Data Visualization in Action
Connecting to Canada’s Tech Ecosystem
The Challenge: Bring Visibility to Canada’s Tech Industry
Canada’s tech industry is among the strongest in the world. We have a wealth of talent when it comes to advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, and thanks to a rich ecosystem for research and data science, continued advancements are inevitable. In a time when business owners worldwide are looking to flock to well-known tech-hubs like silicon valley, it’s important that we find effective ways to promote our own industry.
Global visibility is the key to ensuring continued growth within Canada’s technologically healthy cities. Currently, the data exists in several places, none of which are necessarily easy to find, especially for business owners who may not even know where to start. Invest in Canada recognized this issue and decided to take action by partnering with Lixar to build an information hub that would make the data available in a user-friendly format, facilitating the ability for business owners across Canada and around the world to learn more about what our industry has to offer.
To successfully build such a hub, there were four key criteria that had to be met:
- Provide an interactive UI that would be accessible to non-technical users
- Include a set of 10-20 cities
- Provide the ability for users to drill down into a city for meaningful data
- Use a variety of rich data sources
The Solution: Interactive Data to Connect You to Canada’s Tech Industry
Lixar leveraged Data Visualization to develop an interactive touch screen map, representing Canada’s tech ecosystem, that met all four criteria. Users can tap to select a skill of interest, such as AI, and watch the map light up to indicate where in Canada the skill is prevalent. They can then find deeper data by tapping a city to see details such as how many people there have the skills they are looking for.
The end result is the ability to go far beyond efficiently accessing data; this way, users can actually see the data and interact with it in a way that can get them excited about the future of Canada’s tech industry.
In addition to relying on UI/UX-driven design principles, the map was developed using a host of leading technologies:
- The entire solution is hosted in Azure Cloud
- A Data Lake is used to provide flexible storage that can draw from a variety of data sources in a variety of formats, with the potential for full automation
- A Logic App is used to monitor the data lake so that all raw data can be automatically sent for curation
- Databricks are used to curate raw data
- A DataFactory moves curated data from the data lake to the AzureSQL Data Warehouse
- Tableau pulls in data from the warehouse and presents it in a ready-to-use format on its data visualization dashboard
- Additionally, the Google Places API is used to pull information about locations and companies into Tableau
End Result: A Successful Collaboration
By making this meaningful data accessible in a user-friendly format, the Touch Screen Map can contribute to continuing growth within the industry, inviting business owners all over the world to explore and leverage our technologically healthy cities.
In the future, a fully automated data collection process can be implemented to ensure that the Touch Screen Map will always be an up-to-date wealth of data, growing every day with the continued goal of attracting business owners.
The partnership between Invest Canada and Lixar was further supported by collaboration with:
- Azure for backend support
- Tableau for frontend support
- ICTC for research and manual data sets support
The Touch Screen Map debuted at Collision’s 2019 event, in the following panel.
Thursday, May 23, 2019, 10h00-10h30.
Location: Canadian Pavilion
The Talent Guide to Canada’s Tech Ecosystem – (Featuring Lixar, Tableau and ICTC)
Recognized as one of the most competitive economies in the world, Canada is also a global leader in science, technology and innovation. This panel will demonstrate Canada’s competitive advantages and why you should innovate in this nation to achieve global excellence.