The mining sector in South Africa is currently under a lot of pressure, but this pressure can be alleviated through business intelligence, says Jacques du Preez, MD and founder of BI-Blue Consulting, a firm that provides business intelligence services.
He explains that business intelligence can handle large amounts of information to help identify and develop new opportunities in a company and, by making use of new opportunities and implementing effective strategies, this can provide an advantage for a company, as well as stability.
Business intelligence technologies provide historical, current and predictive views of business operations and use technologies, processes and applications to analyse mostly internal, structured data and business processes, while competitive intelligence gathers, analyses and disseminates information, with a topical focus on company competitors.
“There is a lot of increased pressure in the form of increased energy prices, the cost of electricity and labour concerns, and these impact on the mining industry in various ways. BI-Blue can assist in providing insight into understanding what is influencing the industry.
“In the past, the company looked at historical trends and it tried to forecast based on what was happening underground and to better direct above-ground operations. Now this is where analytics and business ingelligence come into play. We can start building highly accurate predictive models around trying to forecast and being able to predict scenarios that allow us to consider all the data and declare accurately what is going on to direct the business,” explains Du Preez.
In the mining industry, it is difficult to predict and fully under- stand what is happening underground and there is the worry about above-ground operations, which include processes, people, markets and economies. Business intelligence aims to provide mining companies with the insight they need to run their businesses effectively and more profitably.
“Reporting can be an effective tool in creating a foundation for a broader business intelligence strategy. It is easier to make difficult decisions when various scenarios have already been visualised and analysed. Scenario analysis allows a business to gain new insights. With this tool, you can transform your view of the business using sophisticated visual representations of your performance and processes,” says Du Preez.
In an industry where companies are increasingly accumulating information and data, introducing a solution such as business intelligence can assist in understanding and applying this data in such a way that it will increase productivity and help companies save on costs.