There is no shortage of data in this day and age.
We live and work online, we survey and poll, our services run through digital systems — much of what we do is tracked and analysed in some shape or form. Economists often refer to data as the new oil both in terms of its global economic value and in what it means for growing businesses.
We get a number of requests at the Chamber for data on a variety of subjects and business sectors. While we can help provide some data and analysis, we also rely on our community and industry partners for raw and aggregate data.
Here are a few places to look for free, high-quality data for making decisions for your business:
Business Data Lab
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce launched the Business Data Lab (BDL) a year ago. It brings together data from a variety of sources to track evolving market conditions and provide Canadian businesses with critical information to help make better decisions and improve performance. The BDL provides timely reports and analysis on things like the economy, workforce mobility trends, and business conditions.
The BDL also includes the Business Conditions Terminal, which provides access to real-time data on markets that matter to your business with high-quality, high-frequency indicators.
Workforce Development Board
Looking for information on local workforce trends? The Workforce Development Board is able to access data that isn’t always available to the general public or can be expensive for an individual business to purchase. They also track local labour activity. With this data, they provide analysis and reports with valuable insights businesses can use to help grow their workforce and figure out what are competitive salaries.
Peterborough and the Kawarthas Economic Development (PKED)
The website is branded Invest Peterborough and the Kawarthas for a reason — the Data and Resource hub on their website includes information on all things Peterborough, including market information, quality of life data, logistics, talent, demographics, economics, major employers, reports on various sectors and economic development opportunities, and more. PKED is in the midst of their annual Business Count, a comprehensive survey of local businesses that runs through August and provides in-depth tracking and analysis on local businesses.
Canadian Chamber of Commerce
The policy team at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) have put together some comprehensive reports and policy papers on various business issues. Where the Business Data Lab offers large swaths of data that can be narrowed down to specific sectors and geographics, the CCC provides data based on issues like cyber security, international trade, cannabis regulation, supply chains, Indigenous affairs, and more.
Ontario Chamber of Commerce
Similar to the CCC, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) provides a lot of resources, including data, relating to issues with a provincial scope, like healthcare, Ontario’s economy, transportation and supply chain, and cyber security. Their publications include some very in-depth reports, often partnered with other industry associations, on specific topics like tourism and aggregates.
Peterborough and the Kawarthas Chamber of Commerce
Our website has a Resource Hub where we have compiled resources and information on topics like starting or growing a business, exporting, training, workforce, and research. Some of the information links to work from our partners and some of it will point you to services offered by our members. It’s a great place to get started and find some new places to source information.
If there’s data regarding people and businesses across Canada, there’s a good chance Statistics Canada tracks it. A lot of businesses and agencies, including the Chamber, rely on data from Statistics Canada for our research and reports. They offer raw data and non-partisan analysis.
Your own business!
When it comes to market research, no one knows your customers and their habits better than you and the technology you use to run your business. Your point-of-sale system, website, social media, customer relationship management (CRM) software, newsletter, and advertisements are all gathering valuable information on who your customers are, how and when they spend money, where they are, what they like, and what motivates them. It can also find people who have similarities to your customers, but aren’t currently spending money with you. If you’re unsure how to fully access the potential of your data, we have a Digital Service Squad member ready to connect and offer one-on-one help for free. Additionally, the Chamber has several experts within our membership and grants to cover some of the cost.
This list is nowhere near exhaustive, but is a good place to start. Chances are, there is an industry group with specific knowledge and data on your business sector. There are also a host of businesses, non-profits, charities, and government agencies with data on pretty much any issue and sector. Not sure where to look? Connect with the Chamber and we can help.
The Peterborough and the Kawarthas Chamber of Commerce acts as a catalyst to enhance business growth, opportunity, innovation, partnerships and a diverse business community.