This is the time to prepare for the 2020 Census

"That's right. It's almost time for census, the American tradition since 1790," wrote Christopher Williamson.

Williamson's post is a call to action for planners to understand the importance of the census for their work, as well as, possibly, to participate in the census as soon as it is fully operational in 2020.

Firstly the Williamson, notes many changes, which are still under consideration in the 2020 census:

A few things different this time. On the one hand, the census, which will be held for three years will be almost entirely digital. It may also have a few changes to the race / ethnicity categories that might affect comparability with previous census and other data sets. And perhaps the most direct use for planners and local authorities: There are a variety of new tools for compiling and crunching data.
With regard to the relevance of census planning profession, Williamson argues the case:

Planners use census data permanently, in particular by ACS. It provides the age and characteristics of the housing facilities, the cost of housing, employment and the journey to work, education and school enrollment, persons with disabilities, as well as other statistical data. These ACS also provides the median income of households and poverty statistics, which are qualified census tract for community development block grants. Every ACS question is connected with the federal program or directly required by law, but it also functions as a continuous narrative about how and where we live in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Williamson completed the list of software tools and data recommendations, which can help to harness the power of the census, as well as the timing of significant events that will take place before 2020 to lay the groundwork for a thorough, successful census.