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Geoscience data can be a secret power for Civil projects, so how well is your business applying it compared to everyone else? In Seequent’s 2023 Geoscience Data Management Survey, 700 experts from Civil, Mining, Environmental and Energy organisations reveal their data challenges, failings, successes and ambitions. Welcome to confession time…

Every Civil project will at some point rely on good geoscience data to ensure its success. From the very first planning stages, through continuous stakeholder input, to handover and long-term maintenance, the way that data is managed will be critical to good, agile decision making and hitting ambitions, expectations and budgets.

Seequent regularly surveys hundreds of geoscientists and geo-professionals, across a range of industries, to establish the current ‘state of the nation’ on data management. For example, we ask:

  • Where are the new and emerging roadblocks and the solutions around them?
  • What are different sectors best at (and what can be learnt from them)?
  • And how will current and future circumstances shape the direction geoscience data management needs to go in?

2023’s survey has some revealing results for the Civil industry (as well as the Mining, Environmental, Energy and Government sectors that we poll).

Civil highlights

  • Civil is the industry least likely to have an established data management framework in place, with only 13% of respondents believing this to be the case. Oil & Gas is slightly ahead with 14%, Government at 19%, with Mining way ahead at 39%.

  • However it is also the industry most determined to set up such a framework, with 35% of respondents saying it would happen within their organisations in the next to two three years.

  • While more than half of Civil respondents (55%) said that data management was of critical or high importance to their organisations, that still puts this sector at the bottom of the league. It’s 81% for Mining, 73% for Environmental and 68% for Government.

  • The Civil, Environmental and Oil & Gas sectors are those most likely to turn to cloud implemented solutions. Geothermal, Government and Mining sectors are more prone to employ inhouse proprietary or purchased solutions.

Across all sectors, AI and Machine Learning are moving faster than many might have predicted, even a year ago. The pursuit of a single source of truth is rapidly shifting from ‘useful’ to a must have. Tracking the chain of custody for data, and managing historical data – especially with a view to pulling more value from it – have both become increasingly pressing day-to-day concerns.

And perhaps most interestingly for the Civil industry, how are its efforts to build strong data management frameworks and put them to profitable use faring compared to the directions taken by, say, Geothermal, Oil & Gas, Environmental and other parallel industries? And is anyone actually getting it right?

Good news and not so good news….

Well, geo-professionals appear to be spending less of their time wrangling their data and more time using it, which is good. There’s been a marked improvement in time efficiency since 2020. But there are concerns too. A quarter of all the respondents we spoke to said they still didn’t have access to the data they needed to make robust and well-informed decisions. And when those decisions can be at the heart of multi-million-dollar enterprises, that’s something every industry needs a good grip on.

To read the full stats, figures and report – for free – follow this link and discover the views of more than 700 respondents, at all levels of responsibility, from across the world.

General highlights

  • The need for a single source of truth has increased by over 50% since 2017. In 2023, 29% reported this as the most important outcome expected from resolving data management issues, against 25% in 2020 and 13% in 2017.

  • 57% of all respondents felt that unmanaged historical data was a challenge for their organisation.

  • 24% of geo-professionals still spend more than 30% of their time on data management BUT this is a significant improvement against 2020’s survey when it was more than a third.