TORONTO, Nov. 26, 2020 – Waterstone Human Capital, Canada’s leading cultural talent management firm, has announced the 2020 winners of the Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures™ and Canada’s Most Admired CEO™ program. This national program recognizes best-in-class Canadian organizations and CEOs for fostering high performance corporate cultures that help sustain a competitive advantage.
Organizations and CEOs are recognized as national winners in categories including: Enterprise, Mid-Market, Growth, Emerging, and the Broader Public Sector. This year, for only the second time since the Canada’s Most Admired CEO Award was introduced in 2014, the Board of Governors voted to present the Transformational Leadership Award, recognizing a CEO who has had an extraordinary impact on the growth and evolution of an organization’s corporate culture and overall performance.
“At Waterstone we believe corporate culture drives performance and that it’s your organization’s greatest asset,” says Marty Parker, President and Chief Executive Officer of Waterstone Human Capital and Chair of the Canada’s Most Admired™ program. “This year’s award winners each demonstrate a commitment to culture as competitive advantage. They set a truly admirable example of how cultivating and sustaining great cultures can ultimately drive outstanding growth and performance.”
Canada’s Most Admired™ CEOs of 2020
Broader Public Sector: Margaret McNeil, CEO, Canuck Place Children’s Hospice
Growth: Joanna Griffiths, Founder and CEO, Knix
Mid-Market: Jack Newton, Co-founder and CEO, Clio
Enterprise: Dani Reiss, President and CEO, Canada Goose
Transformational Leadership: Michael Medline, President and CEO, Empire Company Limited
Canada’s Most Admired™ Corporate Cultures of 2020 – Broader Public Sector
ALS Society of Canada (Toronto, ON)
Covenant Health (Edmonton, AB)
Creative Options Regina (Regina, SK)
Egg Farmers of Canada (Ottawa, ON)
MedicAlert Foundation Canada (Toronto, ON)
NorQuest College (Edmonton, AB)
Ottawa Community Housing (Ottawa, ON)
Standards Council of Canada (Ottawa, ON)
The Ottawa Hospital (Ottawa, ON)
Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care (Scarborough, ON)
Canada’s Most Admired™ Corporate Cultures of 2020 – Emerging
Canada’s Most Admired™ Corporate Cultures of 2020 – Growth
Burns & Wilcox Canada (Toronto, ON)
Centra Windows (Langley, BC)
Det’on Cho Management LP (Yellowknife, NWT)
Digital Extremes (London, ON)
East Side Games (Vancouver, BC)
Flipp (Etobicoke, ON)
INVIVO Communications Inc. (Toronto, ON)
Jobber (Edmonton, AB)
MyHealth Centre (Toronto, ON)
Xperigo (Markham, ON)
Canada’s Most Admired™ Corporate Cultures of 2020 – Mid-Market
BentallGreenOak (Toronto, ON)
CARFAX (London, ON)
Coast Capital Savings (Surrey, BC)
D2L Corporation (Kitchener, ON)
Geotab (Oakville, ON)
Killam Apartment REIT (Halifax, NS)
Odlum Brown Limited (Vancouver, BC)
PointClickCare (Mississauga, ON)
QSL (Quebec City, QC)
RSM Canada (Toronto, ON)
Canada’s Most Admired™ Corporate Cultures of 2020 – Enterprise
AstraZeneca Canada Inc. (Mississauga, ON)
BMO Financial Group (Toronto, ON)
Bruce Power (Tiverton, ON)
CWB Financial Group (Edmonton, AB)
Loblaw Companies Limited (Brampton, ON)
Royal Bank of Canada (Toronto, ON)
SAP Canada (Vancouver, BC)
Schneider Electric (Mississauga, ON)
Scotiabank (Toronto, ON)
Sobeys Inc. (Stellarton, NS)
The Canada’s Most Admired™ Corporate Cultures and Canada’s Most Admired™ CEO awards will be presented at an awards gala on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The day also includes a Corporate Culture Summit – a learning event focused on corporate culture that features speakers and breakout sessions with past award winners – and a CEO-only Summit, which brings together some of the most senior executives from across Canada to network and share best practices around how to leverage corporate culture as a competitive advantage.
TORONTO, ON – October 8th, 2020 — ThinkData Works, Inc. (ThinkData), the Toronto tech company behind the end-to-end data management platform Namara, has brokered a partnership agreement with the Legal Innovation Data Institute (LIDI) that aims to make the administration of justice more transparent.
LIDI takes inspiration from the global free access to law community as well as many other public interest legal technology innovators and university research labs. LIDI lowers the barriers and expands the circle of innovation in Canadian legal data beyond the small and closed group of legal publishers that currently possess extensive primary law collections.
