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 5 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 4-8 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 www.geosoft.com/eims-survey-2013.
Geosoft helps earth explorers make discoveries through data. The company provides software and services that advance 3D visualization and analysis of the Earth's subsurface; and solutions for the management and discovery of large geoscientific data. Geosoft software is used by thousands of clients within resource exploration industries, government and the earth sciences, including the most successful mineral and oil explorers in the world. Visit www.geosoft.com.