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Cambrian, Greater Sudbury Utilities partnership aims to develop ability to interpret data

'Data literacy has become as important as reading and writing'
In front, from left, are Jenna Guse, Anne Cooper, Prapti Choudhary, Karthika Mahadevan, Richa Chaudhary, Taryn Glazier, Samira Hadadi, Cesia Fernandez Ruiz, Raymond Barrios Tercero, Sijo Francis and Manny Medeiros. In back, from left, are  Raili Lakanen, Sidney Shapiro, David Chisholm (GSU), Evan Bate (GSU), Victoria Benkovich (GSU), Paul Giroux (GSU), Alison Dawson and Sean Grant. (Supplied)

Greater Sudbury Utilities and Cambrian College are working together to develop and pilot a data literacy training program at the utility.

As our lives become more and more data-rich, data literacy training becomes increasingly important. Decision-makers must be able to sort data effectively, ask the right questions and critically evaluate outcomes. 

To measure and track the success of this initiative, the the program integrates the Databilities framework. 

This data literacy training program is a foundational component of GSU’s digital transformation effort co-ordinated and led through GSU’s Innovation Office, The Workshop. 

Benefits include better predictive and preventative maintenance of critical infrastructure and assets, as well as greater reliability in service delivery to residential and commercial customers. 

“In this knowledge-based economy, data literacy has become as important as reading and writing,” said GSU Innovation Officer, Paul Giroux, in a press release.

“The program is being designed to continually improve the organizations’ overall data skillset, allowing us to maximize the benefits of data to inform decisions and streamline operations.”  

“This project is a fantastic opportunity for our Cambrian students to gain real life experience by taking what they learn in the classroom and enhancing it by developing a program that will benefit GSU,” said Sidney Shapiro, Professor and Program Coordinator of the Graduate Certificate Crime and Business Data Analytics Programs at Cambrian College. 

“By extension, the entire community will see long-term advantages of more data literate employees.”

This is partnership is particularly timely, noted Mike Commito, Director of Applied Research & Innovation at Cambrian College. 

“A recent review of data literacy education in Canada noted a shortfall of ‘data-savvy’ employees. This project will help provide in-house training using sector-specific data sources and case studies to ensure GSU’s workforce remains cutting-edge and current,” he explained. 

Both Cambrian College and GSU expect this program will serve as a model and resource for delivering data literacy programs to other utilities and organizations working to positively transform their organizations with data. 


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