What are data?

Data are information in raw and unorganized form. They refer to ideas, objects or conditions.

Many organizations are under the impression that they don’t generate data, but they couldn’t manage inventories or draft annual reports, funding applications or promotional e-mails without them!

What is data pooling? Why should I pool my data?

The concept of cultural data pooling was developed in response to organizations’ growing interest in relying on their data for decision making and the lack of time and financial and human resources to do so.

Pooling—not only data but also resources and expertise—through a third-party organization has proven to be an effective means to collectively explore the potential of data analysis. In addition, pooling usage data increases data volumes and therefore generates information on cultural practices that is richer, denser and more wide ranging. Indeed, diversity and variety are great allies to tackle the increasing complexity of current challenges. Bringing together different data-driven perspectives on common issues fosters more innovative solutions.

I’d like to work with data but I don’t know where to start!

We’ve developed a data literacy self-assessment tool for cultural organizations that is just as valuable to you as it is to us. The tool helps organizations better grasp where they stand in terms of data maturity and enables us to recognize their realities and provide effective guidance. If you are an association or third-party organization, contact us at info@synapsec.ca. Together, we’ll work to determine the type of support that’s right for you.

Whether you’re familiar with data or not, you may find the answers to some of your questions in our Resources section, which provides details on the state of digital technologies and data in the cultural sectors in Québec, Canada and abroad.

What is the difference between data sharing and data pooling?

Within the context of a pooling group, shared and pooled data are two different concepts. Sharing and shared data relate to individual data exchanges between a cultural organization and the pooling group as a whole. Data pooling involves the internal exchanges between all members of a pooling group. Pooled data contain no personal information.

What is your policy on privacy and the processing of personal information?

We are committed to ensuring the privacy and security of all the data we process. In every data pooling initiative we undertake, the group works together to set out its own sharing policy. Given that the aim is to gain a holistic view of the group, we do not use the data for solicitation purposes and therefore do not preserve any personal information. We also ensure that all exchanges are carried out within a secure framework and the data and results are disseminated (where necessary) according to the policy that was jointly developed by group members.


Am I ready to integrate data analysis tools into my distribution, production or sales strategies? What type of training should I follow to properly prepare for a data analysis project? What does it take to develop a data culture within my organization?

To help you better understand how to capitalize on your data, SYNAPSE C has developed a self-assessment tool that determines your level of data maturity. The findings will enable us to grasp your realities and provide support that is adapted to your needs.

Start the self-assessment

Data glossary

Data pooling

Data pooling—and, more specifically, interorganizational data pooling—is a process that brings together several data sources. It consists of the following steps: data collection from different databases, identification of shared variables, determination of a common identifier, combination based on the identifier and removal of all personal information from the final dataset.

Personal data

Personal data are confidential. They identify and relate to particular individuals. As a rule, personal data cannot be communicated without the consent of the individual(s) concerned (Commission d’accès à l’information du Québec).

Usage data

Usage data stem from interactions between a service or system and its users. These data are the crystallization of our behaviours and may include personal, transactional and descriptive data, which make up public information.

It is important to distinguish usage data and enhancement data. Usage data refer to consumption or usage behaviours, and enhancement data consist of information that adds to a description.

Business intelligence

Business intelligence comprises all the methodologies and tools to collect, prepare and analyze data for strategic decision making. It is used to better assess and synthesize information and make more focused decisions.

External resources

International initiatives