When boyish statistician Nate Silver correctly predicted the outcome of all fifty states in the most recent US Presidential election, “big data” forever graduated from the baseball diamond.
Silver’s brand of analytics is now on the lips of every politician and CEO in the United States. His book “The Signal and the Noise: Why Most Predictions Fail – But Some Don’t.” was recently named Amazon’s #1 Best Book of the Year for 2012.
Today, the Province of Ontario and the MaRS Discovery District announced that Ontario residents will soon be able to join the analytics party; a new program called the Ontario Green Button initiative will allow Ontarions to access to their own energy data using the 4.7 million smart meters that have been installed in homes and small businesses across the province.
Joe Greenwood, program director of MaRS Data Catalyst explained why more information is better for the average consumer: “Data is as essential to today’s economy as energy, and its effective use is critical to driving innovation and economic growth,” he said. “Ontario’s investment in the smart grid has established us as leaders in this sector. This initiative will allow us to build on that momentum.”
MaRS Discovery District, which was formed in 2005, is a non-profit group formed in Toronto to take advantage of that city’s $1 billion in annual science and technology research spending. The group has since partnered with The Ontario Network of Excellence and has administered the Premier’s Summit Award for Medical Research. MaRS operates hundreds of thousands of square feet of office and lab space centres housing dozens of including startups, research programs and Fortune 500s such as GlaxoSmithKline and Merck, who have established outposts through MaRS.