NIU P-20 Research and Data Collaborative Services

The Northern Illinois University P-20 Research and Data Collaborative works to empower data and research initiatives that are crucial to making informed decisions. Our goal is to not only connect the research efforts of education partners, but also make data easily accessible through the development of a simplified, shared data repository.

Illinois Data Central is a data lake, capable of taking in and working with data in a variety of formats. It is designed using a universal data architecture that supports individual records data, institutional data, geo-coded location data, and more, providing ample opportunity to incorporate diverse data sets. It is the heart of the infrastructure the RDC builds upon to assist its partners in investigating their key questions and concerns.

Understanding Illinois Data Center

  1. Identify Critical Questions
    Determine what questions you want to answer with the data.
  2. Build Data Sets
    The data can come from many different types of sources including state education data, local school district data, health care data, or census data.
  3. Transfer Data to Illinois Data Center
    Find or transfer the needed data as is (either structured or unstructured /raw data) in the secure and protected Illinois Data Central.
  4. Access
    Determine what questions you want to answer with the data.
  5. Data Analysis
    Query the system to generate real-time analysis of the data without the need to move your data to a separate analytics system.
  6. Distribute Findings
    The outcomes of the data queries can be shared as reports and visualizations.
The NIU P-20 Research and Data Collaborative brings together teams of faculty and staff for statewide and local projects to create data management, analysis and visualization solutions as well as to undertake original research studies and provide research-informed strategies to help people, projects and initiatives achieve.


Facilitating meaningful ways for your audience to interact with and experience your data, amplifying its inherent value.


Bringing best practices to the ownership and stewardship of the data you are generating or acquiring.


Developing cutting edge graphical representations of your data to uncover new nsights and more powerfully tell your organization's story.


Combining data of different types from a variety of different sources into single unified collections in order to create new analyses.


Inspecting, cleaning, and transforming of those data into information for your organization and its stakeholders.


At the local and state level, working with you to craft policies describing how data is collected, used, stored, and shared.

Contact Us

NIU P-20 Research and Data Collaborative
148 N. 3rd Street
DeKalb, IL 60115


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