Statistics Canada is perhaps best known for the national census it produces every 5 years...but did you know that (beyond the census) StatsCan also conducts research into nearly every aspect of Canadian life, with over 350 research surveys currently ongoing?
No single business owner has time to keep up to date, and read research about 'EVERY aspect of Canadian life'. The key to making the most of StatsCan, rather, is to be selective. For every 100 surveys they conduct, maybe 2 or 3 will have direct relevance to your business - this is where The Daily can help.
What is The Daily?
Officially: "The Daily is Statistics Canada's official release bulletin, the Agency's first line of communication with the media and the public. The Daily issues news releases on current social and economic conditions and announces new products. It provides a comprehensive one-stop overview of new information available from Statistics Canada." - About the Daily
Even by reducing all of the work being done by StatsCan into a 1-2 page briefing, this is still a lot of information - probably too much to digest on a regular basis. Instead, StatsCan allows you to subscribe to a customized RSS Feed, where only The Daily updates specifically related to your interests or industry will be provided. Alternately, if you don't use an RSS reader, you can receive email updates to your work or personal email instead.
StatsCan allows you to pick from its list of 30 different categories (Environment, Retail, Agriculture, Seniors, etc.), to ensure that only the updates you want will be sent to you.
Let's look into just one example of how this resource relates to business needs:
A Construction company owner may select to receive The Daily updates about: Construction, Prices & Price Indexes and Population & Demography. By selecting to receive these updates via RSS, the owner would have recently received updates about the following (among others):
- Residential construction investment
- Apartment Building Construction Price Index
- Building Permits - September 2010
- Migration 2008/2009
Not too bad...and certainly not too many updates to sort through. Most of The Daily updates will also provide links to complete studies/surveys, CANSIM tables or may provide updates on the status of larger publications. Few updates are longer than a page or two, making them a quick morning read.
Finally, If you decide not to set up an RSS feed for direct updates, you can always search through The Daily Archives to look for useful information from months / years past. Try searching past articles from The Daily, either by keyword or subject. Try using their advanced search menu to best find the reports that matter to you.
If you're looking for the newest and most authoritative information, directly from the Canadian Government, The Daily provides just that.
This post was co-developed with Simon Fraser University, and based on the BUEC Buzz Blog posting 'Statistics Canada's Daily - an indispensable alert service.'
PHOTO CREDIT: Photo Imperial Federation, map of the world showing the extent of the British Empire in 1886 created by Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the BPL, on Nov 6, 2007, available under a Creative Commons Attribution license. Last viewed on Dec 2, 2010.