When all you have is a hammer, it’s tempting to treat everything like a nail, right? We can agree “the law of the instrument”, when applied to technology, presents untold opportunities to use software in ways not entirely fit for purpose. In an era of “integrated platforms”, “enterprise-wide systems”, and “all-in-one solutions”, it’s easy to see how it can happen.
It happens in mining all the time. A mine planning system might double as the main geological database. Or worse, spreadsheets are used in place of a database. While everyone knows it’s not ideal, we all know it happens far more often than it should.
Why use the wrong tool to manage your geoscientific information, especially if it makes it difficult to manage and trust your data? Likewise, you can use an abacus to manage your accounting, but why would you?
Let’s talk about an issue we’ve seen throughout our years of experience– using mine planning software or resource modelling software to manage your geological data. The idea that you can have a seamless flow of data from your geological database to your mine planning software is alluring. Seamless is good. It means less work.
But if we think it through, is it actually less work? With such a strong industry focus on connectivity and interoperability between software solutions, should you compromise your overall data management?
There are things a mine planning database won’t do. It means you need to rely on third-party applications, workarounds, or homegrown systems to counter the deficit in data management functionality. Consider the following:
Keeping your original observations and measurements through a patchwork system is exceptionally difficult. Validating the data at point of capture – and ensuring it meets all your business rules – is a mean feat. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to maintain the integrity of that data throughout the life cycle of your mining operation. You’ll almost certainly end up with siloed data and no single source of truth.
What you can expect is:
Here’s the thing; a software solution isn’t that helpful if you’re trying to use it for a job it wasn’t designed to do. Yes, mine planning software may have some data management capabilities but it won’t have the big picture of your geoscientific information. If you can’t trust your data, how good is the planning or modelling going to be?
If you want data you can trust, you need mature software. Here are eight things to look for when choosing a geological database provider:
Why not find out more about GIM Suite and why it’s a premium geological data management solution? You can also contact our team to discuss your data management requirements and what options are available for you and your organisation.