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On trends and megatrends: Getting the big picture with a solid data foundation

Published November 13, 2014 by Mark Bodnar

I just noticed that Statistics Canada has a new monthly publication:  Canadian Megatrends (11-630-X).

"In 2018, Statistics Canada will celebrate its 100th anniversary. As we count down to this important milestone, we would like to use our data to highlight some of the sweeping changes that have had a lasting impact on Canadian society and economy."

Thus far there have only been two articles in the series -- dealing with the broad effects of migration and fertility on population trends in Canada -- but I think this is likely to be a publication worth watching.  Getting Big Picture perspectives with solid statistical foundations on the Canadian population isn't always easy. Speaking of megatrends... have you seen the many trends reports in Passport GMID?  They often get missed as we all rush straight to specific industry and country reports, but such broad reports might have just what you need. To get to them, try the following routes in Passport...

  • 1. Click on Search in the upper left corner of the screen, then enter Consumer Megatrends in the Category Tree, then select that option as well as all the sub-categories below it (from Belonging to Thrift) and choose your geographies (try Canada, USA, and World to start - the majority of the trend reports appear to be at the World level), then click on Run Search.
  • 2. Or... Click on Countries & Consumers along the top navigation bar, then on Consumer Trends & Lifestyles, then navigate deeper via the Dashboards (infographics!), or the other browsing tools.

Finally (for now at least), consider scanning the blogs and other free publications of the many research firms out there -- they often discuss key trends that they are seeing in their studies.  Start with our post on gleaning data and insights from research firm sites. [Update (Jan 2015): I see that a new issue in Canadian Megatrends has just been published. This one is focused on Canada's crime rate: Two decades of decline: "Police-reported crime rate decreased in 2013, continuing a longer-term downward trend in Canada. In this edition of Canadian Megatrends, we examine the decline of crime rates in Canada in the last 20 years." And the issue that came out last December might also be of interest to SFU's BUS/ECON researchers: Resources: Long-term shifts in commodities.  -- MB] Happy researching! -- MarkB … on behalf of your Business/Economics Librarian team:

  • Mark Bodnar (Business – Burnaby): mbodnar@sfu.ca
  • Megan Sorenson (Business – Vancouver): megan_sorenson@sfu.ca
  • Ania Dymarz (Business – Surrey): adymarz@sfu.ca
  • Carla Graebner (Economics – Burnaby): cgraebne@sfu.ca