Rebecca Hutchinson is the Economic Indicator Division’s Big Data Lead at the Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau. She leads agile teams that explore the use of alternative data sources including satellite imagery, payment processor data, scanner data, and web-scraped financial filings to enhance the measurement of the nation’s economy. Her primary research focuses on using scanner data to improve the monthly retail economic indicator. Additionally, Rebecca led the recent transition of the Business Formation Statistics (BFS) data product from its research home in the Bureau’s Center for Economic Studies to its permanent home in the Economic Indicators Division. BFS measures early-stage business activity and is made up completely of administrative data from the IRS. BFS is a success story for developing new economic products without added burden to respondents.
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