Big Data Symposium look back

AGIA National Committee member Elizabeth Amann recently attended the Big Data Symposium as a representative of AGIA and gave a short presentation about our organisation. Below are Liz’s reflections on the event, with a link to presentations for further reading:

The symposium presented a wide range of interesting talks about the concept of Big Data and how the mining and exploration industry perceive it. Speakers broadly represented both industry (large and small scale mining and petroleum companies, and consultants/contractors) and research organisations. Talks ranged from the collection and collation of raw data, the tools used, data storage and manipulation, to end-use (e.g. Michelle Carey’s Real Time Acquisition and Management of Data at the Rig).

The term ” Big Data” was variously defined by each speaker and each had a slightly different view. One common thread was that the industry is really just on the edge of turning big data into useful opportunities. The symposium highlighted the obvious existence of very large sets of data that are being-or have been-captured, and the emergence of technology and tools that can easily and speedily store and manage the data as statistics. As Robert Woodcock of CSIRO explained we have an enormous amount of data stored as statistics, and everyone talking about and defining “big data”, but the real opportunities and future challenges lie in the integration of these data sets in meaningful ways, and then the useful application to turn the mass of data into information and knowledge.

One exciting opportunity was afforded by a panel speaker at the end of the Symposium, Rob Freeth of CRCSI, who gave the example of the cooperative potential of sharing big data across disciplines for strategic use and collaborative research that leads to accelerated industry growth, improved social well-being and a more sustainable environment.

Selected presentations can be downloaded at the following link: http://www.sjsresource.com.au/geoscientist-symposia-past-events.html. For extended abstracts please select “Bulletin No. 61”.