s Big Data - A Business Power Shift | I2P: Information to Pharmacists - Archive
Publication Date 01/07/2014         Volume. 6 No. 6   
Information to Pharmacists


From the desk of the editor

Welcome to the July 2014 homepage edition of i2P (Information to Pharmacists) E-Magazine.
At the commencement of 2014 i2P focused on the need for the entire profession of pharmacy and its associated industry supports to undergo a renewal and regeneration.
We are now half-way through this year and it is quite apparent that pharmacy leaders do not yet have a cohesive and clear sense of direction.
Maybe the new initiative by Woolworths to deliver clinical service through young pharmacists and nurses may sharpen their focus.
If not, community pharmacy can look forward to losing a substantial and profitable market share of the clinical services market.
Who would you blame when that happens?
But I have to admit there is some effort, even though the results are but meagre.
In this edition of i2P we focus on the need for research about community pharmacy, the lack of activity from practicing pharmacists and when some research is delivered, a disconnect appears in its interpretation and implementation.

read more
open full screen

Recent Comments

Click here to read...

News Flash

Newsflash Updates for July 2014

Newsflash Updates

Regular weekly updates that supplement the regular monthly homepage edition of i2P. 
Access and click on the title links that are illustrated

Comments: 1

read more
open full screen

Feature Contribution

Woolworths Pharmacy - Getting One Stage Closer

Neil Johnston

It started with “tablet” computers deployed on shelves inside the retailer Coles, specifically to provide information to consumers relating to pain management and the sale of strong analgesics.
This development was reported in i2P under the title Coles Pharmacy Expansion and the Arid PGA Landscape”
In that article we reported that qualified information was a missing link that had come out of Coles market research as the reason to why it had not succeeded in dominating the pain market.
Of course, Woolworths was working on the same problem at the same time and had come up with a better solution - real people with good information.

Comments: 5

read more
open full screen

Intensive Exposition without crossing over with a supermarket

Fiona Sartoretto Verna AIAPP

Editor's Note: The understanding of a pharmacy's presentation through the research that goes into the design of fixtures and fittings that highlight displays, is a never-ending component of pharmacy marketing.
Over the past decade, Australian pharmacy shop presentations have fallen behind in standards of excellence.
It does not take rocket science - you just have to open your eyes.
Recently, our two major supermarkets, Woolworths and Coles, have entered into the field of drug and condition information provision - right into the heartland of Australian Pharmacy.

read more
open full screen

The sure way to drive business away

Gerald Quigley

I attended the Pregnancy, Baby and Children’s Expo in Brisbane recently.
What an eye and ear opening event that was!
Young Mums, mature Mums, partners of all ages, grandparents and friends……...many asking about health issues and seeking reassurances that they were doing the right thing.

Comments: 1

read more
open full screen

‘Marketing Based Medicine’ – how bad is it?

Baz Bardoe

It should be the scandal of the century.
It potentially affects the health of almost everyone.
Healthcare providers and consumers alike should be up in arms. But apart from coverage in a few credible news sources the problem of ‘Marketing Based Medicine,’ as psychiatrist Dr Peter Parry terms it, hasn’t as yet generated the kind of universal outrage one might expect.

read more
open full screen

Community Pharmacy Research - Are You Involved?

Mark Coleman

Government funding is always scarce and restricted.
If you are ever going to be a recipient of government funds you will need to fortify any application with evidence.
From a government perspective, this minimises risk.
I must admit that while I see evidence of research projects being managed by the PGA, I rarely see community pharmacists individually and actively engaged in the type of research that would further their own aims and objectives (and survival).

read more
open full screen

Organisational Amnesia and the Lack of a Curator Inhibits Cultural Progress

Neil Johnston

Most of us leave a tremendous impact on pharmacies we work for (as proprietors, managers, contractors or employees)—in ways we’re not even aware of.
But organisational memories are often all too short, and without a central way to record that impact and capture the knowledge and individual contributions, they become lost to time.
It is ironic that technology has provided us with phenomenal tools for communication and connection, but much of it has also sped up our work lives and made knowledge and memory at work much more ephemeral.

read more
open full screen

Academics on the payroll: the advertising you don't see

Staff Writer

This article was first published in The Conversation and was written by Wendy Lipworth, University of Sydney and Ian Kerridge, University of Sydney
In the endless drive to get people’s attention, advertising is going ‘native’, creeping in to places formerly reserved for editorial content. In this Native Advertising series we find out what it looks like, if readers can tell the difference, and more importantly, whether they care.
i2P has republished the article as it supports our own independent and ongoing investigations on how drug companies are involved in marketing-based medicine rather than evidence-based medicine.

read more
open full screen

I’ve been thinking about admitting wrong.

