Geoscience Information Management

According to our global survey of organizations handling geoscience data, most rank data management as a critical or top five issue. As data volumes continue to grow, improving the management of geoscience data for better transparency, collaboration and discovery has become a key priority. + Read more

What is Geoscience Information Management?

Effective data discovery is essential for accelerating and improving decision making. As data volumes rise, however, so does the big data management challenge. Global government and resource exploration organizations, of all sizes, need new ways to make their vast data resources visible, searchable and usable – to advance interpretation of the data for geoscience studies and exploration projects, to meet regulatory and reporting requirements, attract investors and build asset value for the long term.

Some of the key factors driving the requirement for improved geoscience data management are:
  • Exponential growth in the amount of data, and the need to make big data easily discoverable for organizational, industry and other public stakeholders;
  • The rising information requirements of data consumers to access historical and multidisciplinary data, interpretations and reports; and
  • Increasing demand for improved transparency and collaboration.

The common elements of a geoscience data management solution

The technology for implementing a geoscience data management solution has advanced, and is becoming more user friendly. Software tools are available to automate quality control, add metadata and format conversions into common platforms. The ultimate goal is have a standardized and semi-automated means of dealing with historical data, current projects, and future projects that is easy to use, searchable and allows for a smooth workflow.

  • Data cleansing and cataloguing. A consistent, sustainable system for cleansing and organizing data. Less than 60% of the data stored in repositories may actually be useful for exploration. The rest remains a mixture of duplicate, corrupt, irrelevant or unknown data that requires further investigation. Up to 40% of bad or duplicated data can be resolved through automation. Resolving data integrity issues is important, since there is both risk and cost attached to storing, and potentially using, the wrong data for exploration projects and corporate reporting.
  • Data publishing platform. A secure, central environment for the creation, management and automation of data processes for data preparation, metadata capture and data publishing.
  • Data delivery system. A way to get data out to geographically disperse teams of explorers, and also to external stakeholders such as partners and investors. Beyond contributing to new discoveries, exploration data needs to be shared and collaborated with for a number of mission-critical business ventures, from fundraising and partnerships to mergers and acquisitions.

Improving information management to maximize success

The business case for improving data management is based on protecting and maximizing data asset value for short term and long term requirements.

Formal information management solutions address many of these issues, significantly increasing the value of data and information resources by establishing stronger connections between data and its consumers.

Improvements in information management help to focus geoscientists on the decision and not the workflow problems, by enabling them to spend more time on data interpretation and knowledge development and less time on data chores and data management issues. Having a consistently reliable flow of data to support projects, increases the number of projects that can be progressed within a given budget cycle. Organizing and managing your data supports effective collaboration and information sharing with consumers, partners and investors. It protects investments in past data acquisition and makes old data more valuable by enabling it to be leveraged for the future.

Making use of the internet for collaboration

With the maturity of internet cloud architecture, and its growing application for big data management, online platforms are now available to securely share large, critical documents with external stakeholders. Online data portals and virtual data rooms can provide a turn-key solution for sharing and collaborating with geoscience data.

Being able to nimbly connect, and collaborate, with geoscience data has become a critical success factor in government, resource industries, marine and earth sciences. With the continued growth of geoscience data, and escalating challenges related to data access and its efficient use for decision-making, it’s important to take advantage of the tools available to implement an effective geoscience information management system.

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Featured Resources

Exploration information management: 2015 survey report

With almost 2,000 responses from 1328 organizations globally, the 2015 survey report identifies the biggest exploration data challenges and how organizations are working to solve them. [Report]

QDEX - Removing barriers to accessing the Geological Survey of Queensland's data

View this video to learn how a Government organization improved public and private access to geoscientific data by developing a digital exploration data system. [Video]

Statoil - Revolutionising Gravity and Magnetic Data Management

Statoil has maximized data value by implementing a data management system that makes data easier to search and find. [Video]

