Talent analytics, a cornerstone for Canada’s digital economy

By 2 February 2016 No Comments

Data Analytics has become critical in all industries from retail to manufacturing to hospitality for understanding market forecasting, yield management, economic analysis, etc. The same science of data analytics applies to the labour market. Raw labour market data often does not convey the full picture, until magnified under the microscope by labour market analysts, economists, and researchers to transform that same data into meaningful information, including important trends about emerging technologies, in-demand skills, and job growth prospects. For instance, 2.7 million youth aged 25 or younger are currently participating in Canada’s labour force, with 2.37 million employed and the rest on the lookout, resulting in a youth unemployment rate of 12%. This does not imply that the unemployment rate is 12% for all youth in all professions. A closer inspection reveals that youth with the required ICT skills, training, and qualifications to work as web developers, technical support analysts, software testers, or systems technicians are able to secure jobs faster or launch their own start-ups versus youth from other sectors of the economy. Gathering and analyzing granular information from many sources including ‘live’ job postings, researchers construct and convey critical intelligence on skills or talent shortages and surpluses, wages, unemployment or the labour force participation rates, and more.

An in-depth LMI study leverages primary and secondary data that then gets analyzed using qualitative and quantitative techniques to produce topic-specific knowledge. LMI also provides an objective evaluation of the benefits and costs of specific technologies and their impact on the labour market so as to enable and guide educational programs and define career pathways. In simple words, LMI provides a blueprint for policymakers, industry, and educators to make informed decisions, and plan for the future. Capturing labour market data is critical for any nation competing in a global economy, and to position itself as a thought leader in the realm of bourgeoning economies.

ICTC’s LMI for the digital economy provides such information on the sociodemographic and economic characteristics of the labour market. It helps anticipate future labour market needs, as well as develop an understanding of the factors influencing the demand and supply of labour. This in turn helps better align the labour market to the medium and long term needs of the country. It also helps monitor changes in the demand for labour as per employers’ changing requirements for human capital. Based on  employers’ digital skills needs, ICTC helps define the emerging skills and competence needs that then get embedded in the curricula, educational and professional qualifications, and helps define the learning provision or measures for target populations, for instance unemployed, underemployed, career transitioners, immigrants, and more. Currently various activities related to anticipating the skills needed to drive Canada’s digital economic growth are being undertaken by ICTC in coordinated partnership with industry, educators, and policymakers. To learn more about these initiatives, please visit:

ICTC’s LMI is a cornerstone of Canada’s digital economy, as it helps inform the opportunities and challenges related to productivity and innovation in various ICT-user industries, which in this day and age are practically every industrial sector of the economy. Our LMI enables an in-depth understanding of the major factors that currently influence Canada’s labour market. This not only allows us to analyze regional labour market policies, demographic factors, and technological advances, but also enables a global comparison of digital economies in both advanced and emerging countries.

ICTC’s five-year labour market forecasts provide new insights on conditions affecting Canada’s ICT workforce in the long-term across all economic sectors from demand- and supply-side perspectives, including an in-depth analysis of the challenges and opportunities facing various economic sectors. The LMI Outlook includes a baseline of the current situation, as well as an indication of future capacity to better inform whether domestic labour supply can adequately meet fast evolving demands. This exercise provides critical information to education and training providers in developing curricula and specialized programs that meet the needs of industry.

In conclusion, analyzing raw data for predicting the fluid labour market is of great advantage to Canada. This real time information enables decision makers to foresee which technologies and sectors are emerging and how Canada can increase its potential to leverage its digital knowhow and compete on the world stage as economic leaders!

What are your thoughts on Canada’s LMI needs and what other research gap ICTC can help fill? Look forward to hearing your thoughts.