The Canadian Centre for Data Development and Economic Research (CDER)

Who are we?

The Canadian Centre for Data Development and Economic Research (CDER) was established in October 2012 to provide researchers whose projects are approved with secure access to business and economic microdata for analytical research. A section of Statistics Canada, the CDER is governed by the mandate under the Statistics Act.

The CDER operates entirely on a cost-recovery basis. Researchers wishing to access data must submit a research proposal and be able to cover all project costs, including a peer review of their project proposal and a review to ensure that the project falls under Statistics Canada's mandate.

The CDER is the repository for business and economic microdata files. The microdata that it provides are detailed enough for complex analyses. For business microdata files, the CDER ensures to maintain the confidentiality of the business respondents.

All microdata files used for approved projects are only accessible at Statistics Canada's head office, located at Tunney's Pasture in Ottawa, Ontario. Once a project is approved, researchers will have to complete the security screening process and take the Statistics Canada Oath of office in Section 6(1) of the Statistics Act.

Data sets

The CDER has a number of business microdata bases. The researchers whose projects are approved can access the business microdata bases specified in their proposal. The list of data sets is here: Data Sets.

Application process

Prospective researchers must follow the application process outlined in the CDER Application process and guidelines to submit their project proposal to the CDER.

Two application streams

  1. Researchers affiliated with a federal government department
  2. Researchers not affiliated with a federal government department

Note: Only research projects that are not descriptive in nature will be considered by the CDER. Anyone requiring custom tabulations should contact the appropriate subject-matter division at Statistics Canada.


The cost of a project will vary depending on its scope. Please see the CDER pricing policy for more information.

How and where to access the data

The CDER is located at Statistics Canada's head office at 100 Tunney's Pasture Driveway, Ottawa, Ontario. All researchers whose projects are approved can access the data on computers connected to a dedicated server that are not linked outside Statistics Canada. As a result, researchers must work on site at Statistics Canada's head office in Ottawa.

Which data do I have access to?

Only the data required for the approved project are provided to the researchers. The data are stripped of identifying information, such as names, contact information, business numbers, detailed geography and industry. Moreover, a combination of measures, such as user agreements, synthetic databases, and batch mode processing, prevents researchers from perusing the individual observations in their databases. For more information on microdata, please see Data Sets.

Researchers must sign a Microdata Research Contract, which outlines their responsibilities and the nature of the services being rendered. Through this contract, Statistics Canada deems the researchers whose projects are approved to be employed under the Statistics Act and provides them with access to other confidential statistical information. For more information, please see Microdata Research Contract.

How is data confidentiality ensured?

Data confidentiality is ensured in several ways.

Researchers must undergo a security check and are subject to the provisions of the Statistics Act. Penalties for breach of confidentiality include fines as well as imprisonment.

Researchers can only access the data via a dedicated server located at Statistics Canada's head office in Ottawa.

Researchers have access only to the data required for their project. The data will be stripped of all identifying information.

Statistics Canada will review all research projects at their completion to ensure that the results are in line with the project scope and that data confidentiality is maintained.

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