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20 May 2023 - Technology - GIM Suite

10 signs you’re managing your geological data well

We can all agree geological data management is important. Every day new sources of data are adding to the complexity of information available. Couple that with increasing scrutiny from regulators, investors, and shareholders and managing data quickly becomes untenable without good systems in place. Being able to efficiently manage complexity can make a big difference in quality outcomes, especially when dealing with geological data from mining operations.

Some of the challenges adding to the complexity of data management include:

  • Keeping up with reporting obligations
  • Changes to standards in how data is stored, including renumbering
  • Scaling and growth issues, including mergers and acquisitions
  • Administrative burden of handling vast amounts of data
  • Not enough people with specific knowledge about your data
  • Data is siloed and there’s no common approach to data management
  • Data is controlled by internal gatekeepers
  • Ageing technical infrastructure.

What does best practice data management look like? How do you know if you’re winning?

Here are 10 indicators your data management practices are working.

1. Your data is widely trusted to be accurate

Everyone has data they trust, but does everyone in your organisation trust the same data? If different stakeholders have their own version of data, or the same data is stored in multiple places, it’s hard to know what data, or version of the data, to trust. Good data management instils a widespread sense of trust.

2. Internet connectivity is not a requirement for data collection

Field collection can be cumbersome for a variety of reasons, not least of all a lack of internet connectivity. Without it, geological data management often relies on manual logging or requires a collection of software and hardware tools. Ideally, you’ll be able to log geological data in a remote environment – from capture all the way to sample submission – with one solution.

3. Data is validated at point of capture

“Garbage in, garbage out” might be the oldest cliché in data management but it’s true. If your data is being validated at the point of capture, you’re on the right track. Preserving your original geological observations and measurements relies on your ability to validate your geological data as soon as possible – even while you’re still in the pit.

4. Data can be shared across systems easily

One of the challenges for geological information management is data comes from so many different sources. Getting all your data consolidated in one place – and having common business rules to guide data entering your system – ensures the quality of your data by reducing the number of manual interventions required. Sharing your geological data across systems or teams and being able to access your data from mobile, web and desktop are hallmarks of great data management.

5. Everyone is working from a single source of truth

The gold standard for geological data management is having a single source of truth everyone in your organisation can rely on. One benefit to having a central geological database is knowing you can apply data rules and validations from the point of capture to ensure your data maintains the highest integrity.

6. You’re efficiently meeting management requirements

If management reporting is a painstaking process, or you need to suspend your normal work activities for days or weeks to produce reports, it’s safe to say you have room for improvement in how your geological data is being managed.  Having a history of recorded edits or a good audit trail is also beneficial in the event you need to revert to a previous version of your data.

7. Your systems are fully supported

Software developed internally brings the risk of technical debt, especially as technology infrastructure ages. Third-party vendor software can be just as risky for your mission-critical systems if the vendor decides to drop support. Using unsupported software solutions to manage your data is a warning sign you could be facing big problems, even if everything seems to be working fine.

8. Your data is accessible

Having a way to give different permissions for different users is a best-practice feature of data management. This removes the burden from your database managers of creating custom datasets. Key stakeholders should be able to access the data they need, when they need it, without affecting the integrity of your database.

9. Your data is secure

Another reason for user permissions is to keep your database secure. You’ll want to be able to segment your data and apply protections to certain parts or segments of your database, if required. Another benefit is the ability to limit visibility to third parties, such as joint-venture partners, who may need to access certain projects in your software system for a short time.

10. You enjoy faster data workflows

Having a streamlined workflow from data collection through to sample submission to the lab makes a big difference to downstream mining processes. It also makes a huge difference to the amount of time geologists or field workers spend handling data. The more manual and non-integrated steps you have in the workflow, the more chance there is to inject errors into your data.

What to do next if you need help

Manage your geological data well and you’ll have more time to work on projects and focus on your real work – and that’s probably not wrangling data. Find out more about acQuire’s geological data management solutions and how you can optimise your data-driven decision-making.

Contact our team to discuss your data management requirements.

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