The IFI project has partnered state agencies with the Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business to improve the quality and usability of state data. These efforts have gained national recognition and have helped state government catch up to the 21st century data practices that have been used in the private sector for years.
Information for Indiana was launched by Governor Mitch Daniels in July 2005. The objective of IFI is to work with internal and external partners to assess, improve, and coordinate the collection, management, dissemination, and analysis of vital data for Indiana.
In July 2005, the Lilly Endowment, Inc., generously provided an award of support to the Center for Urban Policy and the Environment to facilitate and coordinate the efforts of the IFI Project. This, combined with a planning grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. to the Indiana Business Research Center and a number of other funded projects, contributed to the collaborative efforts of IFI partners.
At the onset of this initiative, a statewide conference of more than 100 data users throughout Indiana was held to elicit suggestions and recommendations. These have formed the foundation of the work done since. We’ve interviewed the administrators of key state agencies generating, maintaining and/or using data to determine which data are available and usable and which are not. We’ve also identified legal, regulatory, cultural and technical obstacles to data sharing, and we work with agency partners to overcome these obstacles.
During the early stages of the initiative, several documents and issue briefs were developed: