Real Time Remote Access (RTRA)

About RTRA


Real Time Remote Access (RTRA) is a Statistics Canada portal that allows researchers to upload SAS files to query a given survey and download the results.  RTRA can only provide descriptive statistics. 


RTRA represents an important intermediary between the PUMFs (Public Use Microdata Files) available via ODESI and the secured access to the raw confidential data available at the COOL RDC​.

RTRA would be appropriate for the following situations:

  • ​Projects that don't require complex modeling or inferential statistics
  • Projects where the desired data set lacks the required detail in the available PUMF
  • Projects where the desired data set lacks a PUMF and is available via RTRA
  • Where project feasibility is the goal (e.g. project proposal) and RTRA is used to "explore" the data


To access RTRA data, contact the Senior Statistical Focal Point (SSFP) to verify your eligibility. Once your data needs are discussed, you will work with the SSFP to elaborate a SAS code that will be submitted to the RTRA portal. Submitting a program can be done at any time of day, and results take approximately 5 to 10 minutes to be generated with automatic small-cell suppression.   


Once the survey, time period, variable(s) and type of statistical macro are chosen, the Senior Statistical Focal Point will submit the program on your behalf. Once the data is retrieved from the RTRA portal, the SSFP will contact you with the data tables.

Microdata options

Statistics Canada has produced this helpful poster to illustrate the various systems to access microdata.