Nipissing University is now home to the only data centre of its kind in Northern Ontario.

The North Bay based school unveiled its Statistics Canada Research Data Centre on Wednesday.

“I think there was a need here,” said Nancy Guarino, Statistics Canada assistant director.

“Otherwise researchers here were going to Toronto or Ottawa, so I think there was a need and it's a great location and a great asset to Nipissing University.”

The centre holds access to data from the census and a variety of others surveys.

The data is on a wide range of topics such as the labour force, immigration, aging, education; as well as social issues, crime, and diversity.   

The centre cost just over $300,000 and it was funded by the university, the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the federal government.  

“This will definitely help stimulate a lot of really good quantitative research,” said Dr. David Zarifa, Research Data Centre director.

“Among our facility here, for students as well, we are launching a number of good graduate programs, such as in sociology, so those students will have the opportunity to work with the latest Stats Canada files.”

“The fact that we have access to Statistics Canada data, in order for people to do their research, really puts us on the map and makes us stand out province wide, if not nationwide,” added Anthony Rota, Nipissing-Timiskaming MP.

The people running the centre said it's very physically secure to make sure data will not be breached.