Montreal and Google unite for a better data offer


The Société de développement commercial (SDC) Montréal centre-ville and Google Cloud have signed a new partnership for the deployment, in 2023, of a dashboard specifically dedicated to downtown Montréal.

This project aims to provide better analysis of data relating to the city center, in order to help merchants, businesses and the City to better understand and monitor in real time the evolution of activities in the area that is extends from Atwater streets to Saint-Urbain, and from Saint-Antoine to Sherbrooke.

It is above all the data on mobility to and in the city center, its traffic, the profile of the users and merchants who make it up as well as the transactions that take place there that will be collected, analyzed and visualized on this dashboard. edge.

Thanks to this data, Glenn Castanheira, general manager of Montreal centre-ville, hopes that he will be able to “accurately assess the effectiveness of the actions taken and better plan the actions to ensure that the city center has a dynamism commensurate with its role. neuralgic for the metropolis”.

The information accumulated by Google Cloud should also be publicly available, allowing smaller businesses to take advantage of it. The ability for these groups “to be able to go to a single place that will have consolidated the information is probably the most interesting element”, explains Farid Mheir, founding partner of FMCS Digital. It recalls the extent of the work that the compilation and interpretation of the data required until then.

Three weeks ago, Google opened a new office on Viger Street, making Montreal the holder of the company’s second largest French-speaking office with nearly 300 employees.

Data to revive all sectors

The announcement was made during the symposium The revival of the city center through data? which was held on Wednesday, and where a multitude of panelists expressed themselves on the use that could be made of these data, to promote a resumption of activity in the post-pandemic context.

Many positive impacts for businesses were discussed, especially for pop-up shops which will have better information free of charge to choose the place and time of their operations.

Tourism was also discussed, a sector which represents 30 to 40% of the income of certain businesses in the city center, as well as half of all tourist expenditure in the province, recalled the former vice-president of Tourisme Montréal, Pierre Bellerose.

Transportation is another area that could be greatly impacted by better access to data. Laurent Chevrot, general manager of the Montreal Sustainable Mobility Agency, explains for example that approximately 30% of traffic in North American city centers comes from the search for parking. Real-time data transmitting better information could therefore help to make better choices.

“You find yourself telling yourself on the one hand I can do it in 15 minutes by car then in 25 minutes by public transport, but ultimately, you find yourself doing 10 minutes to find a parking lot and another 10 minutes to walk from your place. If you had had the right information at the start, maybe you would have made a different choice,” he concludes.

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