What We Do

Data Catalyst believes that seamless access to high-value data and insights can make the world a better place to live, work, and learn. We’re working to solve complex and important problems by acting as a trusted and neutral third party that connects people and data.

More than 2.5 exabytes (2.5 quintillion bytes) of data are created every single day, and that number keeps growing. Hidden inside those stores of data is valuable insight—insight that can help innovators make better decisions about the products, solutions and services they create, and that can open up new markets for innovative ideas.

We, at Data Catalyst, are working to find ways to open up and share that data with the people who can best use it to turn smart ideas into reality. We’re also bringing together various disparate data sets to really explore how the innovation economy works and what we can do to make it better.

We currently focus our work in four key areas: the innovation economy, energy, healthcare and open data.

Innovation economy

Data Catalyst - InnovationOntario, along with the rest of Canada, invests millions of dollars in the innovation support system every year. Innovative startups fuel the province’s economy and provide new and exciting products and services to Ontarians.

How well is this ecosystem doing? How can we make it work better? We believe that sharing disparate sets of data can help us answer those questions.

Here is some of the work we are doing around the innovation economy:

Innovation Data Partnership Ontario

The Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE) currently includes 17 regional innovation centres (RICs), who are all working with us to standardize and share—in a secure, private manner—data about the startups and innovators they support. This data, and the products we produce, helps the ONE and the RICs better plan and resource their innovation support programs.

Global Entrepreneurship Research Network

MaRS Data Catalyst is a founding member of the Global Entrepreneurship Research Network, along with partners such as the Kauffman Foundation, Endeavor Insight and the World Bank. We will be working with the network to standardize data across the entrepreneurship ecosystem and create useful and actionable knowledge for entrepreneurs, policy-makers and others. One such initiative is the Ecosystem Mapping Project- learn more here.

Canada’s Startup Accelerators

In June 2013, Data Catalyst published a report on the state of startup accelerators in Canada. Download the report and the associated infographic.

Energy

Data Catalyst - EnergyOntario’s world-leading investment in smart meters has ensured that millions of pieces of data about the way we use energy are sent to databases every day. We are working with industry, regulators, consumers and government to get that data into the hands of innovators in a secure, private and usable way to drive energy conservation and spur economic growth.

Here is some of the work we are doing in energy data:

Ontario’s Green Button

Ontario’s Green Button initiative allows customers to securely download and share their electricity consumption data with authorized service providers or applications to help them better understand and manage their usage to save electricity. Data access enabled through the Green Button standard is currently available to roughly 60% of Ontario households, and pilots are currently underway to develop new solutions and services to help customers take control of their electricity consumption.

Real-Time Data Access

The future of energy data access is rapidly evolving towards providing that access in real time. Data Catalyst is working with key stakeholders in the Ontario energy sector to identify the value of real-time data, the processes and technology needed to deliver real-time data to energy consumers in the short, medium, and long term.

Healthcare

Data Catalyst - HealthThe healthcare sector depends on constant innovation to better serve patients, families, caregivers, healthcare professionals and all parts of the healthcare industry. We are working to get health system data into the hands of innovators in a secure, private and usable way to transform smart ideas into action, while also giving consumers the power to share their data with innovations that will help them live healthier lives.

By unlocking new market opportunities for startups and innovators, we can enhance decision-making by bringing together data across multiple boundaries.

Here is some of the work we are doing in healthcare data:

Electronic Health Record Access

Ontario is in the process of transforming the way it collects and uses electronic health records. We’re working to create a platform to safely access and share information about one’s lifestyle and health with a new range of services and products that will help Ontarians live healthier lives and create opportunities for economic growth.

Health Systems Intelligence

The healthcare system in the province has immense amounts of data that can be used to create better health outcomes. We are working with the large system players to better understand this data, and access a network of commercial and community health innovators to build a portfolio of products and services that can enhance already existing investments in healthcare and can effectively scale across jurisdictions.

Open data

Data Catalyst - OpenOpen data is one of the key underlying pillars of open government; we believe that it is not just a method to increase transparency and engagement within government, but can also be used to spur economic growth and create new innovative solutions to supplement current government service delivery and better serve citizens.

Here is some of the work we are doing in open data:

GovMaker

The GovMaker network is a cross-jurisdictional group of people inside and outside government who are hoping to transform government and public service through innovation. Data Catalyst and Solutions Lab are working together to convene events and projects through the network, using open data as a catalyst for this kind of transformation.

Public Sector Open Data Working Group

As members of the Ontario Public Sector Open Data Working Group, as well as other government and industry advisory groups on open data, we’re making sure that the voice of the innovator is heard in the discussions around open government.