Case Study

Digital Census 2020

Digital Transformation of the Most Classic of Paper Processes


For the first time in history the United States Census is going digital! For the last several years, working with Pega Systems, our teams have been helping bring about the most modern and flexible technology to one of the oldest data efforts in history – the United States Decennial Census.



In order to modernize and streamline its data collection and processing operations, the U.S. Census Bureau launched the Census Enterprise Data Collection and Processing (CEDCaP) program. CEDCaP is a forward-thinking, bureau-wide initiative to create an integrated and standardized enterprise solution that will offer shared data collection and processing across all censuses and surveys. The aim of the solution is to lower complexity and deliver significant savings for all censuses and surveys, with a focus on the 2020 Census.

The 2020 Decennial Census marks a major shift from a primarily paper-based process to a primarily digital process in data collection from every household in America. According to the 2020 Census Operational Plan, “The Census Bureau estimates that 45 percent of U.S. households in areas that receive mailouts from the Census Bureau will respond via the Internet… Internet response was not available in previous decennial censuses and, therefore, represents a substantial innovation for the enterprise.”

Pega plays a key role in the delivery and realization of the Bureau’s CEDCaP vision, and is responsible for implementing several major components of CEDCaP. For the 2020 Census, the CEDCaP Pega capabilities are the internet self-response system (ISR), the field enumeration mobile application, and the field and survey operational control systems.

Census is using the unified Pega Government Platform to build and execute these Census Enterprise Survey Operations. With this technology, Census is able to start with the capability targeted at the 2020 Decennial Census. From there, Census can iterate and thoughtfully layer in capability to support economic, demographic, and other survey needs spanning across many modes and input channels.

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