Getting Started Guides

Researching Your Customers

Researching Your Customers

Gathering market research data is a crucial step in the business planning process. Market research is used to determine consumer opinions, industry trends and competitor stats.  It is used to gauge consumer interest in new products and service offerings and to establish a list of prospective customers. There are a number of ways to go about collecting this data so GoForth will introduce you to one key method that all start-up ventures should make use of – CANSIM.


CANSIM is Statistics Canada’s key socioeconomic database for Canada. Want to know how much money the average household spends per year on products and services? You’ve come to the right place. Don’t know why you need to know how much Canadians spend on products and services? Then you need our online training program. Sign up today!


Step 1:  Go to the CANSIM website. 

CANSIM can also be found via the Statistics Canada website at Click Search on the home page and type in CANSIM.  A link will appear in pink and direct you to the CANSIM home page.

Step 2:  You’ll then be asked to type in your search terms for the data you’re looking to find. 

Use the CANSIM by subject menu below on the page to find information on your line of business. Note that if you’re looking for data on restaurants, for example, select Business, consumer and property services, because a restaurant is a consumer service.

Step 3:  Once you’ve selected a data topic, another list of more specific services may appear, depending on the topic. If one does, click on the link that best suits your search needs.

Step 4:  When a list of table numbers is made available to you, click the table number with the most appropriate corresponding description.

Step 5:  The “List” appearing next, will prompt you to highlight select items that will specify your data search even further. These option boxes will vary depending on the data topic.

When you’ve made your selections, hit either Add/remove data, Manipulate, or Download.

Step 6:  Confirm your selection, then hit Apply

Step 7:   Some data is free of charge, while some you have to pay for. If you can’t find the data you’re looking for, contact Statistics Canada directly to ask if what you’re looking for is available.

If you need additional help using CANSIM, click Help using this page, the User Guide or any of the other available resources listed on the bottom of the CANSIM website.


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