TECTERRA: Please provide your title and company
Nikoo Sabzevar: Lead Data Analyst, Skymatics
TECTERRA: Tell us about your work in the geospatial industry?
Nikoo Sabzevar: So this industry involves distributing, collecting, analyzing, processing data tied to a particular location on Earth. And I, as a data analyst, bring particular perspective or like unique perspective to this industry because of my background in mathematics and statistics. My engineering background particularly gives me greater flexibility in terms of pre-processing, analyzing, and interpreting the results in this industry. And the fact that I'm trained in another discipline, because I'm graduated from mechanical and industrial engineering departments. So the fact that I'm trained in a different discipline gives me and Skymatics the edge, I think, over our competitors because I look at problems differently and I look for solutions which may not be very common or very obvious to people in this industry. Depending on the problem I'm usually dealing with, I develop unique and innovative models and tools basically using a statistical analysis and machine learning. And I use these techniques because we can improve the accuracy and time processing in our system.
TECTERRA: Tell us about the latest app you’re working on?
Nikoo Sabzevar: The project that I'm currently heavily involved with is our latest app called "SkyClaim," which is a crop damage analysis tool and it's based on some of the models that I developed used computerization and machine learning. And it basically provides a platform for users to input data and process their images. And I specifically use machine learning because we can automate the process. Like we can automate image processing. The outcome of this app helps farmers and insurers because the main application is in agriculture. So it mainly helps farmers and insurers to basically investigate and inspect their farms and make smart decisions accordingly.
TECTERRA: How is the geospatial industry changing and how is your company responding to this change?
Nikoo Sabzevar: So there was a time when this industry was really limited to niche markets, such as oil and gas sector. But since spatial analysis is very important to any business which values location as a variable, it's grown substantially. Nowadays, this industry deals with huge set of data and users expect fast, accurate, and real time solution for their big data problems. And we at Skymatics use the latest technologies to overlay spatial data from UAVs into maps and process, analyze, and interpret them as accurate and as fast as possible. Drones also play a huge role in this industry nowadays. It's very easy to fly a drone, but it's not easy to extract information generated by them. And it's our job at Skymatics to process and analyze them with the most structured way possible. And we use machine learning to automate this system and we kind of use this technology to be responsive for future changes in the industry because with machine learning, we can kind of predict the future trend of the data that we collected. So it helps us prepare better for any potential changes in the future of this industry.
TECTERRA: What does it mean to be nominated for the Woman of Impact Award?
Nikoo Sabzevar: It's great to feel that your work is useful and impacting enough to be recognized. And the fact that what I've done and all my effort have been used and contributed to this industry gives me the greatest confidence and helps me, or kind of makes me work even harder. To me personally, this nomination means a lot because I've always valued education and it shows me that science goes beyond the borders and languages. English is not my first language. But I feel like it's a very good example to show people that if you work hard, it will one day be rewarded or it will one day pay off for sure, at least here in Canada. Yeah. It means a lot to me especially as a woman in this industry.
TECTERRA: How would you encourage young women considering getting involved in the industry what to do and how to find their path and get motivated?
Nikoo Sabzevar: Education I think is key. To me, education is very important. And it helps you kind of shape up your career. It helps you find your way. And learn a lot, study a lot, read a lot. I'm not a good reader. To me, it's a boring thing. But it helps a lot. It helps a lot to read articles, to review literature, to see what others have done. What's missing? To find the gap. Those gaps kind of motivate you to go further and solve those because to me, it's very rewarding to do something which is useful or make a change or make an impact. And it's again, yeah, very rewarding to see that what you've learned applies to real life problem, which is actually what I'm doing right now. And it's very interesting and it's very very motivating.