When Justin Trudeau’s newly formed majority government announced the reinstatement of the mandatory long-form census in its very first Liberal caucus meeting, researchers and businesses across Canada celebrated. The mandatory long-form census was a huge step back in the right direction for lovers of data across the nation that Voxco calls home.
Here’s a great article by Jan Kestle, Chair of CMA’s Customer Insights & Analytics Council, first published on the Canadian Marketing Association website here:
Starting at the beginning of May, Canadians are being asked to complete the 2016 Census. And there is good news for businesses, consumers and citizens alike.
As you’ll recall for the 2011 Census, the mandatory long-form census was replaced by a voluntary survey. This move resulted in a non-response bias that meant a lot of small-area data for 2011 could not be released—including data on income, education, labour force activity and special populations like immigrants and aboriginal peoples. The loss of the long-form census was a significant blow to policy makers, researchers, data scientists and marketing professionals.
But today we can breathe a sigh of relief because the mandatory long-form census is back, and the complexity of the Canadian population will once again be documented in a comprehensive and statistically sound way. Support for the restoration of a “proper” census came from all corners of Canadian society and has reinforced the fact that the Census of Canada is a national treasure to be protected and supported.
In this era of Big Data, some people wonder why we need the census. There are many reasons, but here are my top five for marketers:
Because of these and many other reasons, we urge Canadians to fill out the Census—whether they get the short or long form. The Census is essential to the fundamental operation of the country—from planning the provision of social services to managing economic growth.
We live in a time when busy consumers expect brands to know and connect with them. The resulting good data will also help us be better marketers.