  • Deploy survey collection instruments created in SaaS environment and to collect respondent data within the SaaS environment.
  • Use Application Programming Interfaces to deliver respondent data collected in a vendor’s SaaS environment to the USCB environment.

This new solution is part of the Census Bureau’s larger Data Ingest and Collection for the Enterprise (DICE) program. The DICE program is one of the initiatives the Census Bureau is using to re-engineer its current business processes and technology solutions to streamline and modernize data collection and ingestion operations within the Bureau.

This notice is looking for a vendor-specific Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution that complements the DICE’s SaaS internal solutions as part of the overall Systems-of-Systems approach. Specifically, the Bureau is looking to target three business process areas:

  • Questionnaire Design and Metadata – A framework that allows survey “owners” the ability to design how their paper, Internet-based, mobile, or telephone survey should appear.
  • Survey Operational Control – A framework to be used at the survey program operation to provide high-level survey workload and case management functionality, manage and track case status for the different survey response modes.
  • Electronic Data Collection – Deploy electronic applications that allows for the collection of respondent data via an electronic means.

Responses are due by March 31.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.