One thing that often stumps researchers is statistics. Where to find them? What to search for? What is available, is it free?
When you are looking for statistics, one way to start is to think about who would collect that type of information, and would they publish it? If you are looking for statistics on people or businesses, the government is often a good place to start because they do collect information about people (whether through the census, or other ways of gathering information such as surveys) as well as businesses.
Statistics Canada is the obvious place to start looking for information, but think about other government agencies as well. Industry Canada offers statistics on Canadian businesses, and the SME Benchmarking Tool is a great place to find information to compare your business to others in the same industry. If you are looking for information about bankruptcies or business failures, The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcies is a good place to look for Annual Insolvency Rates by NAICS, by census metropolitan area, or by province and economic region. Think about Agriculture Canada if you are looking into businesses in that area, and so on… sometimes going right to the source is better than starting a search blind on the internet.
Some specific, freely available favourite resources of mine to help with business planning:
From Statistics Canada:
Are you looking for how much people spend on alcoholic beverages in restaurants or bars, as opposed to alcoholic beverages purchased in stores? The government tracks the spending habits of Canadians in the Survey of Household Spending… check it out, and use the Add/Remove tab to alter the data (by location, category of expenditure, or time).
If you are looking for how many people in Kelowna work in the mining, oil and gas industry, or for the income levels of people in the Central Okanagan, the National Household Survey Profiles are a great place to look. You can even find out what time they leave for work in the morning!
You can search Statistics Canada by subject or by key resource (Census, etc.)– you can also search by geography, if you are looking for statistics on a certain location.
It is much easier to find information for larger geographic locations– the smaller the population centre, the less likely you are to find reliable information. Look at statistical tables by metropolitan area to see a list of the tables available for Kelowna, Calgary, Vancouver, or other select areas in Canada.
Hope this helps! For more information on finding statistics, please check out the various library guides with more information and resources:
And of course you can always ask for help… happy hunting 🙂
If you are working on a business plan or media plan, one thing you might be looking for is advertising rates. Rather than looking for individual rates for various media outlets, try Canadian Advertising Rates & Data (CARD)– the library subscribes to this resource which provides in-depth media listings, rates and circulation information all in one place!
Access CARD here. You can search for individual media outlets or a specific city in the search box, or start by clicking on the type of media outlet you are looking for to access a list of magazines, for example, that are published in Canada, and then use the limits on the left side of the page to refine your search. Not every media outlet has rate information in CARD, however many do. You can find advertising information for local and national newspapers, radio and TV stations, as well as other types of media such as transit and billboard advertising.
Another great source for advertising is the Media Digest, which is published by the Canadian Media Directors Council. The Media Digest provides information about Canada’s media marketplace, so it is a great tool to use in conjunction with CARD. Find out demographic information about Canadians and media, such as who is watching TV when, what media sources Canadians are using to watch videos online, what types of media are growing or stagnant, what percentage of Canadians read a newspaper every day, and also information on media regulations and Canadian media ownership.
The library’s Entrepreneurship guide has links to these sources as well as The Media Handbook, a book which breaks down the media planning process, if you are interested in learning more about media planning.
Update: These trials are now over.
The library currently has two new trials for resources that might be of use to business students. The first is Major Canadian Cities. This database contains statistical information about 50 major cities across Canada. If you are looking for information on demographics, housing, labour, ethnicity, immigration, income or transportation, this tool is worth checking out! You can compare different cities as well as download profiles for each of the 50 cities. Profiles include cultural and historical information in addition to statistics compiled from Statistics Canada sources.
We also have trial access for two new parts of Passport GMID. Currently our subscription to Passport GMID comprises a treasure trove of data and reports on fast moving consumer goods, as well as country and consumer information. If you have yet to use Passport, it’s great for finding information on how much beer or wine Canadians consume, for example, or reports on specific companies and industries. For the next few weeks, we will have access to Passport: Cities and Passport: Surveys.
Passport: Cities includes socio-economic information on 850 cities worldwide. Tier 1 cities include information such as GDP, employment, population, number of business establishments, household income, tourism and more. Tier 2 cities have information on population and household income. Canadian cities include Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver in the tier 1 category, and Ottawa – Gatineau, Calgary, Edmonton, Quebec, Hamilton, Winnipeg, London, Kitchener, Victoria, Buffalo-Saint Catharines, Halifax in the tier 2 category.
Passport: Survey includes information about consumers in specific countries. Alas, Canada is not included, however the US and Australia are, along with select countries in Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific. Topics include how consumers feel about healthy living, green influences, technology and spending, among many others.
Access Passport GMID here. Survey is accessible in the black navigation bar near the top of the page, and Cities is available by hovering over Countries & Consumers in the black navigation bar.
Questions? Comments? Let me know!
If you’re looking for industry information, such as forecast growth in a certain market (would you be surprised to learn that a country in the Middle East has one of the highest forecast growths in the beer market? Though you might want to dig a bit deeper to check out what kind of beer…), Passport GMID is a great tool available through the Library.
It can help you answer questions such as:
- Which brands have the highest share of the coffee market in Canada?
- What is the sales distribution format for contact lenses in Canada (percentage of online vs. store-based retailing)?
- Which companies rank the highest in the global consumer health market?
If you haven’t yet checked out Passport, please do. If you have, you might be interested to know that we have more statistics and analysis than ever, due to a subscription change. Try out the dashboards, which provide quick visualizations of certain industries in a geographic context, including forecast growth, market size, and company information. If you’re looking for data on fast-moving consumer goods, specific industries, or company shares, this database has a wealth of information.
Bonuses include being able to download many charts/maps/graphs into PowerPoint slides for presentations.
Check out the Alcoholic Drinks or Consumer Health dashboards, reports such as Contact lenses in Canada and Coffee in Canada, and much more in Passport GMID!
Statistics Canada released more data today from the 2011 Census. The age and sex data reveals a shifting demographic in Canada.
For more information:
Statistics Canada The Daily: 2011 Census: Age and sex
Statistics Canada: Census release tables and products
2011 Census – Thematic maps by theme
Globe and Mail Infographic: How Canada breaks down on age and gender lines
This was the second of four releases from the 2011 Census. Population and dwelling count stats were released in February. Upcoming releases will be on families, households, marital status, structural type of dwelling and collectives (September 19, 2012) and language (October 24, 2012).
For more help with data and statistics, consult OC Library’s Data & Statistics guide.
Statistics Canada recently opened up their CANSIM data to public, making it freely available, under the Statistics Canada Open License Agreement. OC Library is transitioning from its subscription version of CANSIM to the publicly available database. You’ll notice that all CANSIM links in Library resources now point to the publicly available database.
Visit OC Library’s Data & Statistics guide to see how CANSIM data can support your business-related research.
In other Canadian statistical news, Statistics Canada will cancel E-STAT effective June 30, 2012. It will remain accessible until June 30, 2013.
OC Library has just published a new Data & Statistics guide that will help you conduct statistical research. While the guide is multi-disciplinary, there are many topics of special interest to business researchers, including:
- Economics & Trade;
- and more.