Canada’s most undervalued resource:
The importance of capitalizing on the data economy
Over the past few decades, our world has become increasingly digital, fundamentally changing how people interact, and how businesses create products and provide services. This increasing digitalization has produced exponentially growing streams of data, which is continuously being collected, stored, processed, and shared.
This data is crucial for the Canadian economy, as it forms the foundation for AI and the development of new technology. With our country’s highly skilled and diverse workforce and unique industry experience, Deloitte believes that the nation can set a collective vision to support Canadians in building a world-leading data economy.
Canada’s most undervalued resource: The importance of capitalizing on the data economy explores what it will take for Canada—businesses, governments, and citizens alike—to become front-runners in the new economy, outlines the data opportunities for the country, and considers three possible future scenarios in which Canada can lead in the evolving data economy. The report concludes with recommendations on how to get there.
Imagining the Canadian data economy in 2030
For Canada to be a true leader in the future data economy, it must balance the priorities of three key pillars of society.
Adopt a digital-first orientation
While not required to start an AI journey, companies looking to scale AI deployment will have to pivot to become digital-first in their operations, as AI relies on well-managed data and digitized processes. Managing AI projects can look different from managing traditional technological implementations, due to the lack of clear paths to success. Businesses will need to get used to working in a much more agile way, with continuous iterations becoming the new norm.
Individuals are the cornerstone of the data economy. Consumers not only create the data used by businesses and governments, but also serve as the customer for actions originating from that data. In response, leading countries have implemented initiatives that ensure the data economy is engaging and empowering every citizen.
Governments need to ensure the public sector is keeping up with the data economy, rapid technological growth, and changing citizen expectations for data-enabled services. Leading countries in the data economy are continuously digitalizing public services. Denmark, for example, enacted a progressive digital-first policy, setting the expectation for all public services to be delivered digitally, with non-digital delivery only used as a backup.
Businesses that continuously innovate using data. Businesses that improve their internal data practices, and are strategic in unlocking value from their data, can ensure their global competitiveness in the new economy. To encourage further innovation, many pioneering countries have also designed policies that expressly encourage data collaboration between businesses.
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