TORONTO —  As governments and businesses face increasing pressure to make decisions and deliver services faster than ever, Statistics Canada is expanding its role to be more responsive to their needs. In a presentation at Environics Analytics’ 11th Annual User Conference, Anil Arora, Chief Statistician of Canada, mapped out how the organization is modernizing to meet the demands of a more data-driven society.

“In order to reach a broader user base, we are strengthening our statistical programs and expanding the amount of data while helping Canadians better interpret and use data,” said Arora of Statistics Canada. To achieve these goals, Statistics Canada is adopting a collaborative model by working with partners in both the public and private sectors to increase the amount, relevance and timeliness of the data it provides.

“Statistics Canada recognizes that data are being collected and analyzed at a speed that is rapidly approaching real time. That’s why we have and will continue to shift our focus towards increased collaboration to promote data-driven innovation, and meet the evolving needs of Canadians,” said Arora. “Our early efforts to acquire and use more administrative data sources—and develop new, cost-effective methods to link and integrate data—are already yielding positive results. We are constantly striving to reflect the world around us and work in a more modern way.”

Earlier this year, the Federal Government tasked Statistics Canada to provide a comprehensive picture of the Canadian housing sector and offer insight on the impact foreign buyers are having on the market. Using traditional methods, Arora said, would have taken the organization up to three years to respond to that request. But by integrating private business data with Census data, the agency expects to report its finding before the end of the year. “Our approach is to look at the information that is already available,” said Arora. “You’d be amazed at the number of answers that are out there in real time.”

Jan Kestle, the President and CEO of Environics Analytics, applauded the work that Statistics Canada has done to increase the value of its essential services. Statistics Canada has long been recognized as a global leader in the statistical community, said Kestle, and taking these innovative steps in this era of Big Data continues that tradition. “Businesses and governments need to make better, more informed decisions, and in order to do that they need to have access to the best and most timely data available,” she continued. “Companies like Environics Analytics will play an important role in helping organizations gain access to that data, use the insight to make decisions and achieve results. We look forward to continued collaboration with Statistics Canada on this journey.”

Arora’s presentation, “Playing a Pivotal Role in a Data-Driven Society,” was part of Environics Analytics’ annual user conference, which attracted nearly 700 participants across variety of industries, including the public and not-for-profit sectors. With a theme of “Analytics In Action: Informing Decisions, Achieving Results,” the day-long event featured 16 client case study presentations, a keynote address and demonstrations of data-based business intelligence tools.

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