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Last modified: Monday, August 7, 2006

$1.1 million Lilly Endowment grant for IU's Kelley School of Business will help state with data need

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 7, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Hoosier leaders are closer to having the data they need to make informed policy and decisions, thanks to a new grant awarded by Lilly Endowment Inc. for the Indiana Business Research Center (IBRC) at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business.

The $1.1 million award will enable the IBRC to continue and expand its work in connection with the Information for Indiana (IFI) initiative. Information for Indiana is an effort to ensure that Indiana policymakers, businesses, educational institutions and other nonprofit organizations and citizens have access to key data and analysis needed to support intelligent choices and to evaluate their impacts.

Work on the IFI is coordinated through a partnership among the Office of the Governor, the Center for Urban Policy and the Environment at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the IBRC.

"The Lilly Endowment grant allows us to add new domains of data and build more powerful and convenient tools to help users more easily obtain and analyze desired data. It also will help us develop more effective integration across different data domains to permit more insightful analysis," said Jerry Conover, director of the IBRC.

"We very much appreciate this additional support from Lilly Endowment to enhance the capacity of one of the key partners in the Information for Indiana project," said Neil Pickett, Gov. Mitch Daniels' senior advisor for policy and projects. "This will help us substantially improve the state's ability to collect, integrate and disseminate data of importance for both public and private sector decision makers."

The IFI team is working closely with state agencies, other educational institutions, local government and economic development officials and data users to develop a plan for meeting Indiana's needs for crucial data and analysis. The plan will include roles for the state, its universities and other parties in a broad-based partnership to ensure that Indiana decision makers can gain access to information through a data system that is credible and sustainable over the long term.

The proposed system will build upon STATS Indiana -- located at http://www.stats.indiana.edu/ -- a widely-used interactive online database developed and expanded over many years by the IBRC. It provides users with Web access to a wide range of economic and demographic data and analyses. It will be a distributed information system that offers access to data from a number of different sources through one convenient portal.

In addition to serving the planning needs of policy and decision makers, the IFI approach will provide information to researchers who are evaluating policies and studying economic and social phenomena. In IFI work completed to date, the IBRC has expanded access to data on the budgets of local governments, parcel-level property taxes and assessments, childcare facilities and income and sales taxes by county.

Established in 1925, the IBRC is an information outreach service of the Kelley School. It provides and interprets economic, demographic and social information needed by business, government, educational and other nonprofit organizations and individual data users in the state and throughout the nation. Its research can be found online at http://www.ibrc.indiana.edu/.