Discussion questions: creating economic benefits


This is the second of three discussion papers that the province will release as part of its consultations to develop the Data Strategy. This paper aims to explore current issues and challenges in Ontario’s data economy, identify where Ontario hopes to be in the future data economy, and start a conversation about how our government can help get us there. Comments on this discussion paper will be collected until October 9, 2019.

Commenting is now closed.

Going forward, we are committed to creating a strategy that represents the voices of all Ontarians and generates clear economic benefits for businesses. To ensure that we build a data-driven economy that includes and benefits all Ontarians, we invite you to consider the four key areas below and share your input and feedback on these ideas. 

Increasing Technology Adoption and Transfer Among Ontario Businesses

It is important to:

  • Help small businesses and Ontario’s foundational economic sectors—such as agriculture, construction, and manufacturing—to understand and adopt new data-driven technologies more easily, including expanding digital infrastructure.  
  • Create a stronger ecosystem of innovation and commercialization by connecting data-driven businesses and their products with key markets.

Discussion questions

  • How do we incentivize businesses in Ontario to increase their adoption of data-driven technologies to drive growth? 
  • The Ontario government has established a number of programs and initiatives to incentivize businesses’ adoption of data-driven technologies. In your view, what has worked? What hasn’t worked? 
  • How can we help businesses in Ontario to compete more actively and successfully with international players in the data economy?

Enhancing Data Access For Businesses

It is important to:

  • Build new collaboration models between government and businesses to determine which government data assets can best help drive business growth. 
  • Ensure that strong governance structures and standards are in place to promote privacy-protective data business growth. 

Discussion questions

  • How does your business currently use open data to support growth and productivity? Are there examples of how and why access to data has helped your business?
  • What steps can government take to make its data more available to business, and what types of data would be most helpful for businesses to access?  
  • How can we ensure that businesses generate, collect and resell data in a way that is consent-based and drives growth, but ensures transparency and prevents discrimination?

Streamlining Public Procurement

It is important to:

  • Remove barriers so that Ontario’s small businesses can access government procurement data and opportunities more easily and fairly. 
  • Promote government procurement of new, innovative data-driven products and services particularly for sectors with barriers to technology adoption and application.

Discussion questions

  • What steps can we take to make it easier for businesses to participate in the procurement process for data-driven services and products?
  • How can we prioritize innovation procurement and help businesses develop solutions for government that can be commercialized for wider markets?

Building Data Skills and Talent

It is important to:

  • Expand access to re-training and upskilling programs, and enable more on-the-job training, to build a pool of data talent in Ontario. 
  • Build a talent retention and attraction strategy by attracting highly skilled immigrants and creating more opportunities for work-based learning.

Discussion questions

  • How can we better enable on-the-job training in key data skills, particularly for employees at small businesses, without creating undue burdens on these employers?
  • How can we maximize data-focused talent retention in Ontario? 
  • How can we better align K-12 and post-secondary curricula with industry needs to build data and digital competency in Ontario?

Comments on this discussion paper will be collected until October 9, 2019. We will post a summary of what we heard on engage.ontario.ca. Other consultations on subsequent discussion papers will follow in the coming months.  

If you have questions or comments, please email us at digital.government@ontario.ca or send any other correspondence to the Ontario Digital Service, 595 Bay Street - Suite 1002, Toronto, Ontario, M7A 2C7.