Skip to content

Panel Speakers


A. Sidiq (Sid) Ali

Sid is one of Canada’s leaders in credentialing program development and evaluation, utilizing his psychometric and program evaluation expertise to lead high-stakes licensure and certification projects within professional governing bodies and regulators, such as the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals and the Royal Bank of Canada. Sid has been the recipient of the University of Toronto’s department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning’s Doctoral Scholarship and the National (U.S.) Science Foundation’s Evaluators’ Institute scholarship. He has earned the Credentialed Evaluator designation, authoring many evaluation and technical reports, publishing articles in magazines, Canadian and international scholarly journals, including twice in the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, and presenting his work at national and international conferences in the domains of education, evaluation and credentialing. He holds bachelor’s degrees in Humanities and Education, as well as a Master’s degree and Doctorate (Ph.D.) in Educational Measurement and Evaluation from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.


Frank Beirne

Marketer turned data scientist, Frank heads Dig’s technology department including data science, development, and Upsiide (Dig’s answer to market research on mobile). His focus is on bringing machine learning and automation to the insights process- merging traditional techniques with new methods and coming up with fresh ways to collect and analyze data. Frank splits his time between sales meetings, scrums, code review, and keeping current with data science trends. Frank is a graduate of the Research Analysis Program at Georgian College.

patricia king

Patricia King

Patricia is a Credentialed Evaluator (CE), national board member of the Canadian Evaluation Society, and a member of the Qualitative Research Council, Marketing Research Intelligence Association. With more than 10 years’ experience in research and program evaluation, Patricia has developed an expertise in both the public and not-for-profit sector. Prior to joining Dig Insights, Patricia was the Director of Evaluation at MQO Research, and before that, worked as a Manager with the Provincial Government of Newfoundland and Labrador informing policy development. Patricia holds a Master’s of Applied Social Psychology from Memorial University.

john morton

John Morton

With a career spanning two decades of 'client-plus-consultant' experience, John is a recognized expert in strategic problem solving and the creation of decision intelligence that enables business growth. As a Voice-of-Market Strategist, John helps organizations improve and grow by aligning their customer and employee experiences with brand promises. John applies Voice-of-Market intelligence to surmount business challenges, shaping discussions, guiding decisions, and enabling continuous improvement. Prior to Voice-of-Market, John led the Canadian office of Market Probe Inc., an AMA Gold Top 50 insight consulting firm specializing in Customer Experience Management. Prior to Market Probe, John worked on the ‘buy-side’ of the insights universe. As part of the Insights Team at RBC Financial Group, he led transformational experience management programs in each of the customer, employee, and brand spaces of the Stakeholder Value Chain. John began his consulting career at Procter & Gamble, where he led market intelligence initiatives to transition brand communications from functional to emotional benefits. John has undertaken numerous speaking engagements in North America, Europe, and Asia (including presenting at the 2016 ESOMAR Congress and at the 2017 MRIA Annual Conference). John also contributes to the MRIA as a volunteer, having been a Director on the MRIA Board and Chair of the Research Agency Council for 2016/17, as well as acting as a Director on the Research Agency Council from 2014 to 2016.

mike sparling

Mike Sparling

With a career that has spanned countries, platforms, companies and minds, Mike Sparling has consistently focused on creating value in his work with research, data, analysis, and innovation. Mike is a co-founder of the Durham College AI Hub, an applied research center committed to simplifying the adoption of artificial intelligence techniques by the small and medium enterprises that make up the bulk of the Ontario economy, and he has been the lead author in a set of Provincial and Federal research funding grants focused on AI adoption, successfully raising over $2.25 million in research funding in the last 18 months. Mike is the former Dean of one of North America’s largest undergraduate business schools and has been a professor at the university and the college level. Mike had recently assumed the Chief Technology Officer role for a multi-national software firm where he leads technology adoption and artificial intelligence research, working with psychologists and psychometricians, to develop and commercialize assessment systems that address clinical, education, public safety and justice, and organizational development through systems that address diagnostic, prescriptive action / outcomes, and planning needs. Mike is a graduate of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), Algonquin College, the University of Western Ontario, and the inaugural cohort of the Artificial Intelligence Engineering Graduate Certificate developed by Udacity, IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, and Uber.