From the ground up — building a solid foundation on data

While there’s no telling exactly what the future may bring, these days, relative market stability certainly seems to be a thing of the past. Between the Covid-19 pandemic and pre-existing market fluctuations, creating long-term business strategies to plan for the future has become that much more difficult. In the mining and metals industry, those difficulties are compounded by consumer behaviour that’s even more difficult to predict.

While the price of gold, for example, has been steadily increasing over the past decade, the pricing cycles for gold and other mineral commodities change at breakneck speed.

In the commodities market, these changes have historically occurred in 10-, 15-, or even 20-year cycles. But lately, foreshortened price trends have made long-term planning extremely difficult for metals and mining companies. To keep their competitive edge in these uncertain times, they must be more agile than ever.

It’s no secret that the way to achieve such acute manoeuvrability is increased efficiency. The old paradigm still works, of course: If you can increase tonnage while reducing production costs, you’re moving in the right direction, and data is the key to improving operational efficiency. But not all data is created equal.

Just about every metals and mining company out there collects vast amounts of data. Often, though, companies don’t know how to efficiently process such staggering amounts of data and how to deploy it effectively.

If you’re not collecting the right information or you’re not processing it efficiently, you’re leaving untold profits on the table by wasting precious time and resources prepping the data itself.

Without the right data management platform, only about 1 per cent of all collected data end up being used in decision-making. To get the most out your data, you need a solid data management foundation.

With the right data management foundation, though, it’s a very different story. All of a sudden, you can use data to move from a reactive to an active, prescriptive approach. AI and predictive analytics provide vital insights, allowing you to streamline operations, maximise operational efficiency, and keep up with those hard-to-predict market fluctuations.

At the outset of their journey to digital transformation, once they’ve decided to integrate a good data management foundation, many mining companies implement site-specific pilot programs and see immediate results; worker safety, productivity, sustainability, and reliability improve quickly, as companies apply AI for process optimisation, predictive maintenance, safety monitoring, and machine vision.

Continuing to build on this foundation, companies follow a ‘reiterate, review, deploy’ strategy to review model accuracy and identify their next steps. At this point, data begins to truly drive decision-making at the highest levels. What’s more, with the right data management platform, data is contextualised, centralised, and accessible to team-members company wide, providing for a single version of the truth.

With a solid, reliable foundation for your data, the sky is truly the limit when it comes to improving and optimising your operations, but to get there, you have to break new ground on a data management platform that can help you set the new gold standard.

Read this white paper to learn more the anatomy of a successful AI project in Mining.

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