Illinois is hoping that putting data on the internet will spur creativity and jobs. More than 4,700 datasets, covering everything from average commute times to reports on the Midwest economy compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, have been added to the states data website. The thinking, says Andrew Ross, the governor’s chief operating officer, is for entrepreneurs to use this data in ways that haven’t been thought of yet.
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“Really the sky for this data is the limit and Illinois is really on the cutting edge here,” Ross said. “This data could help create the next GrubHub, the next Groupon, really successful companies that have been grown right here in Illinois.” The new data is in addition to information already posted by numerous state agencies. In all there are nearly 5,000 datasets now on the website, which was an initiative of the Illinois Innovation Council, created by the governor’s office.