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Panning for Data – Konect’s Geological Period

When someone with over 40 years experience in the field tells you that a product ‘transformed their world’, a sharp turn of the head is just the beginning. Rod Dawney, Geologist and Principal of Ausmec Geoscience, sat down to talk about how Konect’s functionality is real, and how it has helped him maintain his spot at the top of the game.

“[Konect] has transformed my world.”

When Ausmec Geoscience’s Principal, Rod Dawney told me that Konect has transformed his world, the significance of that statement did not go unnoticed. Rod sees the world differently to most of us. His is a multitude of geographical and topographical layering, of geological observations that are super-powerful, or maybe just a rock chip that most of us pass by unaware.

Ausmec Geoscience is a multidisciplinary consulting firm that provides a range of services to the mining, exploration, environmental, rural and other land uses, engineering and corporate sectors. And data is key. Rod said, “For us, the aim of Konect is to collect data in the field, at least in the same way as the manual system, or better. And I can tell you, it’s better.”

“Although Konect wasn’t specifically developed for mining or exploration, I knew that I could adapt it, and when I discovered that it had the offline feature we just bought it.

Whether searching for magnetite or nickel, the data collected in the field is seamlessly aligned with Rod’s GIS system. “Any functionality I want can be set up in Konect. I don’t need phone coverage. I collect the data I want, all customised for my system, which is itself one of the best in the world.”

In Rod’s world, conditions in the field are often harsh. When it’s 48 degrees and 80% humidity, you need a system that avoids the possible errors a harsh environment can cause. “When gathering the data manually, someone might forget to put the date in, or who collected the sample, which is really important. With Konect, a field that is not filled in can’t be saved. Having a system that allows such checks and balances is essential when you are in the field getting fried!”

Rod reaches for what looks like two large chequebooks. As he turns the page, the amount of data on show is staggering. Every detail, every coordinate and every map point would have to be transcribed, whether back in the office, in a hotel room, or on an airplane. “Now we have Konect, data entry is more precise, rapid and encompassing. I can create a map using the data in two seconds. I can take photos that are locked into the database. It is cross-referenced automatically; you can’t get it wrong. Location, date and time are all automated, which gives you a time sequence that matches a sample sequence.”

The Cloud-based functionality has also proven critical. Rod explains, “In over 40 years I’ve never lost a manual data book. But if I had, that’s three weeks work gone. With Konect syncing as soon as I get closer to town, it backs up immediately. So, the most I could lose would be a day’s data”.

Rod’s team uses MapInfo, and smooth software integration is where Konect serves its master so well. “I may need to make amendments ahead of the next day’s fieldwork, such as identifying and mapping a landowner’s boundaries. Previously, I would print out a paper map whose only interactivity with samples and data would have been a label stuck on it.”

As with any business, productivity dictates results and crucially, Rod can now fit more observations and samples into a day. “That means that the client will get more results in the same period of time that I am out there, and they are working on the results earlier”.

For Rod and Ausmec Geoscience, discovery is not about panning for gold, it’s about the contents of a large app on a small device. “I am now far more flexible and efficient at collecting my data. That’s the key to discovery for us. By rapidly getting the data together I am able to make my discoveries. It allows me to be more precise, more functional and more flexible. It allows me to do better geology, which is critical in the exploration phase.”

Rod concludes,

“I’ve tried other data collection systems and in my experience only Konect is made to collect data in a high, scientific, ordered, flexible fashion, by people who have collected field data themselves.”

It seemed to sum things up nicely.

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