Geek looking at data

Please Do Your Part

Published May 21, 2011, 09:21 AM by Jan Kestle

The 2011 Census of Canada is now underway.   Canadians are receiving their census forms this week, and some will receive the new National Household Survey (NHS) soon.  As a supplier of marketing and demographic information and a member of Canada’s statistical community since 1969, I am asking you to do your part to ensure the thoroughness and accuracy of the census and NHS. Please take time to fill out your census form and complete the NHS, if you are given the opportunity to do so. And please also urge your employees, friends, neighbours and families to do the same.

Much has been written and discussed about the government’s decision to move from the compulsory census long form to the voluntary NHS. But it’s time to put that discussion aside and do everything possible to ensure a complete and representative response to the NHS.

The data derived from the census are essential to many aspects of life in Canada. Key decisions and programs—from the transfer of funds from the Federal Government to the provinces to health care, public safety and social service planning—all rely on good quality census data. For many social programs, it’s essential that the data be of the highest quality possible down to the lowest level of geography possible.

Many businesses, large and small, use census data and products derived from the census to locate other businesses, understand consumer needs, design and place advertising, optimize their merchandise mix and select media—all activities that actually save Canadians time and enhance our experiences as consumers with busy lives.

If you would like to learn more about the importance of census data and how it’s used, the 2011 Census – Statistics Canada and your organization document provides an insightful perspective.

And if you have any questions or comments about this important issue, please feel free to comment below or call me at 416.969.2834 or email me at


jan-kestle (1)Jan Kestle is founder and president of Environics Analytics and former president of Compusearch. Environics Analytics is a firm engaged in statistical and geodemographic analysis and is a provider of related tools that include its PRIZM C2 cluster system. She can be reached at
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