Need help making economic development planning decisions in your region?

Analyst is a web-based tool that provides data on regional economies and work forces. It was developed to help economic development professionals better understand their region so they can make informed decisions about how to build strong regional economies.

New to Analyst

New to Analyst is Input-Output Modelling

Input-Output models map out linkages within an economy by tracing the connections between industries, households and government. This is done by tracking the flow of money between those entities within a geographic area. The new Analyst Input-Output module is an easy-to-use economic modelling tool that can help economic development practitioners to:

  1. Examine and describe the workings of an economy by determining key income-generating industries based on exports, jobs, wages and purchases made within the area.
  2. Predict the ripple (multiplier) effects of specific changes within a regional economy such as the addition of jobs or an increase in sales in a specific industry.

OMAFRA will be offering training on the Analyst input-output model in the Spring of 2017.

If you are interested in the training complete the request form. Registrants will receive the address upon confirmation.

How to access Analyst

Analyst is available to economic development organizations involved in rural economic development at no charge for one month at a time on a per project basis. Access begins the first business day of each month. For each new project, complete and submit the online request form. Upon submitting the request form you will be emailed a Terms and Conditions Agreement. This Agreement must be signed and returned by email to or by fax to 519-846-8178 no later than five business days prior to the end of the month.

If you require access to Analyst after the initial one month period (for an ongoing project) please send an email request no later than five business days prior to the end of the month, to (Please note you will not have to complete a new Terms of Conditions Agreement).

Regional Economic Development Branch Advisors are available to provide more information and advice on the Analyst program. Please contact an Advisor or call the Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300.

What is Analyst?

Analyst combines multiple national data sources, harmonizing them to take advantage of the strengths of each source, and brings it to you in a format that's easy to access, easy to understand, and easy to use.

Statistics Canada data sources include:

  • Canadian Business Patterns (CBP)
  • 2001, 2006, and 2011 Census data
  • Survey of Employment, Payroll and Hours (SEPH)
  • Labour Force Surveys (LFS)
  • Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS)
  • CANSIM Demographics
  • Postsecondary Student Information System Education Data (PSIS)

Geographic detail:

  • Regional data available for all Ontario Census Divisions, Census Subdivisions, and Census Metropolitan Areas, including the option to create custom regions.

Analyst data outputs:

  • Business location counts
  • Earnings data for employees by industry and occupation
  • Employment data for employees and self employed by industry and occupation
  • Historic and projected age and gender component data at the Census Division level
  • Staffing patterns for industries and inverse staffing patterns for occupations
  • Education programs and completions at every geographic level
  • Data, including projections is current and is updated regularly.

Why is it important?

You can use Analyst to:

  • Understand Regional Strengths: Define the strengths of your region, identify the right target industries, and know what sets your region apart from others and what makes it competitive. This type of data is useful to build economic development plans and it is great information to share with your community.
  • Conduct Workforce Analysis: Provides insight on staffing patterns to see who is getting hired by local industries. You can also learn more about training providers and see how well they are producing graduates for in-demand occupations.
  • Conduct Cluster Analysis: Provides information on clusters in your region and how well they are doing. You can use a location quotient (a measure of specialization) to determine potential industries, which can then be engaged by assembling groups of industry leaders.
  • Business Attraction: Economic development organizations of all sizes have to respond to requests from site selectors who are looking to expand to new locations. Labour force and wage information are two very important factors. With Analyst's industry and occupation data, you are well equipped to quickly and professionally respond to site selectors. The data you can provide to site selectors is much deeper and more complete which gives your region a competitive advantage.
  • Regional Comparison / Competitive Analysis: This is important to economic development organizations that often compete for business against other regions and are frequently called upon to compare themselves to those regions. In both cases, you will have valuable data on multiple regions, provinces and the entire country allowing you to know which regions you compete with and how regions with similar economies are doing.


  • Access to comprehensive data sets.
  • Online training videos.
  • Regional Economic Development Branch Advisors are available to fulfill simple data requests for your organization. This is helpful if you have a spontaneous need for data that can be quickly provided by your Advisor.
    • Advisors can also provide guidance concerning when and where to use Analyst and work with your organization to help with the analysis of your region's economy and incorporating economic analysis into strategy development.
  • Foundations for Regional Economic Analysis training:
    • The purpose of the training is to improve participants' ability to use regional economic analysis to highlight what is unique about their region-what can truly be the foundation for future economic growth-as well as to determine what will likely be most useful strategies in creating future opportunities for job and income growth.
    • Each training session begins with an optional half-day hands-on introductory training with Analyst. The second day consists of a full-day Foundations for Regional Economic Analysis classroom style training.
    • During the half-day Hands-On Introductory training with Analyst, participants will be introduced to Analyst. Topics covered include:
      • What economic development information is available through Analyst
      • How to use Analyst
      • What Analyst can and can't do
      • How to navigate Analyst to access the information your organization needs
    • The topics that will be covered in the full-day Foundations for Regional Economic Analysis training include:
      • Getting started with regional economic analysis
      • Key sources of economic development data
      • Exploring economic specialization
      • Identifying economic base industries and calculating employment multipliers
      • Identifying comparative advantages
      • Undertaking labour market analysis
    • If you are interested in participating in the training visit the following link to access the request form.

Public Sources of Data for Local/Regional Economic Development

Government of Canada's Community Information Database

Provides free access to consistent and reliable economic, demographic and cultural data for all municipalities across Ontario and Canada. Users can create custom maps and reports or access the data in tabular form.

Statistics Canada Census of Population Profiles

Provides information from the 2011 Census of Population for various levels of geography including: provinces and territories, census metropolitan areas, census divisions, census subdivisions and census tracts.

Statistics Canada Census of Agriculture Profiles

Provides information from the 2006 and 2011 Census of Agriculture for various levels of geography including: provinces and territories, census divisions, and census consolidated subdivisions.

Statistics Canada National Household Survey Profiles

Provides information from the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) for various levels of geography including: provinces and territories, census metropolitan areas/census agglomerations, census divisions, census subdivisions, census tracts and federal electoral districts.

Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport's Data Resources

On this page you will find a range of data resources from an interactive economic impact model that you can use to determine the economic impact of visitors and business spending on your local economy to regional tourism profiles and local visitor statistics.

Community Data Program

Led by the Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD) the Community Data Program is a community data consortium that provides a gateway to access small area and municipal data from Statistics Canada and other providers to monitor and report on social and economic development trends within Canadian communities.

Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 11 July 2011
Last Reviewed: 23 February 2017