For a man with the nickname “Honey Badger” negative press must cause little more than a shrug, but this week Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler might have something to smile about.  He finally received a kind word from the Denver Business Journal for his new efforts to develop a system available to the public to gather detailed information about business activity and job growth.  The end goal – to encourage businesses to relocate to areas in which industry is on the rise.

Here is what Gessler said about the project, “I think it can have a gigantic impact on business.  This is something that, to my knowledge, has never been done – never on this scale.  This could be transformational in a lot of ways.”

The program, dubbed the Business Intelligence Center, might be the first of its kind in the nation.  The data will be sourced from information collected by his office, the Colorado Department of Revenue, and the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

Gessler says that the information could be used by organizations like the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade to better pitch companies relocating from out of state to areas with high growth, or find areas with the necessary attributes using the data.

Colorado Technology Association CEO Steve Foster compared the potential growth resulting from this project to the growth seen after the government released geographic information system (GIS) data to the public.  Private companies formed to turn that data into products for public consumption, like Garmin.

Hmmm, sounds like a better use of taxpayer funds than, say, turning the government into an unqualified venture capital fund, no?