Benefits to Acadia, the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, and Canada

The Acadia Institute for Data Analytics will provide value to the University.   It will promote interdisciplinary teaching and learning, including the stimulation of new course content at the undergraduate and graduate level, and life-long learning for members external to the university. It will provide excellent opportunities for Acadia faculty to work with each other on interdisciplinary, community-relevant topics, and to collaborate with researchers at other universities and in industry and government.  Acadia is a recognized leader in applying digital technology to teaching, learning, and research in higher education.  An institute focused on ethical data analytics will continue this tradition while emphasizing and proactively promoting integrity and privacy of stored data.

The Institute is meant to engage the rural community of Nova Scotia with an initial focus on agriculture, food production, the environment and green energy.  It will partner with other post-secondary institutions on research and educational initiatives and broadly promote ethical use of data analytic methods.  The Institute will further Acadia’s long history of appreciating, preserving, protecting, and sustaining the natural environment through fostering the use of modern digital technology to collect and analyze large quantities of data on our natural world and our impact on the planet.

The proposed Acadia Institute for Data Analytics will provide many benefits to our local region, Nova Scotia and Canada.  There will be immediate benefits to the Annapolis Valley by providing fundamental knowledge of Big Data and Business Analytics to local businesses.   The intent is to introduce these concepts by business/ thematic topic such as livestock production, crop management, harvest data collection and analysis, trucking and transport, food production, food safety, water management, and green energy production.  Mid-term benefits will come in the form of tutorials and workshops on methods and tools that can be used across various domains, as well as large symposia and events that bring world class expertise to our region to inspire local talent.  Long-term benefits to the region will include the growth of new products and services by existing and successful new start-up companies.

Successful events and methods employed at the Acadia Institute for Data Analytics can be shared via the website and through organizations such as NSDAN.  AIDA will complement the Big Data Analytics Institute at Dalhousie University, and work with other post-secondary institutions through CARET to transfer knowledge and approaches across the province.

Rural Canada provides the bio-resources and natural resources vital to the products and services that our nation delivers. The Acadia Institute for Data Analytics is unique in being the first center to focus the use of data analytics on problems of rural Canada.  Our intent is to become a model of how to connect academia and industry around rural problems that can be solved through data collection, analysis and knowledge dissemination.  Key to the motive for applying data analytics to problems in rural Canada is the truth that “if you can measure it, then you can work to improve it”.