The LIDI was founded in September of 2020 through the initiative and support of the following founding members, initial collaborators and advisors:
• Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute xAI Lab • Legal Technology Lab | uOttawa Centre for Law, Technology and Society • The Conflicts Analytics Lab at Queen’s University • ThinkData Works • Private AI • CiteRight
• Dr. Randy Goebel • Meredith Brown • Noel Corriveau • Sarah Glassmeyer • Cory Janssen
“ThinkData had the perfect platform for helping us meet our objective with LIDI,” says the Founder and Executive Director, Colin Lachance. “Building a data trust is complex. We needed a partner who was leading the space and could support our growth in datasets and collaborators. Partnering with ThinkData is very exciting.”
Bryan Smith, co-founder and CEO of ThinkData, says, “At first glance, it seems like offering more data to more people is incompatible with maintaining privacy and security; but transparency in how data is collected, maintained, and shared is key to realizing the value of data. LIDI is moving the chains in a big way, and hopefully setting a precedent not just for the legal world, but for any entity looking to provide fair and transparent access to data.”
LIDI lowers legal data access barriers in Canada and facilitates innovation on an unprecedented scale. Through collaboration, we aim to make the administration of justice and technology more transparent and less costly.
About LIDI Legal Innovation Data Institute (LIDI) in an Ottawa-based and federally incorporated not-for-profit founded in 2020 to overcome the challenge of open courts and closed data. Through the LIDI Data Trust, LIDI operates as a steward of sensitive court and tribunal rulings and other legal data. LIDI Data Trust content is cleaned, normalized and enriched by LIDI and its supporters to accelerate the research, development and innovation efforts of members and collaborators in a manner that places a premium on privacy considerations and advances access to justice in Canada.
This article original appeared on the Forbes website.
There have been a number of pain points uncovered by the Covid-19 pandemic. Across all sectors, businesses, researchers, governments, and citizens have come face-to-face with a hard reality that when push came to shove the information and resources, they needed in order to function properly weren’t guaranteed.
Data in particular has been a glaring problem. While there was no shortage of data producers who were eager to provide relevant Covid-19 related information to the public (WHO, Johns Hopkins, CDC), the suddenness and rapid evolution of the crisis meant that these data sources were changing daily, sometimes hourly. The WHO, ostensibly the primary source of truth for infection rates, released their information in daily situation reports. These PDFs were critical data points to understand how the pandemic was changing over time, but were released in a way that made it effectively impossible to use – it’s nice to see the information, but you can’t model, spot trends, and predict outcomes with PDFs.
Faced with this problem (lots of data available, very little of it accessible) organizations are making do with what they have, tying into data sources when possible, piecing together spreadsheets when not.
In the first four months of the pandemic, these primary sources of data were important in order to understand where Covid-19 was and where it was going. Now, as organizations look towards returning to “business-as-usual,” many people are considering how they can use external data more generally to help them navigate the uncertain economy. I recently connected with Bryan Smith, CEO of ThinkData Works, about how businesses can streamline their data infrastructure without creating a lot of additional overhead.
Gary Drenik: As we head into the sixth month of working from home, what do you think is the primary business objective for organizations that are trying to get back on track?
Bryan Smith: I think we’re going to see a dramatic shift in business priorities from innovation to optimization. Data science divisions have been overburdened for years and that needs to change, fast. The janitorial work of connecting to external data is a huge problem, and it’s burning 80% of a data scientist’s time. Optimizing this process should be priority one for any business that wants to become “data first.”
Drenik: There’s a lot of data out there. How do you define “external” data?
Smith: It’s a good question. Our company started out in the open data space, and over the years we’ve watched the conversation shift a lot. To us, external data is anything you didn’t create, whether it’s coming from government sources, other businesses, or Joan in accounting. If you didn’t make the data, it’s external, and you’re probably working harder than you should to get it. There’s an assumption that the enterprise has this figured out, but if you scratch the surface of most data pipelines, there’s a lot of painstaking and manual work being done to use even just a fraction of what’s available. That’s why we have teamed up with Prosper to bring a fresh perspective on high quality external data that goes beyond stats of past behaviors and provides factual insights and data about how consumers are feeling, what they are doing , why they are doing it and what they plan on doing in the future. This is especially timely for today’s world where disruption seems to be the norm and left many wondering about what the future now being shaped by new consumer behaviors will look like.
Drenik: What role do you think external data plays for businesses that are trying to map out their game plan for next year?