Mark Neuenschwander

Editor's Note: This is an early article by Mark Neuenschwander we have republished after the soul-searching surrounding a recent Australian dispensing error involving methotrexate.
Hmm. There’s more than one way you could take that, huh? Like Someday when I get around to it (I’m not sure) I may admit that I was wrong about something. Actually, I’ve been thinking about the concept of admitting wrong. So don’t get your hopes up. No juicy confessions this month except that I wish it were easier for me to admit when I have been wrong or made a mistake.
Brian Goldman, an ER physician from Toronto, is host of the award-winning White Coat, Black Art on CBC Radio and slated to deliver the keynote at The unSUMMIT for Bedside Barcoding in Anaheim this May. His TED lecture, entitled, “Doctors make mistakes. Can we talk about it?” had already been viewed by 386,072 others before I watched it last week.

read more
open full screen

Dispensing errors – a ripple effect of damage

Kay Dunkley - BPharm, Grad Dip Hosp Pharm, Grad Dip Health Admin, MPS, MSHPA

Most readers will be aware of recent publicity relating to dispensing errors and in particular to deaths caused by methotrexate being incorrectly packed in dose administration aids.
The Pharmacy Board of Australia (PBA), in its Communique of 13 June 2014, described a methotrexate packing error leading to the death of a patient and noted “extra vigilance is required to be exercised by pharmacists with these drugs”.
This same case was reported by A Current Affair (ACA) in its program on Friday 20 June

read more
open full screen

Take a vacation from your vocation

Harvey Mackay

Have you ever had one of those days when all you could think was, “Gosh, do I need a vacation.”
Of course you have – because all work and no play aren’t good for anyone.
A vacation doesn’t have to be two weeks on a tropical island, or even a long weekend at the beach. 
A vacation just means taking a break from your everyday activities. 
A change of pace. 
It doesn’t matter where.
Everyone needs a vacation to rejuvenate mentally and physically. 
But did you also know that you can help boost our economy by taking some days off? 
Call it your personal stimulus package.

read more
open full screen

Explainer: what is peer review?

Staff Writer

This article was first published in the Conversation. It caught our eye because "peer review" it is one of the standards for evidence-based medicines that has also been corrupted by global pharma.
The article is republished by i2P as part of its ongoing investigation into scientific fraud and was writtenby Andre Spicer, City University London and Thomas Roulet, University of Oxford
We’ve all heard the phrase “peer review” as giving credence to research and scholarly papers, but what does it actually mean?
How does it work?
Peer review is one of the gold standards of science. It’s a process where scientists (“peers”) evaluate the quality of other scientists' work. By doing this, they aim to ensure the work is rigorous, coherent, uses past research and adds to what we already knew.
Most scientific journals, conferences and grant applications have some sort of peer review system. In most cases it is “double blind” peer review. This means evaluators do not know the author(s), and the author(s) do not know the identity of the evaluators.
The intention behind this system is to ensure evaluation is not biased.
The more prestigious the journal, conference, or grant, the more demanding will be the review process, and the more likely the rejection. This prestige is why these papers tend to be more read and more cited.

read more
open full screen

Dentists from the dark side?

