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26 Oct 2023 - Company & Industry News, Event News

acQuire connects data management experts at annual tech summit

The annual acQuire Connect Tech Summit 2023 made its mark this year in Toronto, Canada, on October 18 and 19. Geoscientific, environmental and social performance experts across the mining industry converged for two days of learning and networking.  

The summit welcomed acQuire’s software product users at all levels, offering thought-provoking presentations, a lively panel discussion, and a tech lounge for the tech-savvy. The cocktail event on the evening of day one was also a standout for networking among other industry professionals. 

A heads and tails game pitted the competitive attendees against each other, testing their industry and product knowledge, and provided an afternoon pick-me-up. Carolyn Pauly from Freeport-McMoRan emerged as the victor, showcasing her knowledge in a thrilling finale. 

We rounded out the tech summit with a GIM Suite workshop for attendees who wanted to extend their GIM Suite capabilities and gain a preview of the GIM Suite technology roadmap. 

Here are some of the key takeaways from across the two days: 

Data reigns supreme 

A prevailing theme throughout this year’s acQuire Connect was the significance of credible and trustworthy data.  

Hugo Bonilla kicked the summit off with his keynote presentation, “Evolving social performance through data-driven decision-making and enhanced governance”, diving straight into how good data is at the core of transforming social performance and sustainability, but good data alone is not sufficient. While obtaining trustworthy and credible data is the first step, using this data to monitor the effectiveness of actions toward a business’s social performance targets is critical.  

“If you’re not measuring, when you find out you’re doing a bad job, is when protesters land at your front door.” said Hugo. “The most effective way to communicate with decision-makers is with data, and the best way to influence people is with good data”.  

Elliot Flaig from acQuire echoed the sentiment, emphasising that data, on its own, lacks decision-making value; true value is realised when it’s organised and applied effectively. He illustrated the dire consequences of poor data quality, particularly in industries like space, banking, and automotive, and drove the point home, sharing a sobering example of how poor geotechnical and environmental data management and monitoring can impact the safety and, in some cases, lives of those in the mining industry. The importance of data governance was stressed, particularly in light of the growing volume of data, emergence of AI tools, and stricter regulations. 

Byron Tsokas, also from acQuire, advised giving environmental data managers a hug, acknowledging the challenges they face, and Alison Atkins, acQuire’s CEO, wrapped up the conference by celebrating the passion for data across social, environmental, and geoscientific sectors, and noted the increasing integration of data roles into businesses, further highlighting data’s importance in today’s world.  

Learn to work with an agile mindset 

The importance of adopting an agile mindset in the world of technology and data management was a resounding message throughout acQuire Connect. Presenters drilled in the importance of breaking down complex challenges into manageable parts, and embracing a continuous cycle of review and testing, when working through large projects.  

Ian Vaughan, representing Resolution Copper – Rio Tinto, took the stage early presenting on the challenges of merging databases and his insights were a treasure trove for anyone dealing with similar mergers. He emphasised the need for three key attributes: patience, agility, and unwavering focus. Ian’s experience illustrated the pitfalls of taking a linear approach when tackling large projects. His solution? Embrace an agile mindset and circular process, involving repeated assessments, fixes, and data exports until the data aligns seamlessly. 

Maeve Murphy from ERM, continued this theme on day 2. Maeve shared the challenges she faced when working with vast quantities of historical data and discrepancies in merging two extensive geoscientific databases. Maeve’s presentation underscored that an agile mindset is not just a concept; it’s a practical strategy that proves instrumental in tackling large-scale projects over an extended timeline. 

Advancing through knowledge sharing 

While data was undeniably the star of the event, the essence of acQuire Connect lies in sharing knowledge and collective learning. Whether it’s the technical nuances of merging databases, or the collaborative effort to break down information barriers between teams, our community thrives on shared wisdom. 

Alison Atkins summarised this collective learning approach by stating that the event is more than gathering product feedback from the community; it’s about reconnecting and making new connections across a multitude of roles that face similar challenges. As a community, we can allow ourselves to fail, learn, and grow together.  

acQuire Connect 2024 Announcement 

We are excited to announce that acQuire Connect will return in 2024, this time taking place in Perth, Western Australia. Stay tuned for more information. 

Thank you from all of us at acQuire 

The acQuire Connect Tech Summit 2023 was an immense success. Thank you to the dedicated speakers and engaged attendees who brought their ideas and enthusiasm over the two unforgettable days.  

To stay updated on the latest highlights and developments from acQuire Connect, subscribe to our newsroom or follow acQuire on LinkedIn 

We’re excited about the future and look forward to seeing you in Perth in 2024. 

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