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Future of Data in the Canadian Social Sciences: an action plan

BCIRDC Academic Director Kevin Milligan was recently invited by data librarians from Western Canada to address the future of data in the social sciences. In his talk, he argues that Canada is not ready for the large shift that is currently moving the data world away from surveys and toward administrative datasets and that if we fail to keep up with this transformation, we will fall behind in both our capacity to attract and retain the best researchers and graduate students and in our capacity to contribute to a better understanding of our changing society. Looking forward, and in order to live up to this challenge, he proposes a three-pronged action plan, focused on redeveloping things that have been lost: public trust from fellow Canadians, by adopting a Charter of Data Practices; support for funding data, because good data need real dollars; and census, because we need it: “it is the ultimate anchor for nearly everything we do with data.” His PowerPoint presentation and speaking notes are available here.