Loretta Marron OAM BSc

While dining out with an elderly friend, I noticed that he kept his false tooth plate in his shirt pocket. He had recently had seven amalgam-filled teeth removed, because he believed that their toxins were making him sick; but his new plate was uncomfortable. He had been treated by an 'holistic dentist'. Claiming to offer a "safe and healthier alternative" to conventional dentistry, are they committed to our overall health and wellbeing or are they promoting unjustified fear, unnecessarily extracting teeth and wasting our money?

read more
open full screen

Planning for Profit in 2015 – Your key to Business Success

Chris Foster

We are now entering a new financial year and it’s a great time to reflect on last year and highlight those things that went well and those that may have impacted negatively in the pursuit of your goals.
It's also a great to spend some time re-evaluating your personal and business short, medium and long term goals in the light of events over the last year.
The achievement of your goals will in many cases be dependent on setting and aspiring to specific financial targets. It's important that recognise that many of your personal goals will require you to generate sufficient business profits to fund those aspirations

read more
open full screen

ReWalk™ Personal Exoskeleton System Cleared by FDA for Home Use

Staff Writer

Exoskeleton leader ReWalk Robotics announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the company’s ReWalk Personal System for use at home and in the community.
ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk.
ReWalk, the only exoskeleton with FDA clearance via clinical studies and extensive performance testing for personal use, is now available throughout the United States.

read more
open full screen

Attracting and Retaining Great People

Barry Urquhart

Welcome to the new financial year in Australia.
For many in business the past year has been described as a challenging period.
Adjectives are a key feature of the English language.  In the business lexicon their use can be, and often is evocative and stimulate creative images.  But they can also contribute to inexact, emotional perceptions.
Throughout the financial pages of newspapers and business magazines adjectives abound.
References to “hot” money draw attention and comment.  The recent wave of funds from Chinese investors, keen to remove their wealth from the jurisdiction and control of government regulations is creating a potential property bubble in Australia.

read more
open full screen

Updating Your Values - Extending Your Culture

Neil Johnston

Pharmacy culture is dormant.
Being comprised of values, unless each value is continually addressed, updated or deleted, entire organisations can stagnate (or entire professions such as the pharmacy profession).
Good values offer a strong sense of security, knowing that if you operate within the boundaries of your values, you will succeed in your endeavours.

read more
open full screen

Evidence-based medicine is broken. Why we need data and technology to fix it

Staff Writer

The following article is reprinted from The Conversation and forms up part of our library collection on evidence-based medicines.
At i2P we also believe that the current model of evidence is so fractured it will never be able to be repaired.
All that can happen is that health professionals should independently test and verify through their own investigations what evidence exists to prescribe a medicine of any potency.
Health professionals that have patients (such as pharmacists) are ideally placed to observe and record the efficacy for medicines.
All else should confine their criticisms to their evidence of the actual evidence published.
If there are holes in it then share that evidence with the rest of the world.
Otherwise, do not be in such a hurry to criticise professions that have good experience and judgement to make a good choice on behalf of their patients, simply because good evidence has not caught up with reality.

read more
open full screen

Laropiprant is the Bad One; Niacin is/was/will always be the Good One

Staff Writer

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, July 25, 2014
Laropiprant is the Bad One; Niacin is/was/will always be the Good One
by W. Todd Penberthy, PhD

(OMNS July 25, 2014) Niacin has been used for over 60 years in tens of thousands of patients with tremendously favorable therapeutic benefit (Carlson 2005).
In the first-person NY Times best seller, "8 Weeks to a Cure for Cholesterol," the author describes his journey from being a walking heart attack time bomb to a becoming a healthy individual.
He hails high-dose niacin as the one treatment that did more to correct his poor lipid profile than any other (Kowalski 2001).

read more
open full screen

Culture Drive & Pharmacy Renewal

Neil Johnston

Deep within all of us we have a core set of values and beliefs that create the standards of behaviour that we align with when we set a particular direction in life.
Directions may change many times over a lifetime, but with life experiences and maturity values may increase in number or gain greater depth.
All of this is embraced under one word – “culture”.
When a business is born it will only develop if it has a sound culture, and the values that comprise that culture are initially inherent in the business founder.
A sound business culture equates to a successful business and that success is often expressed in the term “goodwill” which can be eventually translated to a dollar value.

read more
open full screen

ReWalk™ Personal Exoskeleton System Cleared by FDA for Home Use

Staff Writer

Exoskeleton leader ReWalk Robotics announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the company’s ReWalk Personal System for use at home and in the community.
ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk.
ReWalk, the only exoskeleton with FDA clearance via clinical studies and extensive performance testing for personal use, is now available throughout the United States.

