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Jeff Cyr is the director of growth at Envision Saint John. Image: Alex Graham

Envision Saint John Launches New Regional Growth Dashboard

By Scott Pettigrew Dec 20, 2022 | 2:00 PM

Envision Saint John’s CEO says the organization’s expanded, interactive dashboard will help provide insight into the Saint John region.

“One of Envision Saint John’s core services is the collection and sharing of data to support the many growth initiatives currently in play in our region,” says Paulette Hicks. “The enhanced dashboard offers users more data points, a deeper dive into key regional metrics, and a broader look at trends.”

The Regional Growth Dashboard follows the organization’s first economic indicator dashboard that went live in May. The dashboard’s data is drawn from a number of public and private sources, including Statistics Canada.

“It’s not just a dashboard,” says Envision Saint John’s director of growth, Jeff Cyr. “This is really us trying to take all of our detailed data sets that we use, that we monitor, and even some of the more analytical thoughts around it, and make that available to the public in a way that’s easy to consume and easy to navigate.”

In a demonstration for the media, Cyr showed some of the capabilities of the new dashboard, such as line graphs comparing population growth among different cities in Canada, or displays tracking how industry clusters within Saint John have changed over time.

The dashboard has six main categories of data: Population, Labour, Real Estate, Tourism, Trade, and Quality of Life.

Each category expands into more detailed data sets, including things like New Brunswick life satisfaction and stress to the number of new residents in the region broken down by inter- and intra-provincial migration, non-permanent residents, and immigrants from abroad.

“We committed to a very robust dashboard as part of the prospectus when we built the agency,” Hicks says. “We are in lockstep with the municipalities but in particular with the city of Saint John in the immigration strategy… there’s an overlay of an immigration strategy for the whole region and for the province. We’re looking for alignment and we’re here to serve.”

The dashboard also converts machine-readable data into graphs and charts that let users see trends. It also consolidates disparate data points to create a comprehensive picture of a particular category.

“For example, under labour and graduates, you can get a real breakdown by campus of details on what faculty or credentials granted comparison among New Brunswick post-secondary institutions.

The dashboard was peer-reviewed prior to launch, with Don Mills, past chair of the Halifax Partnership, and David Campbell, president of Jupia Consultants Inc., brought on as part of the process (Mills and Campbell are Huddle contributors).

The dashboard was developed by customizing off-the-shelf software and will be operated in-house.

“We know data plays a really important role in decision making, strategic planning,” says Hicks. “We are prepared to make sure that we are arming everyone with what they need to make the best decisions.”

Alex Graham is a reporter with Huddle, an Acadia Broadcasting content partner.


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