Data mining gives miners better insights
For 30 years, Pulse Mining Systems has delivered ERP tools tailored to the mining industry. With a strong understanding of the processes and challenges inherent in the sector, the company developed a point of difference by offering products tailored to meet its unique requirements.
With miners searching for ways to utilise the vast amount of already-captured transactional data to drive greater insights and operational efficiencies, Pulse Mining realised it should take another look at its technology offering. It quickly identified the need for a simple, cost-effective and tactical business intelligence (BI) solution to help customers obtain these insights.
“Many of Pulse Mining’s customers store data in Excel spreadsheets and had developed their own means of extracting essential information, but they were arduous and time-consuming,” said Rob Parvin, Pulse Mining’s visualisation and analytics manager.
For example, one of its customers had an employee whose job was solely focused on managing production data and determining the value and quantity of coal being produced on a daily basis.
Pulse Mining needed to present something compelling to demonstrate why customers should change the way they’d worked for years. Several clients showed interest in obtaining an analytics solution that could give them insights that had previously eluded them.
Parvin evaluated a number of analytics solutions to identify the best BI technologies to integrate into Pulse Mining’s offering. The new tactical BI offering is built on technology from Tableau and Tableau partner Birst.
Parvin was impressed with Tableau’s ease of use and agility. His team members required no training to use it; their expertise, combined with Tableau’s useability, meant they could launch straight into developing their analytics solution. They developed a set of ‘plug and play’ analytics products that could deliver data visualisations from different areas of the business into a central hub.
“Our aim is to make it very easy for our customers to plug a product in, get the data flowing and create visualisations to help them monitor mine performance,” said Parvin. “The longer it takes to roll out a BI solution, the more data builds up and waits to be analysed. By creating a simple and fast solution, our customers can get answers to the questions they’ve been asking for years.”
Pulse Mining used Tableau on top of a data source created from a combination of custom Excel macros plus connectors into established operational systems.
Pulse Mining was not only able to deliver insights to its customers, but it was able to do so quickly. During an introductory presentation to Whitehaven Coal, Pulse Mining was able to answer a question about an operational anomaly, which had been asked for 20 years, on the spot.
“Not only does the solution offer Whitehaven Coal insights they couldn’t have before,” said Parvin, “but the out-of-the-box nature of the product means it’s significantly more cost-effective than building a custom BI solution. It is also simple to use and staff can be trained to obtain their own insights.”
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