read more
open full screen

Pharmacy 2014 - Pharmacy Management Conference

Neil Johnston

The brave new world of health and wellness is not the enemy of Pharmacy, it is its champion.
Australian futurist, Morris Miselowski, one of the world's leading business visionaries, will present the Opening Keynote address on Pharmacy's Future in the new Health and Wellness Landscape at 2.00pm on Wednesday July 30.
Morris believes the key to better health care could already be in your pocket, with doctors soon set to prescribe iPhone apps, instead of pills.
Technology will revolutionise the health industry - a paradigm shift from healthcare to personal wellness.
Health and wellness applications on smartphones are already big news, and are dramatically changing the way we manage our personal health and everyday wellness.

read more
open full screen

Generation and Application of Community Pharmacy Research

Neil Johnston

Editor’s Note: We have had a number of articles in this issue relating to pharmacy research.
The PGA has conducted a number of research initiatives over the years, including one recently reported in Pharmacy News that resulted from an analysis of the QCPP Patient Questionnaire.
Pharmacy Guild president, George Tambassis, appears to have authored the article following, and there also appears to be a disconnect between the survey report and its target audience illustrated by one of the respondent comments published.
I have asked Mark Coleman to follow through, elaborate and comment:

read more
open full screen

Big Data - A Business Power Shift

Barry Urquhart

articles by this author...

Barry Urquhart, Managing Director of Marketing Focus, Perth. Barry is an internationally recognised conference keynote speaker, facilitator of strategic planning workshops and marketing business coach.
Contact Barry: TEL:61 8 9257 1777 - EMAIL: urquhart@marketingfocus.net.au -
WEB: www.marketingfocus.net.au

Season’s greetings.

With the increasingly cosmopolitan nature of Australian society and its people the Christmas festive period is becoming progressively less dominant, particularly for businesses.
However, the Christian values of love, compassion, sharing and understanding are relevant at all times for all people.
We all benefit and should enjoy embracing the sense of family... Australians are all part of one cohesive, extended family. This year we should make the time and effort to reflect, reach out, respect and value the sense of virtue of family.
In commerce the same commitment should be given to virtues of quality customer service.
The following text highlights why. And remember, there is no holiday or break in the need for and advantages of service excellence.

Kindest Personal Regards

Barry Urquhart


Michael O’Leary is the Chief Executive Officer of Ireland-based Ryanair, Europe’s largest low-cost airline.

He is widely considered to be abrasive, arrogant and unforgiving about the lack of in-flight customer service, poor baggage allowances and seemingly excessive cost penalties for passengers with heavy hand bags.
Long-term success and growth tolerate such attitudes, behaviour and cultures.

However, beware economic downturns. In recent times, O’Leary has learnt that efficiency and low costs are not the sole drivers of consumer demand, repeat business, loyalty and competitive edge.

Value, largely based on expectations of good courteous service, timely departures and arrivals, attractive and spacious airport and in-flight facilities remains attractive to an overwhelming majority of consumers.

Since June, Ryanair share prices have collapsed by around 30%. Utterances by the Chief Executive about customer care, allowances for extra handbags and cheaper prices have not been met with increased demand.

When customers are fed-up with poor, indifferent and inconsistent service it is difficult to enhance competitive standings. Ryanair is learning the lessons of Tiger Airways in Australia, which in the past contaminated the image, market positioning and preference for its previous parent, Singapore Airlines.

A similar example is Target, the discount department store, is doing similar for the related wholly owned by Wesfarmers-owned retail operations.

In Australia, there is an interesting story is unfolding.
Qantas is a premium full-service international and domestic airline. Its subsidiary, Jetstar, is positioned as a low-cost domestic and international competitor.

Jetstar is being assigned priority in the introduction of the technology-advanced Boeing 787 Dreamline aircraft which features spacious leg room, larger windows and higher in-cabin humidity – which lessens the incidence of jet-lag.

The older Jetstar Boeing and Airbus aircraft will be retired from its fleet and migrated to fly under the Qantas livery. So, intending travellers will be provided the choice:

Jetstar or jet lag?

Whatever happened to the Qantas promise of great service and unparalleled safety? Each is a cornerstone of service... and of sustainable competitive advantage.

To those who take focus off customer service and suffer the consequences of falling demand, revenues, margins, profits and share prices the marketplace is speaking loud and clear...

“Serves You Right!”



