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Calgary businesses Leading the charge for data and AI innovation

Calgary Economic Development released a study in November 2020 detailing the opportunity Calgary has to be a leader in data analytics, Machine Learning (ML), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the global stage. This article is one of a series of stories about the study. 

“Data is the new oil.”

That’s a phrase coined by Clive Humby, the British mathematician behind the Tesco Clubcard. Both can drive economies, but both need to be refined to be of any use.

Luckily for Calgary, the city knows data just as well as it knows energy.

After all, digital transformation and embracing technology across industries is entrenched in the Innovation pillar of the economic strategy, Calgary in the New Economy.

Calgary businesses have long been using data and business intelligence solutions to drive efficient and informed decision-making, primarily in the energy sector. Companies here have gathered massive amounts of data that need to be processed in a timely manner to be actioned on. Artificial intelligence (AI), in the business world, is deployed for data analytics not only to make sense of historical and current data, but to develop predictive and prescriptive information.

It should come as no surprise that as artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML) technologies are adopted by businesses in a multitude of industries, Calgary innovators have developed solutions to help organizations refine their data in energy and beyond.

Here are a few examples of Calgary-based organizations using AI and ML to help global clients:


  • StellarAlgo: Sports organizations and live events have used StellarAlgo’s SaaS data analytics platform to effectively and efficiently market to their fanbases, maximizing sales and marketing ROI. Some of the company’s main clients include the Portland Trail Blazers and the LA Kings.
  • Vivametrica: Recently acquired by Sprout, Vivametrica developed a SaaS solution that helps measure the health of an individual to assess their risk for life insurance applications through data gathered from a wearable device.
  • Chata: Accessing your data shouldn’t require a highly technical skillset. Chata developed AutoQL, a solution that uses natural language processing (NLP) to translate human language to database queries. This means getting what you need from your database is as easy as asking.
  • BrainToy: Ever wanted to deploy AI solutions for your business, but weren’t sure where to start? BrainToy makes AI accessible for businesses with a platform, which allows for the development of AI and ML models with little to no software development skills required.
  • White Whale: This data analytics company uses AI modeling visualization and data ingestion so clients can take their own data and unlock insights to inform their business decisions. White Whale has worked with organizations like WestJet, the United Way of Calgary and GE.


These companies are just a few of the many innovators that service global organizations from right here in Calgary. Alongside these newer kids on the block, major names like IBM and AltaML have opened operations in the city to provide AI and ML capabilities to local businesses. 

Adding to its competitive innovation ecosystem, the city is home to top tech talent in Canada. Calgary Economic Development partners with a number of organizations to feed the talent pipeline needed to meet demand and helps upskill and reskill our already highly skilled energy sector professionals for the tech industry.

Many of Calgary’s post-secondary institutions, including the University of Calgary, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), Mount Royal University and Bow Valley College, added new programs to provide training in a number of high demand technology related fields. The world-renowned Alberta Machine Learning Institute (Amii), based in Edmonton, also offers a machine learning foundations course on its Calgary campus.

With all of this innovation happening in Calgary, and current solutions just scratching the surface of what AI can do, the city has tremendous potential to be a hub for AI and ML. It’s more important than ever the industry gets the support it needs to thrive and achieve the vision for the city as the destination of choice for entrepreneurs who embrace technology to solve the world’s greatest challenges.

You can find our full report, Data Analytics, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence in Calgary, on our website

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