Bureau of Labor Statistics Has Automated 85% of Its Survey Workload
BLS processes hundreds of thousands of surveys each year to provide the government and public with essential data about society and the economy. Implementing machine learning and artificial intelligence has radically transformed their productivity, freed up its workforce to perform fewer menial tasks and has resulted in more accurate survey analysis. Historically, converting the text-heavy records into different codes that make sense of the data required BLS workers to engage in tedious manual labor that didn’t always result in the most accurate outcomes. But automating the once manual processes has had lasting impacts across the org. By automating a very large portion of this sort of routine coding work with algorithms, it has freed up the staff to spend more time on other important things. It has also enabled BLS to enhance its results because now workers have more time to reach out to companies they need responses from and review the coded outcomes to improve the data they produce. The bureau is now applying AI to many more projects and they are watching advancing technology continue to evolve for other projects in the works. It should be interesting to see how this pioneering effort will affect other agencies, and ultimately, what will be the impacts to related federal procurements.