Much of the information provided here is drawn directly from USAspending.gov. This government-run website is a public research tool that, while user-friendly at first sight, might take some time getting used to. The type of information available ranges from interactive data visualizations to downloadable CSV files with detailed information about awarding of federal funding. Due to the multiple ways information is layered, the way you access the information will influence the level of specificity in the resulting data. Additionally, this information is constantly being updated as new contracts are awarded, so make sure you make a habit of downloading data following individual searches. This guide is designed to help you access the information faster than we did by sharing some tips and a helpful step-by-step guide.
Screenshot of the USAspending.gov homepage
Example: We want to know more about contracts awarded to ZGF Architects by the federal government. Also, we want to know which agencies had or have contracts with ZGF Architects and amount awarded by these contracts. In this instance, we have a Recipient (ZGF Architects), an industry (Architecture), and an award type (Contracts) we want search for, but further details are required in order to optimize the search engine's results.
Step #1: Gather more information about the company or "Recipient"
Screenshot of a "Recipient" search (found under the "Profiles" tab) for "ZGF"
Step #2: Use the "Advanced Search" to find detailed information
Screenshot of "Advanced Search" results after filtering for DUNS (053607107) and NAICS code for Architectural Services (541310)
Step #3: Using the tab system
Screenshot of "Categories" tab, showing top "Agencies" that awarded contracts to "Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects LLP"
Step #4: Other helpful filters
Screenshot of results filtered by "Time Period," specifically "FY 2018"
Step #5: Saving the information retrieved
Screenshot of downloaded CSV file