Chicago is the City of Big Data in a number of different ways. We’ve opened more than 400 open data sets since 2011, we won a million dollar grant to build this, and we’ve also seen a huge increase in our data center footprint. Data centers are central to the Mayor’s technology growth strategy because modern companies need to be able to store large amounts of data. Data centers are the engines that connect companies and residents to social media sites, news sites, online shopping, and the multitude of animated gifs created and shared every day.
Why are so many data centers moving to Chicago?
1. The force is beneath us
Electricity is stable and reliable due to Chicago’s underground cables and its regional connection to the East coast grid.
2. Our electricity is cheaper
The price of electricity is lower than in competing cities (~6c/KwH). Illinois prices have averaged seven percent below the national average since the electric industry was deregulated in 1999, resulting in more than $31 billion in electricity cost savings.
3. We’re in the middle of everything
Chicago is located at the center of the national fiber optic system, making it a hub for providers and easy to transition across carriers.
4. Because nature
Due to Chicago’s climate and Lake Michigan, data center cooling costs are lower and Chicago suffers lower costs in annual damage from natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, and droughts.
5. Chicagoans love their data
Downtown Chicago contains a high density of customers and is the center of Chicago’s population with growing digital needs.