• Schedule briefings with agency program managers to acquaint them with the ACS and how it will replace and improve on the once-a-decade long-form sample.

  • Make the case for sufficient resources from management to support planning for effective use of the various ACS products, which should save resources in the long run by minimizing inappropriate or ineffective use of the data.

  • As methods are developed to work with the ACS data for key applications, keep agency management informed of solutions.

  • Apprise management of the need to take such actions as seeking legislative authority or modification of regulations to permit ACS data to be used in place of long-form-sample data for particular applications.

b. Steps to determine which data and methods to use for particular applications:

  • Make use of information from the Census Bureau about the likely sampling error for different size areas to determine the most useful ACS estimates for the agency’s application(s). For example, if a city will have 1-year period estimates provided but their sampling error will be high, then the city may want to rely on the 3-year period estimates for planning and program applications.

  • Use the detailed 1-year period estimates that first became available in summer and fall 2006 to help develop the most useful profiles and other products to generate from the detailed 3-year and 5-year period estimates when they become available.

  • Use the training data sets released by the Census Bureau in spring 2007 of 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year period estimates fo 34 ACS test site counties for the years 1999–2005. Use of these data can provide valuable experience in working with multiple sets of estimates prior to the availability of the full set of 3-year and 5-year period estimates.

  • Determine the most appropriate geographic aggregations of 5-year period estimates for subareas of, say, a city or county. For example, the technical staff might divide a city of 500,000 into 10 service areas of approximately 50,000 population and aggregate 5-year period estimates for census tracts and block groups accordingly. Similarly, a large county might aggregate 5-year period estimates for townships into subcounty regions.

  • If resources permit, commission a detailed, comprehensive analysis of the alternatives for using various ACS data products for key

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