Information Architecture at StatCan


Robert McLellan, Statistics Canada


Submitted to MSIS 2013 (i) Architecture


Statistics Canada launched its Corporate Business Architecture program in 2010, a modernization initiative across the Agency. With a focus on standardization, centralization, reuse, and governance, the program seeks to streamline statistical production while maintaining quality and relevance. Key facets of the strategy address the adoption of metadata-driven solutions, data service centres, and common collection, processing, and dissemination platforms. Additionally, the Government of Canada is moving forward with a corporate approach to “back office” solutions, including enterprise document and record management, and new record keeping directives (compliance date in 2015). In part to address these challenges, StatCan created an Information Architecture function as part of its Enterprise Architecture group in 2011, with the goal of defining a standardized approach to data and metadata within the Agency.


In this paper we present our approach to Information Architecture, the progress and challenges to date with lessons learned, and our program going forward. There are a number of different definitions for information architecture in the information industry – we present the key components of our approach. In addition, we show how StatCan is moving forward with governance and use of information architecture within our “design” and “build” processes to advance modernization objectives. We conclude with a discussion of how standards and models fit in our strategy (e.g.  GSIM, SDMX, DDI).