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Big data issue needs to be tackled to leverage asset monitoring benefits

Lidar for repeat surveys and differential analysis is expected to be one of the biggest changes in geotechnical asset management in the next five years, according to workshop delegates at GE’s Slope Engineering and Geotechnical Asset Management conference in London yesterday.

Improved data management systems and quantitative asset management were also rated as being among the top three of main changes in the sector.

However, debate between delegates at the main conference today suggested that data management was one of the main barrier to the industry fully benefitting from the potential of such surveys.

Feedback from delegates during a breakout session suggested that the lowering cost of Lidar surveys was making them more widely available than ever before but the industry still has to resolve issues related to managing the data effectively.

Event chairman CH2M director Roger Moore said: “Several decades ago we had not data and now it appears that we are awash with it but have no time to manage it.”

One delegate commented that as an industry we need to be more selective about what data we request.

Another delegate also raised the issue of accessing the data and obsolescence. “I can look at written records of historic structures but accessing data from 20 years ago from floppy discs is impossible,” he said. “We have ask whether BIM will be replaced with something new in 20 years’ time and will we still be able to access the data stored in such systems?

“Technology is a tool but it doesn’t solve everything,” he concluded.

Another delegate commented that we becoming are too reliant on data rather than using the knowledge that has been built up within the workforce.

Other technology rated in the top 10 be delegates (in order) include visualisation of data/BIM, electrokinetic stabilisation, remote/satellite radar, predictive failure analysis and high resolution photogrammetry.

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