Around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are collected every single day across companies around the world! Personal data, behavioural data, engagement data, and attitudinal data are collected through forms, cookies, trackers, cards, and wifi activity. This is obviously a HUGE business advantage for any company.
It’s becoming increasingly common for businesses to see data collection, management, and analysis as a core part of their operations. It can give them the insights they need to make smarter decisions, fine-tune their marketing efforts, streamline their operations, save money, and boost revenue.

Data Management Tools

There is a wide range of data management technologies available to startups that help collect and organize data. Most are online SaaS tools that can be added to your tech stack via monthly or annual subscriptions. As you grow and the data you collect grows too – you can consider enterprise packages which allow a certain level of customization. 

Startups that enter our incubation program get special deals and offers for many of this software, helping them save and expand more efficiently in a new country. 

Here are a few suggestions to get you started with streamlining data management:

Cloud Data Management Tools: 

If you need to integrate and manage data across multi-cloud environments, try these cloud data management tools for your startup:

ETL and Data Integration Tools

Data integration and ETL (extract-transform-load) tools transfer data from a source to a destination. Startups that require real-time data processing, such as companies in the gaming or IoT industries, can benefit from using ETL data tools. Most contemporary ETL tools come with visual interfaces and no-code options; here are a few that you can vet for your startup:

  1. Stitch Data
  2. Fivetran 
  3. Blendo 
  4. Azure Data Factory

Data Transformation Tools

If you’re dealing with large amounts of data being collected from different sources, such as customer data, product data, financial data, and logistics data, Data transformation tools can help you automate the process of changing data formats, enabling both structured and unstructured data to be aggregated accurately. Startups that operate in finance, healthcare, e-commerce, marketing, and logistics can benefit from using data transformation tools. Here are some reliable Data Transformation tools you can consider for your startup:

  1. Dataform
  2. dbt (data build tool)
  3. Airflow
  4. Luigi

Data Analysis and Visualization Tools

Data analysis allows you to see patterns and trends that you may not have been able to identify before. Analytics and visualization tools come in various forms, ranging from machine learning-enabled notebooks to drag-and-drop dashboards, designed to help your startup derive insights from data. Here are some popular data analysis tools that you can use for your startup.

Data and Security Regulations for Startups in Canada

In Canada, there are several regulations that startups must comply with, including the Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CPPA), Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), and other industry-specific regulations. Additionally, if your startup is collecting data from other countries, then you will need to consider other international compliances as well.

Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CPPA)
The Canadian Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) has existed for 22 years. Its proposed replacement Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CPPA), will represent one of the most significant changes to Canada’s private sector privacy law in decades. 

The CPPA coming into practice would raise the bar for privacy protection in Canada by providing Canadians and businesses with clear rules for handling personal information in accordance with the principles of Canada’s Digital Charter. It will give Canadians greater control over their personal information, improve transparency around data practices, and increase accountability for organizations that handle personal information. The CPPA also includes new privacy rights, such as the right to data mobility, which allows individuals to move their personal information between organizations.

Additionally, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) will have the power to issue binding orders and impose significant fines on organizations that violate the CPPA. The maximum penalty for violations will be CAD 25 million or 5% of global revenue, whichever is greater.
The CPPA, or Bill C-27, is still under consideration in the House of Commons and is expected to take another year to be implemented in Canada. The CPPA will require organizations to re-evaluate their data practices and implement new measures to ensure compliance in Canada.

Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)
CASL is a federal law that regulates commercial electronic messages (CEMs) sent to Canadian recipients. If your company sends marketing emails, newsletters, or other CEMs to Canadian customers or prospects, you may need to comply with CASL’s requirements for obtaining consent, including opt-out mechanisms and providing accurate identification information.

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
Startup companies that handle credit card payments must comply with PCI DSS, a set of security standards developed by major credit card companies to protect against credit card fraud.

Industry-specific regulations
Depending on the industries you serve, startup companies in Canada may also need to comply with industry-specific regulations, such as the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) for healthcare data or the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) requirements for online investment platforms.

Other International Compliances Recommended for Global Companies

If you’re a global business collecting data from customers in other countries, many other compliances apply to you! We recommend you check out some before expanding your audiences to other geographies. 

Finance Compliance: 

  • ASC 606: Accounting Standards Codification 606, which sets out guidelines for revenue recognition in financial statements.
  • GAAP: Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, a set of accounting standards in the United States.
  • IFRS: International Financial Reporting Standards, a set of accounting standards many countries use worldwide.

Security Compliance:

  • ISO/IEC 27001: A standard for information security management systems (ISMS) developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
  • SOC 2: A type of audit report that evaluates the controls in place at a service organization that may affect the security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, or privacy of customer data.

Data Security and Compliance:

  • GDPR: General Data Protection Regulation, a European Union (EU) regulation that governs data protection and privacy for individuals within the EU.
  • HIPAA: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a US law that sets out privacy and security rules for protecting patient health information.
  • CCPA: California Consumer Privacy Act, a US law that gives California residents certain rights over their personal information and sets out requirements for businesses that collect or sell that information.

How to hire right for a Data Analytics position in your startup
Data analysts require a unique combination of skills. They should be proficient in information technology, statistics, and their chosen industry field – finance, healthcare, marketing, etc. The two main objectives (out of many others!) of hiring a data analyst on your team are: they can help you find solutions to problems using data and make informed predictions using data.

Recommended Skill Set for a Data Analyst

Since a data analyst requires a set of multi-disciplinary skills, here are some requirements that you can look for when hiring for your startup:

  • Minimum of three years of experience in data mining as a data analyst
  • Demonstrated expertise in analytics, including data mining, evaluation, and visualization
  • Proficient in technical writing, including report creation and presentation development, with relevant experience in querying
  • Skilled in SQL or Excel, with the ability to learn new analytics tools
  • Knowledgeable in database and model design, as well as segmentation techniques
  • Strong programming skills in XML, JavaScript, and ETL frameworks
  • Practical statistical analysis experience using statistical packages such as Excel, SPSS, and SAS.

Considering the industry is relatively new and changing as we speak. The most important requirement in a data analyst is someone hungry to keep learning and willing to keep up with the changes. Data analysts can be in full-time or part-time roles depending on your requirement. 

As a startup in Canada, investing time in establishing proper data management processes, prioritizing compliance, and hiring top-quality data analytics talent is absolutely essential. You can quickly build customer trust, safeguard sensitive information, and stay ahead of competitors in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Want to relocate and startup in Canada?
We are BHive, a startup incubator located in Brampton, Ontario. We offer international startups the tools, resources, and space to establish – and quickly scale – their businesses in Canada and North America. To apply to our Global Entrepreneur Incubation Program, click here!