In this essay, I discuss the challenges faced by Canadian researchers in trying to undertake research, particularly in the area of education. I begin by focusing on the issue of data availability (with focus on the lack of race data in Canada) and the extreme limitations that these issues place on the potential for research on important Canadian education issues and then discuss what I regard as hypervigilant data access protocols for Canadian data sets. I then turn to practical issues that arise when comparing education data across cities and countries and the process of “harmonizing” the data. I address the compromises that must be made when attempting to make data comparable across different sites. I conclude by discussing how the larger context in which education occurs must be considered when understanding observed comparative differences between educational outcomes.