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Big Data: Big Ideas

Updated: Jul 20, 2022

The Regional Analytics Laboratory (RAnLab) collaborated with Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador (MNL) to create fact sheets to help communities across the province make evidence-based development decisions.


To ensure that the fact sheets included the most helpful information, RAnLab met with community stakeholders -- such as mayors, town clerks, and municipal planners -- to determine what issues communities were most interested in.


First, RAnLab provided communities with basic fact sheets that summarize baseline demographic and economic data for their specific regions. This information provided a foundation for conversations with community stakeholders to determine what additional information would be useful for community development planning.


Engagement with local community representatives was critical for learning areas of weaknesses in decision-making due to lack of applicable socio-economic data and information for their specific region. To learn more, RAnLab analyzed administrative data sources for data gaps because local gaps reduce effectiveness and responsiveness of policies, and can make it difficult to identify and define issues. This highlights the challenges with using aggregate data or only using Statistics Canada data.


The final customized fact sheets include data and information on things like local housing markets and labour force skills in communities and regions. The fact sheets also include guides on how to read and interpret the information so that it can be effectively used in policy and community development.


Throughout the Big Data: Big Ideas project, RAnLab focused on the transparency of statistical analysis methods and data sources as its critical for proper interpretation by stakeholders.


Together, MNL and RAnLab have worked diligently with community members across the province to place customized data-rich fact sheets into the hands of community representatives across the province to inform economic development strategies.


More information about Big Data: Big Ideas can be found on the Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador website.


The Big Data: Big Ideas project is funded in part by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.



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