Data with Purpose: Mining Data for Collective Solutions

Committing to the ongoing exploration of the ways technology and digital transformation can improve our everyday lives is a core philosophy at ATB. And to do this, it means finding ways to support not only our in-house teams – but to also create meaningful opportunities to engage outside perspectives and expertise. Even as we’re set on building future-forward banking solutions, it’s in our best interests to help cultivate a robust community of innovative, socially conscious problem-solvers across Alberta who can sift through data - a seemingly never ending resource - to derive meaningful, actionable value.

And, a little friendly competition doesn’t hurt - right? This is what’s led us to bring the ATB Datathon to life. On the weekend of March 29-31 in Edmonton, we’re inviting tech and science-minded Albertans to solve for Alberta, and solve for the world. Participants will dive into massive datasets, aim to solve real world problems, and have the chance to advance those solutions into real products in time with support from ATB’s Innovation team, known as ATB Leap

The focus for our inaugural datathon is around three challenge categories that reflect areas of opportunity that have direct and relevant impact for Albertans. Participants will be asked to select and apply their thinking experience to one of the following opportunities:

  1. Mental Wellbeing - Our mental health plays a significant role in our ability to enjoy a happy and productive life. Utilizing public demographic data, and interactions with digital devices and social media, for example - what insights can be discovered to reinvent how support for mental wellbeing or stress-related issues are addressed?
  2. Precision Agriculture - For Canadian farmers, even the slightest of business decisions can play a profound role in crop yield, quality to market, and overall profitability of the farms themselves. How can we use machine learning, satellite imagery, weather data and historical reports to create end-to-end intelligence that could have a substantial impact on our farmers, today?
  3. Customer of "One" - Meeting customer demands for services and experiences (over products) is creating a new mix of consumer behaviours. Using synthetic customer data from our internal virtual bank plus public data, create a model that allows banks to deliver more innovative, tailored experiences that can better meet their needs; today, and in the future.

For us at ATB, the event provides a great opportunity to explore the numerous ways data solutions can have a real impact on complex challenges that so many Albertans face on a daily basis. Data with a purpose is ATB’s mission, especially with its exponential growth it has become equally important that individuals and organizations can extract actionable value from their given datasets. Plus, it gives our own team members the chance to build relationships with talent across a variety of different disciplines to explore co-solutioning opportunities that further our mission of leading the country in rapid innovation. 

All of the solutions/findings/learnings from the competition will be shared as open source after the event. Teams are encouraged to continue advancing their projects forward afterwards  and ATB Leap team is open to exploring ways to support momentum through mentorship, advice, partnership connections and more. 

So how will the Datathon work? 
Anyone who is passionate about the challenges put forth, and has technical aptitude for math, data analysis, and experience in data science, computer science, AI, and machine learning is welcome – whether they’re a seasoned tech veteran, or someone new to the field.

Participants can register as individuals, or register a team to work on a use case of their choice. While the use cases already present high level challenges, each team can propose more specific problem statements that they would like to build a solution for. 

Because this is a data-focused event, participants will have access to the data prior to the Datathon weekend so they can learn more about what they will be working on beforehand. We will be providing both publicly available datasets, as well as synthetic virtual customer datasets. From the beginning, we have been mindful that in order to have a successful event it must be a community driven initiative, where we collaborate with our partners including AMII, IBM, SAS, Google, GDG Cloud Calgary Group, Oilers Nation and ensure this event creates meaningful impact. 

As the case can be with datathons, a wide variety of perspectives, skill sets, and interests should make for well-rounded teams that have the kind of out-of-the-box thinking that leads to effective solutions. 

At the end of the Datathon, teams will be presenting their solutions/findings/learnings to an esteemed panel of judges. Teams will be judged on a wide variety of criteria specific to how well their proposed solutions will tackle the problems they’ve identified. 

Participants can look forward to a weekend spent with like-minded people solving some of Alberta’s most compelling challenges. The Datathon is a great chance to connect and network with other industry professionals, learn new skills and apply them in a fun and encouraging environment while competing for some awesome prizes..

The first place team will take home a prize of $10,000. Second place will receive $5,000 and the top student group will get $3,000... enough to make a dent in those student loans!

That’s not all. With the help of our partners, participants will be able to hone their skills prior to the event through pre-event workshops hosted by our partners.

Organizations are welcome to sign up their own teams, work in an environment that inspires ideation and a ‘hacker culture,’ and meet some of the province’s up-and-coming tech talent. Alongside other participants, members of the ATB Transformation teams will be on-hand to collaborate.

We believe that the future is data-driven and we want to be prepared for it. Through our first Datathon, we believe that what we will start to build will not only impact Albertans, but also people around the world. 

Do you want to be part of this exciting event? Register today! 


We are ATB transformation - innovating at the forefront
of robotics, AI, blockchain and the future.