How Mobile Apps Are Revolutionizing Data Collection In The Mining Industry

Shariq Ansari
December 1, 2022
5 mins to read
Two workers using a tablet with a mobile app for data collection.

The advent of technology has significantly spurred progress in connectivity and accessibility, developing an intricate network that forms the ideal operational environment for businesses to flourish.

While blooming a little later than a few other industries, the Mining space is now steadily catching on to the digitization train, witnessing ever-increasing efficiency in the process. By adopting state-of-the-art technologies to automate their processes and workflows, the industry has started to overturn a declining graph for administration, logistics, and operations. Despite this, many exploration companies and drilling contractors have resisted digitization.

In addition to heavy customization, it has also been extremely difficult to implement, train, and onboard staff due to the time and costs involved. The larger companies with larger pockets have been able to rapidly build and take advantage to get further ahead of the competition.

The advent of modern software makes mobile data capture easier for small and mid-tier companies, so they too may enjoy cost savings. In addition to being cloud-based and designed with the end user in mind, today's software is specifically agile and ever-improving. The result is that even the least tech-savvy worker can learn how to use new technology with little or no training.

Suppose you can now capture data on mobile devices for your company, what can you gain?

Let's begin by defining what mobile data capture is.

To put it simply, it's the act of recording and transmitting data using mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc.).

Mobile data capture

  1. Eases up data entry. In addition to making user-friendly designs, templates allow for easy plod segmentation and easy error correction.
  2. Provides standardized templates for recording data. It is possible to represent plod sheets, safety forms, field activities, and other documents digitally in the same format or in a format tailored to each site.
  3. Tracks how the data was entered and delivers it instantly. Data can be accessed instantly by mobile devices since they are connected to cellular networks.
Mining workers using tablet for collecting data

Why is mobile data capture important in mining?

There has been a tremendous decrease in the cost of mobile data collection, and many organizations have their own systems now. It is not uncommon for large mining companies like BHP and Rio Tinto to offer their drilling contractors to use of their mobile data capture systems.

The time savings associated with mobile data capture are a godsend for large businesses. Data is available as soon as it's recorded, in any format you need. By reducing time lags and standardizing data formatting, we can:

  1. Saving time through automation. Many updates are photographed to record the update's progress and are saved in a structured manner. Data can then be saved in a data lake and connected to analytics tools and other applications via an API.
  2. Operations can be seen in real-time. With mobile data capture from the field, the drilling supervisor can immediately access the data and provide real-time visibility to the exploration company, enabling course correction immediately after data submission.
  3. Communication is based on current information. Since data is captured instantly, reports and production numbers are guaranteed to be current, allowing for more accurate decision-making.
  4. Chances for human error are minimized. There is no danger of something being overlooked due to poor writing, forgetfulness, and task complexity.

With a data collection and management platform like Grid, you can digitize your paper-based workflow and eliminate the need for multiple systems, thus allowing your team to work more efficiently. Grid drilling businesses to collect plods, invoice clients, and conduct payroll seamlessly. It's also designed for exploration companies to plan their drill programs, capture field activities, track samples and manage their costs. Grid's data collection forms are an easy way to capture incidents, inspections, and other data in the field and manage all documentation from one place. There are even analytical dashboards to help you keep track of your lead and lag indicators and bring safety into the spotlight.

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Shariq Ansari
Digital Marketeer
“Using Grid to track drill program progress and day to day expenditures has allowed VR Resources to make better decisions more quickly. The highly customizable and elegant interface allows me to track and manage all aspects of our field work and it’s clear after just a few weeks that the possibilities are nearly endless. Cost tracking estimates were consistently within expected variance of invoices received giving me further confidence in managing agile drill programs. Further the development team and customer support have been top notch!”
Justin J. Daley
PGeo, MSc, Vice President Exploration
VR Resources
VR Resources
“Grid has been extremely helpful in changing the course of multiple operations, here at U-Solar. We started with one module for Materials Management, and have now adopted Grid for 3-4 more processes, all of which have been smooth and quick to implement.”
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