If there’s ever been a year for challenges, 2020 was it. The mining industry has come through a tricky year pretty well, especially those already working towards digital transformation. But even with good remote working capabilities, geologists are still facing old demons when it comes to information management. Here are the top five offenders:
If you’re doing the logging yourself, or you have a team of trusted geos working in your team, maybe you’ll feel comfortable with manual logging. But in 2021, are you going to stay competitive by relying on paper-based field logging?
Or, more to the point, do you trust everyone capturing data on a card will do it perfectly? And legibly? And completely? Since data isn’t validated until it’s entered into your geological database, are you sure every person will understand what’s required to log original observations and measurements into your database?
That’s where the pencil falls down – it’s difficult to put a business rule between the pencil and the paper. Incomplete information stays incomplete or you have to go back out and recapture the data. If you’re working with a large team of contractors to collect samples, time and money start adding up very quickly with inefficient and inaccurate data capture – which takes us to the next challenge.
If you’re capturing data in a remote location, or you’re relying on your big team of people to collect samples, or you’re under time pressure, not having an internet connection is going to slow you down. A lot.
If you’re not logging samples directly into your geological database, you’re going to have to manually import your geoscientific data. Being able to access your data across the web, desktop and mobile apps adds another layer of ease and sophistication to your geological data management. Without an integrated solution from the field to the office, you’re running the risk of errors creeping into your data or falling prey to unnecessary data management tasks as you transfer data from the field into your central database.
Believing Excel is a database
Let’s be fair, no-one believes a spreadsheet is a replacement for a database. But where geologists run into trouble is with the assumption that a spreadsheet is ‘good enough’ to store their original observations and measurements.
If you cringed a little reading that last sentence, then you know how absurd it is to trust a spreadsheet to maintain the integrity of your geological data. And let’s be honest here, you probably have more than one spreadsheet, with everyone trusting a different version. You might even have little powerbases centred around those spreadsheets, causing a variety of problems and feeding into internal politics.
For geologists, having a single source or truth for geoscientific data is the Holy Grail for mine performance. Not only does it alleviate any confusion and doubt about what’s right, what might be right, and what’s plain old corrupted or outdated, it also puts geologists back in the field of geology instead of being consumed by spreadsheets and data. Have you ever met a geologist who enjoyed trying to figure out where the correct version of data resided?
But having a single source of truth is more than accuracy of data; it also provides a good deal of cover for compliance and governance, too. Data stored in a geoscientific information management (GIM) solution, will conform to standards and observe business rules. It will also be fully integrated with other software in your mining value-chain.
If we’re talking about integration, being able to transfer your geological data quickly and easily between systems, regardless of the number of steps, is critical. Without third-party connectivity, you’re not getting the full interoperability benefits with the other systems that use your data in the mining value-chain. You end up drifting further and further away from becoming a digitalised mine.
So here’s the thing; acQuire has been working to solve these geoscientific information management challenges for geologists for 25 years. We’ve planned our technology road map for GIM Suite and have stayed the course. The most current version of GIM Suite addresses all these issues.
If you’d like more information about turning your information management challenges into competitive advantage and gain peace of mind at the same time, why not get in touch with us? We’d love to hear about your specific challenges and work on a plan to remedy them for you.