TORONTO – Managing data has become a critical concern in the exploration community, according to a global survey report released by Geosoft Inc.
When Geosoft conducted a similar survey in 2011, only 18% of respondents identified managing exploration data a matter of “critical importance.” Now 44% of them do, with another 38% regarding it as a “top five issue.”
Data was collected from 415 organizations around the globe. The 693 respondents represented a cross-section of roles within resource and energy exploration companies, industry service providers, government and educational institutions. More than 60% were from the mineral resources industry, with the remainder coming from energy (11%), government (9%), educational organizations (5%), and other sectors.
Some key findings:
- Organizations are shifting data out of the hands of individuals and onto centralized servers. Forty per cent of respondents now manage their drill hole and geological data on a centralized server with a folder or file structure, while 51% manage geophysical and other survey data this way.
- Respondents want tighter control over their exploration data and a more efficient workflow. About two out of three would prefer a single commercially available platform or an in-house solution as opposed to outsourcing their data management, hiring consultants, or allowing users to manage their own data.
- Search tools, complicated workflows, data duplication and dependency on knowledge experts remain the biggest obstacles to data management.
- Most organizations spend four to eight hours on data management per week, with some spending much longer.
- The two most important outcomes associated with better data management are increased visibility and transparency for reporting and attracting investors (38%) and improved discovery rates (25%). Few (7%) considered a quick return on investment to be the most important outcome.
In summary, the report found that there is a growing need for effective data management in the exploration community in order to attract investors and improve discovery rates. Although organizations are getting better at centralizing their data on a single platform, more work needs to be done to increase data accessibility, reduce duplication, smooth workflows, and lessen dependency on experts.
The survey report is available at Geosoft.com/eims-survey-2013.