The Center for Governmental Studies of Northern Illinois University as its mission "...provides expertise that helps decision-makers implement efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective approaches to social, economic, and information management issues." The Illinois Data Dot Com web site provides decision-makers with the information needed in user-friendly applications that make the transition from data to information and on to knowledge where decisions can be effected is the goal.
The Illinois State Data Center Cooperative (ISDCC) in partnership with U.S. Census Bureau coordinates access, education and consultation on Census Bureau statistical resources. ISDCC provides the tools necessary for business, government agencies, educational institutions and the public to use effectively use Census data for planning, research, decision-making, and administration. Data from the decennial census and periodic surveys are available in a variety of media including printed publications, electronic files on disk, CD-ROMs, PDFs, and over the Internet. A cost recovery charge may be necessary for certain products and services.
The ISDCC provides data services through several coordinating agencies and a network of affiliate data centers. The affiliate data centers have a variety of selected resources and is designed to extend access of Census materials to the local level. Affiliate data centers include local and regional planning agencies, colleges and universities, public libraries, and research institutions.
Some examples of data center services include the following:
- Providing data definitions and concepts.
- Advising on the availability of data on particular subjects (such as population, housing, government, agriculture, wholesale & retail trade and census geography).
- Providing and interpreting data from the 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2010 Census of Population and Housing and the five-year Economic Census series, other Census survey products, and the American Community Survey.
- Consultation in the use of Census data for statistical modeling and analytical applications.
- Providing population estimates and projections.
- Consultation in the use of data technologies including Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
- Organizing seminars and workshops to inform data users of available products and provide instruction in their use.