Hey Canada - we want to hear from you!

October 9, 2018

Every day we use it. It is an important part of our lives that is driven by data and social connectivity. Canadians form opinions and make decisions based on data. But who decides the information needs, what data are collected and how they are used?

Want to be part of these decisions? You can be!

During the week of October 15-19, Statistics Canada will host its first ever “Engaging Canadians: Statistics Canada's National Dialogue” featuring online consultations, WebEx forums, teleconferences and roundtable discussion in cities across Canada.

Why consult?

The Government of Canada has launched a national consultation on digital and data transformation. The objectives are to better understand how Canada can drive innovation, prepare Canadians for the future of work and ensure they have trust and confidence in how their data are used. Working collaboratively with other government departments, we are testing new innovative approaches and methodologies to improve the way in which data are produced in order to provide you with higher quality services.

And we want to hear from you! We are seeking your input to help us modernize the way we collect, use and disseminate data as well as improve our programs, products and services to meet the data and statistical needs of today and the future.

Why now?

According to Chief Statistician Arora, “As Canada's national statistical agency, we play an important role in shaping information. For over 100 years we've been a trusted, authoritative producer of high-quality facts. However, we have reached a point where not only do you want to be informed, you also want high-quality, real-time information to make informed decisions.”

What is modernization?

With the goal of creating a more responsive organization that can meet the evolving societal needs, we have recently launched a modernization initiative adopting the following approach.

First, we are consulting with you to better understand your information needs. We are also investing in new programs to fill specific data gaps, such as our new Centre for Gender Diversity and Inclusion Statistics. And we are also using infographics and interactive tools to make our information more accessible to a wider audience.

Secondly, we are building statistical capacity and exercising leadership among Canadians, by sharing our expertise. We want to empower you to better understand and apply our data. In partnership with other organizations and post-secondary institutions, we have established a Data Liberation Initiative and an extensive network of Data Research Centres across the country, to improve access to statistical information.

Thirdly, is an enhanced commitment to sharing and collaboration. Many of our programs are now being delivered using a collaborative approach that facilitates the open sharing of data, expertise and best practices. The new Canadian Centre on Transportation Data - a portal for transportation statistics launched in collaboration with Transport Canada - is a testament to the power of this approach.

Fourthly, we are looking beyond traditional surveys toward acquiring more administrative data and developing new, cost-effective methods to link and integrate those data. We are using more automated processing technologies and working to reduce burden on respondents by introducing new and innovative collection methods, like web scraping.

Finally, we are building a more modern and flexible workplace, giving employees the tools they need to take advantage of all of the opportunities available in a digital environment.
Modernization is not about seeking to reach a particular goal; it is about building a framework with a degree of agility and flexibility that allows us to continually respond to changes in society, our economy and environment.

Are other countries pursuing these changes?

Canada is not alone in this journey. Data and the digital economy are rapidly driving innovation and creating economic and social benefits around the world. Not only are we consulting with Canadians, we are also working in partnership with national statistical agencies world-wide. We are all innovating and modernizing and through collaborative forums we learn from each other.

Consultations

Engaging Canadians: Statistics Canada's National Dialogue is not just about your information needs - it is also seeking your input on the role Statistics Canada can or should play to help Canada move to the forefront in this data-driven society.

We want to hear your views! To take part in consultation activities or to obtain more information about Statistics Canada's modernization initiative, our products, programs and services, please send us email at statcan.consultations-consultations.statcan@canada.ca.

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