Imperatives For The Canadian Data Economy

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By Rob Davidson | email

The road from start-up to scale-up is not one free of speed bumps or hurdles. One notable challenge Canadian innovators face on this journey is access to the data necessary to build and commercialize globally competitive products and services.

The burgeoning Canadian AI sector is a good example of this challenge — in order to be trained and perfected, machine learning models need access to large supplies of well-structured and reliable data. In Canada, this is a complex endeavour due to some of the design flaws of open data sites, slow adoption of digitization by Canadian businesses, and the lack of clarity around how the national data strategy will play out in real business applications.

In Spring 2019, the Canadian Government announced the Digital Charter for Canada. Much of the Charter speaks to data and its importance to the economy and Canadians, but a number of critical specifics require further elaboration. The Charter focuses on Federal issues, yet the data economy involves provinces and municipalities as well.

One of the major applications of a Data economy will be in Smart City initiatives, especially in the priority areas of Government, Mobility, Health and Wellbeing, Environment and Energy, Infrastructure, and Regulations. This blog addresses a few of the most essential imperatives to build a thriving pan-Canadian data economy.

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