Smith: Traditional models are going to have to be enhanced with new information. For many companies, finding these sources of data is still a big headache. For us, partnering with organizations like Prosper gives us and our network the ability to find new sources of data from a central clearinghouse, which lets them plug into analysis-ready consumer data for economic forecasting and predictive intelligence. We used to assume that most organizations had figured out a way to pull in data from statistical agencies like the Census Bureau and Statistics Canada, but what we’re hearing these days is that there’s a lot more manual work being done to gather this data than we previously thought. If you’re down in the mines trying to get basic demographic indicators from government sources, you probably don’t have the bandwidth to pull in signal-rich data from third-party data providers. The problem is that these days you really need both. Figuring out a scalable way to automate the flow of public data and connect to new sources of data should be top of mind for anyone who’s trying to get predictive.
Drenik: What do you say to a company that’s invested in data management solutions but isn’t seeing a big lift in overall analysis and insight?
Smith: You’ve solved one piece of the puzzle. Figuring out a way to get data into your environment is a big hurdle. A good ETL gives you a pipeline of raw information, but at the end of the day your data scientists are still managing a raw resource, and it’s a misuse of their time. Refining this data into decision-grade products lets them perform actual data science.
Drenik: What do you think is the biggest blind spot facing businesses that use external data? How should they overcome it?
Smith: I think there’s a big disconnect between business priorities and data science realities. At the end of the day organizations need to stream more data, reduce overhead, and add confidence to the entire process. To do this, the first step is to understand where you’re at. Now is the right time to perform a data audit across all divisions to see what data you’re pulling in from where and eliminate as much overhead as possible. A lot of data providers have made a lot of money selling the same product to different divisions within the same company. As businesses tighten their budgets the best way to free up some spend on new data is to eliminate the redundancies that have cropped up over time.
Drenik: How should businesses change their economic models to manage the fluctuations we’re seeing in the market?
Smith: It’s not about starting from square one but adding to what you already have. Obviously, data from the OECD and World Bank is still going to be useful, but what a lot of people are struggling with right now is the latency of these traditional sources. Getting GDP stats from July in September is fine as a baseline, but you need to also grab data that’s up to date. This is where getting data from third-party providers can give you a better overall picture of the economy. Products like the ones you’ve designed at Prosper – which help you understand behavioral trends, consumer sentiment, impulsivity – aren’t necessarily traditional signals, but they’re increasingly important right now.
Drenik: Between CCPA and GDPR there’s a lot of new regulations around data use. How can businesses ensure they’re being compliant when the landscape is changing?
Smith: Flexibility is important. Companies need to develop a strategy to manage and audit the flow of data through their environment, and this strategy needs to accommodate new regulations as they’re passed down. It’s not enough to have a good policy framework, you also need to back that up with infrastructure that supports the rules you’ve set up. Having mechanisms in place that monitor who’s accessing data, how it’s changing over time, and how it’s shared are all technical requirements wrapped in policy questions.
Drenik: What’s the future of data in the enterprise?
Smith: Every company needs to become data first in order to survive. If you look at Amazon and Apple, who have always focused on data as a core feature of how they do business, it’s clear that the market will be defined by the organizations that figure out how to streamline the flow of data into their everyday processes. Optimizing external data use doesn’t sound as sexy as innovation, but it’s the prerequisite for unlocking the value of data for your business.
Drenik: Thanks Bryan for your astute insights on the value of quality external data in today’s data centric world and the need for businesses to sync data science with business priorities in order to achieve organizational data success.
Leveraging AI digital tools, and more to fight COVID19
If there has been one main learning for Roche during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been that collaboration is key to creating meaningful change. COVID-19 created a common enemy and an effective response requires community mobilization and the collection of actionable data and insights to support patients, frontline healthcare providers, health institutions, supply chains and governments. Collaboration among sectors and industries is essential to develop and implement the rapid innovation needed to make change.
This is why Roche Canada assembled the Roche Data Science Coalition (RDSC) – a group of like-minded academic and private organizations committed to working with the global research community to collect and share knowledge and healthcare data.
In its first eight weeks, the coalition developed over 100 digital solutions including artificial intelligence models, virtual dashboards, market reports and deepened relationships with Canadian and international stakeholders.
Together, the RDSC created a centralized repository, housed by ThinkData Works’ Namara platform, which offers over 200 publicly available population datasets gathered from resources around the globe. This data provides the scientific and research community with a robust foundation for current and future COVID-19 research. The data insights are used by coalition collaborators alongside patients, clinicians, infectious disease specialists, epidemiologists and data scientists in order to accelerate research efforts, evaluate solutions and ensure knowledge is mobilized globally.