In business, “strategic” is more than a word or a label attached to a planning document.

It provides the context for current and future operations, innovations and creativity. Strategic plans must necessarily include a scenario planning component, because that provides the framework, rationale, understanding and justification for the goals, objectives and targets.
The difference between a strategic plan and a business or action plan is as fundamental and significant as the variance between marketing and selling.

In recent times I have participated in a number of conversations in which the phrase “strategic plan” was thrown about with gay abandon. I have heard references to a plan for 104 residents in a rural community to clean-up the roadside and environs as a strategic plan. In another instance, consultants have made comment about documented a reported “strategic plan” for a client utilising existing resources to operate during the ensuing three years.

These and other planning initiatives are laudable. But, they are not strategic plans.

Numerous businesses are experiencing the loss of sales, client loyalty, market positioning advantages and competitive advantage brought on or exacerbated by a lack of strategic planning.

“Black Swan” events are intrinsic to all businesses and have widespread, immediate and significant impact. Many of those who were directly or indirectly affected are able to conclude that “with hindsight, the events were predictable and probable”.
Definitive strategic planning provides foresight. Contemplate for a moment the October 1987 sharemarket crash, the April 2000 Asian currency crisis, the August 2008 Global Financial Crisis and the more recent rapid contraction of the mining resources capital expenditure boom. Each should have been reasonably anticipated.

Specific actual dates and magnitudes are difficult, if not impossible to determine. The key role of human perceptions and sentiments, which can and do accelerate and magnify trends is difficult to quantify. However, their presence is a reality and strategic plans should be drafted with consideration for such inputs.

I was invited to attend a presentation by several professionals from one of the four major international accountancy practices. In essence, the topic was on strategies for growth.

It soon became apparent to other guests and to myself that the two thirty-something qualified accountants had little comprehension of the concept of strategic thinking and planning.

The proposition of collating all internally-generated data, applying it to the total marketplace and to competitors, taking a little of the “Blue Water” planning model and then utilising the case studies of Walmart (USA) and Sony (Japan) for an audience of Australian owners and managers of small to medium sized enterprises was somewhat of a stretch.

Insights from the session were invaluable. It highlighted the small pool of talent, skills and experience available with genuine strategic planning professionals. Explanations were also revealed on the inadequacies and consequences of utilising external resources that claim, but do not possess appropriate skill-sets.

Next time your medical practitioner recommends an electro-cardiograph for a review and analysis of your heart and vascular system, may I strongly recommend that you do not consider an electrician.



An integrated strategic plan should be formulated, documented and implemented by team members, complemented by input from an appropriate external catalyst and facilitator who processes good strategic planning skills.

The final document should optimise opportunities, minimise risks, enhance external effectiveness and internal efficiency. Contingency options will be recognised and provided for.

Ideally, the plan and its resultant actions will be a dynamic, evolving template which will increase confidence, morale and pride.

The first strategic step is to begin the planning process. Planning, like life, does not take Christmas or summer vacations.



Information is power. “Big Data” is more powerful.

“Big Foot”, in the guise of “Big Data”, is amongst us. Unlike the mythical being from the cold reaches of the Alps, its presence is real and growing. The footprint is impressive and is effecting significant, rapid and lasting change in the competitive business landscape. No business sector or profession is immune.

“Big Data” is the utilisation of the cloud software capacity to rapidly retrieve, collate and to enable analysis of information from multiple sources. The concept and processes favour big businesses, which have been quick to embrace and deploy the attractively enveloping concept to their own short and long-term competitive advantage, and to enhance the effectiveness of communications and relationship initiatives.


This innovation is the third wave of a noticeable evolutionary trend in business fundamentals.

The first wave occurred in the 1980s, with the “four-on-the floor” entrepreneurs, who espoused and exploited “financial leveraging”. Debt: equity ratios were quickly inflated, tolerance to risk seemed to have no bounds, long-established prudent financial fundamentals were forgotten or marginalised and personal wealth grew rapidly.

However, Newton’s Law of physics remained relevant and in play: “to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”. On Tuesday, 20 October, 1987, sharemarkets around the world collapsed. So too did corporations and personal fortunes.

During the first decade of the 21st Century, the focus of the second wave centred was on “time-leveraging”.

