helps their clients see the project from a holistic instead of multidisciplinary perspective, and that helps the decision- making process, he says. Teck’s Sterritt agrees, saying that there are “so many ways” that data-driven innovation and technology is influencing how engineers and geoscientists do their work in mining. “When we think of our mine planning engineers working beyond dozens of spreadsheets on their desktops, new technologies will help them to make safer, more sustainable and more productive decisions on designing and planning,” she says. Sterritt suggests that the availability of big data has created a big push towards analytics and visualization. “We’re focusing on everything around machine learning and artificial intelligence,” she says—and that is leading to virtual reality and augmented reality applications for visualizing those insights. Sterritt said it’s also creating opportunities for data dashboards, using applications like Grafana and Microsoft’s Power BI, both of which are analytics applications that convert the continuous flow of data into a real-time summary. “Everyone generates and has access to so much more data now,” says Oke. “Almost everything has connected or internet-capable sensors, and drones, 3-D scanners, and artificial intelligence are pumping out a torrent of new insights. And fat pipes are delivering more and more of this data all the time. So that means we can move more data more quickly,” he says. “Sometimes our clients say that they’ve got more data than they know what to do with. It’s being warehoused and they’re not always sure how to make sense of it, get some context out of it. And that’s where we come in.” j
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