As the resources industry continues its drive towards the digital mine, companies are seeking ways to streamline traditional processes using modern technologies. One of these processes is the collection of samples and observations from the field. Evolving technology gives explorers and miners new, digital methods for field data collection.
Traditionally, exploration geoscientists and other mining professionals often collected data by manual, time-consuming methods. There was no way to automatically integrate data from the field to the central geological database. With multiple manual steps in the data capture process, there was a higher risk of incorrect data being entered and reliability reduced for one of the company’s most important assets – its geoscientific information.
New technologies are shifting geology teams away from manual data collection methods and towards more efficient digital methods. This includes using mobile apps on smartphones or mobile interfaces on ruggedised devices in the field. However, companies are now facing new challenges from juggling multiple systems without direct integration back to a single source.
Different rules for different systems
Different systems often contain different rules built into them. This means database managers are tasked with managing a complex web of business rules and data validations across multiple systems. Naming of fields, field types and drillhole identifiers need to be mapped to ensure data is shared consistently from the field collection tool to the main database. This takes time and increases the risk of errors creeping into the data.
Diminished data confidence
With a lack of direct integration, there is often a flow-on effect within a mining or exploration project. Data quality becomes diminished and there is a greater chance of data transfer failure because of the mismatch of rules.
Staff, particularly database managers, spend more time on building and maintaining custom routines for loading data than working with it. More time is needed for monitoring systems and checks to ensure the data is correct and the higher levels of system management can impact the efficiency of staff and processes.
It’s a common concept that information is key to good business decision-making, but those decisions can only be as good as the information available to guide them. Businesses thrive on data—but only when it is available, relevant and actionable.
Companies have started to adopt mobile data capture technologies, including third-party mobile apps or custom-built in-house solutions.
The main issue is getting the data back into the central geological database as efficiently as possible. By using systems without direct integration, additional processes and import routines need to be set up. In-house solutions often put a big strain on resources to continually maintain.
The good news is acQuire is soon to release a new mobile data capture app which is fully integrated with GIM Suite.
The direct integration eliminates many challenges associated with using different systems.
The chance of rule mismatches across systems is eliminated and the whole process synchronising data from the field to the central database is streamlined. Users can push one button to sync and they’re done. There’s no need for additional export or import processes to add the data to GIM Suite.
To find out how your site can benefit from acQuire’s new mobile data capture solution in its upcoming software release, GIM Suite 4.1, contact us or sign up to our news updates to be one of the first to receive updates about our geoscientific data management solution.