Additionally, the coalition has made digital self-assessment tools available that can be used by anyone suspected to have or has been diagnosed with COVID-19. With the support of Self Care Catalysts and their free app, Health Storylines, individuals are empowered by the tools to self-report data through mobile applications. Anonymized datasets from this app are transparently shared with the RDSC centralized repository where they are freely available to researchers and healthcare professionals around the world.
The Coalition also launched a challenge administered by Kaggle, an online community of data scientists and machine learners, asking their community of 4.3 million people to answer questions that focus on capacity management challenges identified at the frontlines as well as research studies for COVID-19. As a result, many across the globe have convened on the platform to collaborate and exchange domain knowledge expertise, data set contribution, creative solutions and more.
To help Canadians understand the impact of the measures that have been taken and how we are doing on a global level, the coalition released the Roche Canada: COVID-19 Global Access Report and Dashboard, providing context-specific information to inform decisions regarding the use of COVID-19 testing strategies, social distancing policies and the current state of incidence both via standard reporting and prediction models.
“Our biggest win is that the coalition creates a prospect of what rapid innovation can look like, and what’s possible,” said Fanny Sie, Strategic Healthcare Partner, Artificial Intelligence and Digital Health, at Roche Canada. “The outcome of the RDSC comes down to how people connect, and we saw through this collaboration that the RDSC is building a framework for the future, not just for COVID-19 but to tackle many potential challenges that may arise.”
The RDSC showed that when you can reach a team outside of your practice and learn what drives their organizational passion, you can work together to create a powerful outcome for everyone.
Even as we shift into recovery and reopening, we know COVID-19 is still a global concern. There are opportunities for accelerated innovation and the Roche Data Science Coalition is dedicated to mobilizing diverse groups of stakeholders to benefit all Canadians.
TORONTO, ON – June 25, 2020 – ThinkData Works, Inc. (@thinkdataworks) announced today that it has raised $8 million (CAD) in Series A financing led by BDC Capital Inc (BDC ICE Fund) and Yaletown Capital Partners with participation by existing investors, First Ascent Ventures and Extreme Venture Partners.
ThinkData’s end-to-end data management platform, Namara, streams data from any source in the world – public or private – in any format and structure to allow organizations to use endless amounts of data to layer upon existing practices and fuel new business intelligence solutions.
“The ability to layer multiple data sources, both proprietary and public in a standardized structure allows rapid insights that impact the bottom line for all of our customers,” said Bryan Smith, Co-Founder and CEO of ThinkData. “As we continue to simplify the process to access product ready data for the enterprise, we have seen management realize the high cost and inefficiencies of the problems associated with data variety.”
ThinkData’s customer roster includes Royal Bank of Canada, the Government of Canada, Bank of Nova Scotia, TD Bank, and Roche Pharmaceuticals.
“For ThinkData to have won customers of such a high caliber and sophistication speaks to the quality of the platform and technology,” said Sean Brownlee, General Partner at BDC ICE Fund. “The fact that demand for their solution has only increased despite the concerns around the current economic uncertainty demonstrates the value the company can unlock for customers.”
First Ascent Ventures were an early investor in ThinkData. “We were very impressed with the founding team of Bryan Smith (CEO) and Brendan Stennett (CTO) and they have continued to innovate and deliver extraordinary value to customers with a high level of capital efficiency,” said Tony van Marken, Managing Partner of First Ascent Ventures.
ThinkData will use the latest funding to add new talent across Engineering, Sales and Marketing and expand globally. “Having supportive investors is paramount as an entrepreneur and First Ascent Ventures has been a valuable partner and mentor to the management team. We look forward to working with BDC and Yaletown, our new investors, as we scale the company and build a world class organization,” said Bryan Smith, Co-Founder and CEO of ThinkData.
About ThinkData Works ThinkData Works, Inc. is a Toronto-based data technology company founded in 2014 that makes data access easy. ThinkData’s end-to-end data management platform, Namara, supplies data professionals with efficient tooling for every stage of the data lifecycle. We provide large enterprises access to more data, with less overhead and more confidence to fuel their products, models, and solutions.
BDC ICE BDC Capital’s Industrial, Clean and Energy (ICE) Technology Venture Fund tailors its investments towards capital-efficient and scalable businesses enhancing resource productivity with the potential to operate across a global market. We invest in early and development stage Canadian companies, and use our experience in materials, electronics and ICT to build commercially successful global companies.
Yaletown Partners Yaletown Partners is dedicated to closing the emerging-growth stage investment gap faced by technology companies in Canada, and invests in technology companies that enhance industry and enterprise productivity and sustainability, to help accelerate their growth, shorten exit timeframes and achieve strong exit premiums. The fund has offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Montréal, and a growing presence in Toronto,