Cybera Wraps Up Data Science Industry Fellowships

After weeks of collaboration, Cybera is pleased to announce the completion of the first round of the Data Science for Albertans Fellowship program. Simultaneous wrap-up demonstrations of the completed data science projects were held on Friday, August 30, at campuses in Calgary and Edmonton.

For the past four weeks, Cybera, with support from Western Economic Diversification, the Pacific Institute for Mathematical Sciences, and the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii), facilitated the in-depth industry fellowships. The program brought together six companies wanting to leverage data science and 22 newly trained data scientists (fellows) in Edmonton and Calgary.

The companies shared a challenge they are facing, such as the need to increase productivity or drive external sales, as well as datasets they have collected that could respond to this challenge. Working with Cybera experts, the groups of fellows used this information to produce a data-driven prototype application or solution that the company can now put to use.

The fellows (eight in Edmonton and 14 in Calgary) came from a diverse range of professional backgrounds, including post-graduate students, as well as engineers looking to re-skill. The program gave them real-world experience to add to their resumes, as well as introductions to potential employers.

“Over the past few weeks, our data scientists have worked diligently to harness the information supplied by their industry partner,” says Dr. David Chan, project manager for the Data Science for Albertans program. “Their work will pay off in dividends, as the fellows will now have the experience needed to enter the thriving field of data science, while the industry partners will have data-driven information or applications to move their businesses forward. This, in turn, will further support an Alberta economy looking to recover and diversify.”

This has been a remarkable validation for the pilot Fellowship program, which was oversubscribed by both industry partners and fellows. The initiative forms just one part of Cybera’s overall strategy to expand the use of data science by Alberta’s small-to-medium-sized companies to help them grow their businesses.

In the next few months, Cybera’s data science experts will host workshops and lunch-and-learns throughout the province to teach Albertans how they can start leveraging data science tools and expertise.

For further information about the Data Science for Albertans program, visit cybera.ca/datascience.

Examples of Industry Partners:

PainWorth

An Edmonton-based start-up that helps plaintiffs save money by automating injury settlements and predicting court case outcomes for “pain and suffering” (general damages). Through the fellowship program, Cybera is helping the organization use machine learning techniques to identify more relevant cases, reduce noise from case searches, and cluster common injuries (e.g. whiplash, back pain, trouble sleeping after a vehicle collision). According to PainWorth, this may be one of the first analyses into personal injury court cases in Canada.

Dissolve

A Calgary-based stock video / image distributor that offers millions of videos and photos for purchase. Through the fellowship program, Cybera is helping the organization identify why specific videos and images sell, and the corresponding metadata that causes most success. This will allow Dissolve to better understand what inventory to maintain, with the ultimate goal of improving efficiencies and lowering operating costs.