Welcome to AIMday Big Data 2018!!

Welcome to AIMday™ Big Data 2018, hosted by the University of Saskatchewan (UofS), in collaboration with the University of Regina, and Saskatchewan Polytechnic.

This is the third AIMday™ being organized in North America. We look forward to welcoming companies, organizations and academic researchers to this event on April 11, 2018, to discuss specific industry challenges in the Big Data research arena.

Academic Industry Meeting day, or AIMday™, is centered around workshops whereby company questions are submitted around a central theme which are then discussed by academics from across the University disciplines.

  • Each question or challenge submitted by a company is tackled by a group of academics, with the aim of finding a pathway to a solution.
  • One question, one hour, a group of academic experts – the AIMday™ format is unique.
  • Register your attendance at the event by submitting a question on the registration page.

BIG DATA: Opportunities and Challenges

The concept of big data has been around for years. Most organizations now understand that they can generate significant value if they capture and analyze all the data that streams into their businesses. Using big data analytics helps organizations identify new opportunities which, in turn, leads to smarter business moves, more efficient operations, higher profits and happier customers. Businesses can get value in the following ways:

  1. Cost reduction. Big data technologies and cloud-based analytics bring significant cost advantages when it comes to storing large amounts of data – plus they can identify more efficient ways of doing business.
  2. Faster, better decision making. With the speed of models and in-memory analytics, combined with the ability to analyze new sources of data, businesses are able to analyze information immediately – and make decisions based on what they’ve learned.
  3. New products and services. With the ability to gauge customer needs and satisfaction through analytics comes the power to give customers what they want. With big data analytics, more companies are creating new products to meet customers’ needs.

Even in the 1950s – decades before anyone uttered the term “big data” – businesses were using basic analytics (essentially numbers in a spreadsheet that were manually examined) to uncover insights and trends. The new benefits that big data analytics brings to the table, however, are scale, speed and efficiency. Whereas a few years ago a business would only have gathered limited information, run analytics and unearthed information that could be used for future decisions, today that business can identify insights for immediate, real-time decision making from a much larger pool of information. The ability to work faster – and stay agile – gives organizations a competitive edge they didn’t have before.

However, this increased scope and agility is not without its challenges. “Big data” data sets are so voluminous and complex that traditional analytics methods (hardware, software, tools and knowhow) are not up to the task. Key factors among the challenges are data collection, storage and analysis. Data collection efficiency, data standardization, and data integration has always been the major challenge facing precision agriculture. These in turn are further complicated by volume (the amount of data generated and stored), variety (the type and nature of data) and velocity (the speed at which the data is collected and processed, and the urgency of decision-making from the analysis).

AIMday™ Big Data 2018 will bring together expertise in big data from Saskatchewan’s three largest post-secondary institutions with industry organizations towards overcoming some of these challenges.


University of Saskatchewan   University of Saskatchewan

The University of Saskatchewan (U of S) is a member of the U15, a group of the top Canadian research universities. Our main campus, well known for its beauty, is located in the heart of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada and is home to programs ranging from business, law, and arts and science to engineering, medicine and veterinary medicine, along with many others. The U of S is enhanced by our world-class facilities, including the Global Institute for Food Security, the Global Institute for Water Security, the Canadian Light Source synchrotron, VIDO-InterVac, and the Sylvia Fedoruk Centre for Nuclear Innovation.

The U of S has extensive research capabilities in data processing and analytics. Key researchers in this domain focus on:

  • Analytics and Processing
  • Accurate Predicting using digital systems
  • Imaging
  • Data Visualization using 3D computer models
  • Mathematical simulations using data models

A number of research centres and research labs at the U of S provide extensive support to big data analytics. Some of these are listed below:

University of Regina  University of Regina Logo

The University of Regina is home to more than 400 researchers across 10 faculties, two academic units and dozens of academic departments with established reputations for excellence and innovative programs leading to Bachelor’s, Master’s, and doctoral degrees. Over the last decade the University of Regina has emerged as a research-intensive Canadian university, leading in research impact, international collaborations, graduate student training, and industry funding in the following areas of strategic priority: Anxiety, stress & pain; Digital future; Integrated human health: Equity, disease & prevention; Social justice & community safety; and, Water, environment & clean energy.

Digital Future researchers are leading the way through innovation and creativity in computing and digital media. They are performing research in data mining, wise computing; visualization; data security & policy; design, creation and analysis of emerging technologies; and within the digital humanities.  They are emphasizing effective, efficient and sensitive decision-making by working with new information accumulated from diverse sources in scaled quantities of heterogeneous, electronic data.  Labs that exemplify the data analytics expertise at the University of Regina are listed here:

The growth and continuous expansion of the data culture provides constant opportunities for our researchers to innovate, partner, develop and produce across a diverse range of fields.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic  Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Saskatchewan Polytechnic is the provinces primary post-secondary applied learning institution.  We offer over 170 distinct educational programs, together with 24 apprenticeship programs that cross all industry sectors in Saskatchewan.  Polytechnic’s faculty are a unique blend of education and industry experience that bring an applied approach to teaching and research.  Saskatchewan Polytechnic performs applied research across all its disciplines and has five state of the art research centers that focus on digital technology, innovative manufacturing, natural resources, bioscience and health care.  By connecting business, industry and community with academic expertise, leading-edge technology and amazing faculty, Saskatchewan Polytechnic produces applied research that has immediate value for businesses.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic has locations on three of its campuses that deal with data processing and analytics.  Researchers in Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and Prince Albert have the capacity to address industry needs, and the Polytechnic is developing a Digital Integration Centre of Excellence on its Saskatoon campus.  DICE will be a cutting edge facility that will support big data and analytics, together with time-sensitive networking, microgrids and asset monitoring.  Answers will be achievable for companies as they address data and the Internet of Things.

Sensor development and use is an area that Saskatchewan Polytechnic excels in.  We have imaging groups throughout the Polytechnic and have the capacity to capture data by methods ranging from kinematics to drones equipped with high definition cameras and LiDAR.  By combining such capacities with DICE and our other centres such as the BioScience Applied Research Centre and the Innovative Manufacturing Centre, we provide industry with practical answers to the questions they face.  For more information about research at Saskatchewan Polytechnic visit  http://saskpolytech.ca/about/applied-research-and-innovation/index.aspx


Company registration is closed now.

Academic registration is closed now.

Should you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to Contact us.