Are you a small business trying to understand the spending patterns of various federal agencies? To better focus resources and to be able to devise effective strategies in federal contracting, it is essential to understand and analyze the Government’s spending patterns and contract award data. USASpending.gov is one such tool that can help you find that information easily. This blog explains the portal, its benefits, and how to use it to get all the required information.
The USASpending.gov portal provides the public with access to information on federal government spending. It is maintained by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and is a valuable tool for anyone looking to track and understand the use of taxpayer dollars.
In 2014, the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) was signed into law and established federal standards for financial data and a new reporting process for agencies to improve data quality, transparency, and accountability. The result of this partnership between the federal community and external stakeholders to have a standard data model and a publicly accessible website was USAspending.gov.
More than 100 federal agencies submit financial data to USAspending.gov every month. This website receives over 400 data elements from various government systems. These elements include information about federal agencies, agency accounts, award types, award amounts, prime award recipients, sub-recipients, etc.
Benefits of USAspending.gov
- A Comprehensive Look at Federal Spending: The USAspending.gov portal provides a comprehensive view of federal spending by displaying data on contracts, grants, loans, and other financial assistance provided by the government. The website is designed to be user-friendly, with a search function that allows users to find information on specific contracts, agencies, or states. This website also provides data on top recipients of government funds.
- Data Visualization & Export Features: The data provided by this website can be exported in MS Excel and can be further sorted according to the need for further analysis. Multiple filters can be used to derive the desired information. This data is also visually represented in the form of charts, graphs, and maps on the website.
- Insights into Spending Patterns & Trends: The information provided on the portal can be used to identify trends and patterns in government spending, which can be useful for businesses looking to gain a competitive advantage in their respective industries.
- Contractor Information: In addition to providing information on federal spending, the USAspending.gov portal also provides information on the performance of government contractors. The website displays information on the financial stability of government contractors and the length of time they have been in business, which can be useful for government agencies and businesses looking to partner with reputable contractors.
How to Use USAspending.gov
USAspending.gov is a very user-friendly portal, and it is easily accessible without the need for account creation or any login.
- To search for the Award Data, you need to visit the website
- Then click on the option “Start Searching Awards”
- A new webpage will open with multiple filters. Select the relevant filters based on the requirement and submit the search. These filters include:
- A set of search results will be displayed on the main page, and this data can be transported into MS Excel for further analysis; in addition, this data can be visualized in the form of tables, maps, and categories
- You can further refine that search based on the data type needed
USAspending.gov also has other useful resources:
- Analyst Guide – Here, you can find help on how to effectively use the USAspending.gov data, make your analysis and develop further tools
- Data Dictionary – Here, you can find detailed information about data available in downloaded files, including definitions of each element
- About the Data – Here, you can read important data disclosures
- Glossary – Here, you can read about spending terms as well as other federal contracting terminology
In conclusion, USAspending.gov is a valuable resource, especially for small business contractors, to understand the spending patterns of various federal agencies and focus their bidding efforts on specific areas of interest. For small businesses looking to pursue government contracts, this portal is an essential tool that provides valuable information to help you make informed decisions. Our team at iQuasar is proficient in using tools like these, and we will guide you through the process and help you gain market intelligence, and improve your Proposal Development efforts.