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Québec businesses encouraged to tap into big data

MONTRÉAL, Que.– Hubert Bolduc, President and CEO of Montréal International, and Carl Viel, President and CEO of Québec International, have unveiled the very first profile of the big data industry in Québec. The new study highlights the potential of local businesses, universities and research institutes to position Québec as a world leader in this up-and-coming field, which is expected to grow an average of 25% per year by 2020, said the release.

Leveraging technological advances in big data, users in fields such as health care, finance, security, marketing, entertainment and education can now extract value from a growing volume of data that is hard to manage using conventional tools.

“Big data is driving the digital revolution. Over the next few years, big data will experience tremendous growth and its effect will be felt in all sectors of the economy,” said Bolduc. “Québec and Montréal have everything they need to develop cutting-edge expertise in the field and tap into a wave of future investments. That’s why Montréal International is committed to promoting and supporting this key industry by attracting more foreign investment and more talent to the region,” he added.

“Big data is fascinating because the possibilities are endless. With a growing information and communications technology industry, highly specialized research expertise, significant data hosting capacity and a strong community of specialists and professionals, Québec has everything it takes to become a world leader in big data. And Québec International is determined to rise to the challenge. Québec is ready to unlock its creative and transformative potential to keep the momentum going and seize the opportunities of big data,” said Mr. Viel.

Valérie Bécaert, Executive Director of the Institute for Data Valorisation (IVADO); François Laviolette, Director of Université Laval’s Big Data Research Centre; Frédéric Bastien, Co-founder and CEO of Mnubo; and Richard Grenier, Director of Thales Research and Technology in Québec, were among the speakers who showcased the competitive advantages that big data provides to Québec businesses and organizations big and small.

“Campus Montréal is one of the world’s top breeding grounds for operational research, data science and artificial intelligence, making it a pioneer in the field of extracting knowledge and value from mass data. IVADO, which brings together the best that Université de Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal and HEC Montréal have to offer in the field, helps businesses stay competitive through research, technology transfer and training,” explained Ms. Bécaert.

Laviolette stressed how important it is to be willing and able to mine, organize and analyze data to extract as much information as possible in order to make more informed decisions. “Businesses can leverage big data to drive scientific development and innovation. But the Centre is also helping researchers who have to deal with an avalanche of poorly structured data from various sources, as well as the industry, which is awakening to the importance of understanding how to process and analyze this type of data,” he added.

For businesses, big data is first and foremost a great opportunity to innovate, increase sales, profits and market share, and create new personalized offers.

“The big data market, which is still in its infancy in terms of the Internet of Things, will grow exponentially, transforming the entire industry. From resource optimization to productivity gains to business model transformation, the possibilities are endless!” said Bastien. “Greater Montréal is well-positioned to play a key role in the big data movement. But we must collectively invest in education programs at all levels to become leaders in this knowledge-based industry,” he added.

While highlighting Québec’s research, innovation and high-tech expertise, the study also makes four recommendations to boost the province’s big data industry:

  1. Develop big data strategies for Québec and Canada
  2. Encourage Québec organizations and businesses to incorporate big data into their business processes
  3. Develop specialized big data training programs that reflect business needs

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