Advertisement

Edmonton-based company looks to big data to stay competitive

Click to play video: 'How an Alberta engineering company is adapting its focus on technology' How an Alberta engineering company is adapting its focus on technology
WATCH ABOVE: As the province enters the sixth year of a downturn, some businesses are adapting to the new world. As Vinesh Pratap reports, Williams Engineering Canada in Edmonton has begun to focus more on technology than it does on engineering – Jan 29, 2020

Williams Engineering Canada is embarking on what’s described as an “experiment” as it looks to become more efficient in the search for new business.

“We’re focused on research and development, which is an unusual thing for an engineering company to do,” the company’s president and CEO, Naseem Bashir, explained.

The transition started several years before the downturn, with a push to find work beyond Alberta.

“Unless you actually disrupt yourselves, you will get disrupted from somewhere else.”

The scope of change expanded when Bashir learned more about AltaML, a growing Edmonton machine learning and artificial intelligence company.

READ MORE: Alberta announces $100M, 5-year investment in artificial intelligence

“If we’re more efficient than the next guy, in an economy that’s not doing that well, then maybe we got a leg up,” Bashir said.

Story continues below advertisement

The partnership will develop a platform which will use artificial intelligence to harvest vast amounts of Williams Engineering data with the hope to be more competitive when bidding on new work.

Cory Janssen, co-founder and CEO of AltaML, describes it as “a tool to a help a professional make better decisions in terms of what projects to take on, how to cost it and so forth.”

If the partnership proves successful, there could be spin-offs, with the platform adapted for related industries like architectural services or construction.

“We think that this has potential to be a large company on its own and is part of that eco-system and part of what we’re seeing in terms of the next generation of start ups right here in Alberta,” Janssen said.

Click to play video: 'How Edmonton’s business community is adapting to struggling economy' How Edmonton’s business community is adapting to struggling economy
How Edmonton’s business community is adapting to struggling economy – Jan 29, 2020

READ MORE: Alberta spends $50 million to boost enrolment in technical education

Story continues below advertisement

Williams Engineering continues to weather the downturn the best it can. Simply waiting for a boom isn’t an option.

“If you don’t go out and experiment and start to change the way that you do things in your business, then you could get left behind,” Bashir said.

Click to play video: 'Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute Deep Learning and Reinforcement Learning Summer School' Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute Deep Learning and Reinforcement Learning Summer School
Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute Deep Learning and Reinforcement Learning Summer School – Jul 23, 2019

Sponsored content