Freeing up time for mine-finding: the Cameco solution

Members of Cameco's exploration team are anticipating a time when their data management is so efficient that they can carve out an extra day in their weekly schedule to look for mines instead of spending those valuable hours searching for and manipulating data. What's their strategy? [Article]

Three keys to unlocking value in your exploration data

How can you unlock big data value in your organization? Understanding the key drivers for improving information management can be your first step. [Article]

Geosoft Data Services

Data services and methodology  that can help your organization establish a process and workflow to capture, catalog, publish and share all of your historical, current and future data. [Info Sheet]

How to win over investors, and streamline transactions: the virtues of electronic data rooms

Our global 2013 survey of organizations handling exploration data found more companies want to improve data management for financial reporting, increased visibility and transparency of information to attract investors. [Article]

Data Connections

There was a time when the biggest data problem within the geosciences was the dearth of data, not enough data to support discovery and exploration projects. As more of the world's earth data is collected, digitized and stored in private, corporate and public databases, the problem has quickly become how to deal with the digital geoscientific data explosion. [Article]

Optimizing Geophysical Data Management

By validating and organizing its geophysical data within a central repository, Barrick gained an enriched dataset, better data integrity and a system for providing efficient, global access to the database. Read how they did it. [ARTICLE]

Best Practices for Handling the Data Explosion

Five best practices to help you clear the clutter, and make exploration data management more efficient in your organization. [Article]



Botswana Geoscience Portal goes liveThe Botswana Geoscience Portal, a partnership initiative of the Botswana Geoscience Institute, Geosoft and industry sponsors, is now live. The geoscience portal provides free access to multi-disciplinary, datasets from Ngamiland, a district in the country's northwest.
Three keys to unlocking value in your exploration data

One of the questions many organizations struggle with is 'where to start' with data management. This article identifies 3 key drivers that can be your first step towards improved exploration data management. 

Best Practices for Handling the Data ExplosionFive suggestions for best practices to help you handle the data explosion and improve exploration data management.
Exploration Technology: Retooling for the digital data revolutionA review of developments in exploration technology that are delivering stronger spatial data access and management capabilities through the Internet, and advanced workflows within GIS. 
Data Connections: Improving the Data Experience for GeoscientistsThis article looks at how improving the way geoscientists connect to data can improve decision-making and results within exploration organizations. 
Strategies for Improving Knowledge ManagementA look at how adopting a knowledge management strategy can help exploration companies to close the widening rift between the volumes of data and the supply of geoscientists needed to process it, retain and share knowledge that could lead to the next big discovery.
Access to online survey data helps explorers focus their explorationHow access to online government survey data is helping explorers to outline their targets more quickly and efficiently.

Reports & eBooks

Exploration Information Management: 2015 Survey Report Garnering almost 2,000 responses from 1328 organizations globally, the 2015 survey report identifies ongoing challenges with respect to handling exploration data and how organizations are working to solve these issues. 
Earth Explorer: 2015 Data Management ReportA compilation of top Earth Explorer articles featuring applied success in geoscience data management, within government and mineral exploration organizations. 
Earth Explorer: 2015 Mineral Exploration ReportA compilation of top Earth Explorer articles featuring applied success in improving data discovery and using geophysical inversion methods to increase confidence in drill targeting. 
Exploration Information Management: 2013 Survey Report The 2013 Survey report includes insight on the biggest challenges for managing exploration data, and how organizations are managing their geological, geophysical, and other geoscientific data. 
Exploration Information Management: 2011 Survey Report The 2011 survey report includes insight on key exploration data and information management challenges, and how mineral explorers are solving them.
Fresh Perspective: Solutions for Mineral Exploration eBookA review of advancements in mineral exploration technology, and how explorers are using technology to improve productivity, support team-based exploration and gain deeper insight to guide drilling programs. 

Technical Publications

Integrated Data Management with Oasis montaj and acQuire2003: Geosoft Technical Paper

Tracey Minton, Alison Atkins

Simplified access to North American Magnetic Data using the Internet2003: Geosoft Technology White Paper

Troy Wilson, Tim M. Dobush, Chris Musselman 

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