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The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) is the nation’s leading provider of science and engineering statistical data. With an unparalleled amount of information on Research and Development, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, and the science and engineering workforce, NCSES hopes to expand the reach and impact of its numerous statistical reports to further the nation’s conversation on these valuable topics.

Focus Areas
  • Audience and Stakeholder Analysis
  • Data Collection & Analysis
  • Strategic Communications & Content Ideation
  • Brand Development
  • Creative Direction & Design


As one of 13 essential federal statistical agencies, NCSES designs and directs periodic surveys as well as 30 annual reports that provide useful information to practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and members of the public. With the desire to increase awareness and relevancy of these deliverables among both current and new data users, the agency looked to Aptive to help perform audits, access capabilities and provide data-informed recommendations for improvement.



Working on several deliverables simultaneously, Aptive performs a robust research and analysis process designed to uncover the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that are indicative of each NCSES initiative. This process involves conducting numerous interviews with internal and external stakeholders and using Aptive’s proprietary codification system to expose underlying perceptions and identify significant trends. Leveraging these insights, Aptive advises NCSES on how they can improve upon and modernize their content, presentation, functionality, and dissemination tactics for each deliverable. Additionally, Aptive supplies the agency with several new pieces of creative colleterial, including a multidepartment infographic series, to supplement its larger reports and provide high-level summaries of key findings.


Within a few months of the award, Aptive has already developed several valuable resources on research and development and sciences and engineering diversity statistics and is working to collect a wide variety of perceptions on NCSES’ National Patterns of R&D Resources report. After curating insights and codifying its findings, the team put forth its ultimate suggestions for this report and moved to the execution phase while starting the process over again for other materials.

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