Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis

360° Decision Support

Decision making for the prosperity of a region is complex, multifaceted and both internally and externally focused. Our investments in holistic regional simulation over the past two decades have provided the ability to consider the connections between different futures and the manageable factors of prosperity, all within one framework called the Prosperity at Risk platform.

Our analysis differs from the usual demographic and economic forecasting services provided by organizations in that we are able to simulate for any time frame the interconnected change of over 1.2 billion variables across Canada by incorporating multiple sources of data sources, including all sources of Statistics Canada data. Such a feat was only possible through embracing agent-based modeling, an approach that is considered to be the “state-of-the-art” by most academic institutions.

While heavily computer intensive, agent-based modeling allows for the simultaneous consideration of many of the variables that contribute to affordable growth and the maximization of prosperity. In this way, the Prosperity at Risk simulation platform allows for the consistent measurement and decision support of:

  • Population growth
  • Regional economics
  • Infrastructure asset requirements
  • Land use policies
  • Operational expenses
  • Regional health and infrastructure requirements
  • Regional industry mix
  • Financial accounts
  • Fiscal and debt policies

This capability is made available to Canadian regions to seek reliable and evidence-based analysis that illuminates the risks and affordability issues of growth.

Holistic decision support as a process

Holistic decision support is not simply about state-of-the-art mathematical modeling. The Prosperity at Risk simulation platform is as much about a process as it is about a framework of quantitative analytics.

To us, evidence-based decision making means an "evidence-based" process across a portfolio of decision influencers, and it requires the ability to reconcile across public and private forces in a way that supports:

  • Quantitative analysis in a persistent and enduring fashion
  • Evidence based advocacy
  • Evidence based planning using local, regional, provincial and Canadian characteristics
  • Infrastructure portfolio considerations
  • A means of transparently and intuitively explaining the why, what, how much and when

In this regard, through our collaborations, we have worked to shore up government, stakeholder and academic relationships that have been involved in the development of the Prosperity at Risk simulation platform. In this way, the process of holistic decision support is supported by a central research, investment and process effort into computer simulating the many variables that regional prosperity and risk are dependent upon. Such an approach then supports the reconciliation of the differences between many diverse stakeholders with the central objective of:

Bringing community, business and government stakeholders together around a robust, realistic, enduring and collaborative prosperity evaluation process

The Centre is dedicated to this central objective. It does this by providing the services of a state-of-the-art computing platform around a collaborative modeling development which includes government agencies, municipalities, and not-for-profit policy organizations.

In order to meet the objective, the Prosperity at Risk platform has been developed to be:

  • Cost effective: Evaluations/analysis within the reach of small budgets
  • Relevant: Provides the "case" in terms of risks and rewards across various asset types and industry sectors; Exposes the trade-offs between competing projects
  • Accessible: Transparent & open to stakeholders, consultants, businesses, governments
  • Extensible: Scope of platform can grow with projects
  • Scalable and realistic: The macro to the micro: growth of depth of analysis
  • Responsive, timely turnaround: Within weeks rather than months and years
  • Transparent and collaborative: Multi-stakeholder participation on scope, assumptions, evaluations
  • Enduring: A process and capability that endures political, bureaucratic and economic cycles