Communications and technology literally experienced a “Big Bang”. Miniaturisation and mobility pervaded products, services, innovation and creativity. The number of mobile telephones in Australia rapidly exceeded the number of Australians. Some laggards languished, bewildered by a world and generations of clients and consumers who had “moved on”. Personal computers quickly evolved into adolescence, replaced by smaller mobile tablets and smart phones.

And now we have the concept and process of “information leveraging”, a reality made possible by “Big Data”. Information has been transformed into intelligence. Invaluable insights are gleaned on consumers’ perceptions, frames-of-reference, buying patterns and brand preferences. Mass-customisation has become a telling reality.

Collectively, these elements are the currency of the present. You can bank on it!


Unlike the pizza retailer case study, in which a square-shaped pizza was labelled a game-changer (a questionable proposition), “Big Data” is a genuinely gargantuan change in the dynamics of business.

It has the potential to not only change and restructure commerce, but to rapidly make obsolete businesses, products, services and professions.

The provisions of the Privacy Act will be challenged and legally tested.

Buying, marketing and franchise networks which have long relied on periodic distribution of paper-based catalogues and in-store merchandising, promotional and retailing selling campaigns will be marginalised, and in some instances, rendered unviable.

“Big Data” enables businesses to know intimately the buying patterns and preferences of individuals. Communication will be, and is being personalised. For example, salutations will be to “Jill”, “John” – not to “the householder”.

Headlines will confidently state “you have two school-age children and a dog”. The impact, relevance and income generating capacity will be multiples of the traditional generalised, paper based, 12, 16 and 18 page catalogues that pose the question:

“Do you have children and/or pets?”


“If you have children and/or pets”

Fulfilling the consumers’ wants, aspirations and needs for convenience, “Big Data” electronic missives will limit the offers to 2, 5, 10 or possibly 20 products or services that have been previously and consistently purchased by the targeted individuals. Simplified marketing and purchasing!


Small speciality pet shops, as one example, will be vulnerable to the major supermarkets which have access to the buying cycles and data of specific consumers from the information generated from the loyalty cards, rewards programs, company branded credit cards and at the check-outs from multiple sources, including supermarkets, discount department stores, liquor stores, hardware outlets, service stations and insurance brokers.

More particularly, “Big Data” will and does enable those applying the concept and principles to schedule the timing of the distribution of communications to just prior to the habitual visits to specific outlets.

It is a pending threat for the 5,000 plus Australian retail pharmacies which are trending towards online health-management practices and relationships. Aggressive political lobbying by the two major Australian supermarket chains for the rights to operate in-store pharmacies from their collective 2,000 stores is a real threat. Imposing!

Financial planners and finance brokers need to be aware of and alert to the capacity of the major banks to employ “Big Data” to “sweep” invaluable and insightful information and intelligence on their account holders. The largest local bank has a reported 14 million active accounts. Not bad, in a population of just 23 million.

Accountancy, health insurance, travel and hospitality professionals, knowingly or unknowingly, face the same future and challenges.


The transparent inadequacy of many business and action plans has been highlighted with the evolution and progressive application of “Big Data”.

Many supposed “Strategic Plans” have, and will increasingly be found to be, shallow and two-dimensional. Little or no evidence exists that such documents contain and detail scenario plans which could have and should have identified, isolated and analysed such evolving key forces and other likely “Black Swan” events. The time for preparation for many has passed. Action is needed now.

Each and all current plans need to be promptly and extensively reviewed, refined, upgraded and updated. It’s not too late!

However, major and hard decisions will need to be made and implemented, with discipline and precision.


Strategic alliance partnerships are fast developing a new face, with heightened importance.

Smaller, resource-restricted and geographically-bound businesses and practices need to broaden their “footprint” in the marketplace and to extend their networks and communication channels by establishing, nurturing and developing relationships with compatible and complementary operations and entities.

Physiotherapists need to explore the prospects, scope and advantages of exchanging and tapping information with pharmacists, sporting clubs, lifestyle and life-coaches and a host of other important and relevant spheres of influence.

For many, the selling of information retrieved from “Big Data” is morally, ethically and legally taboo. However, effective personal introduction is another thing and one which is efficient and effective. A win-win-win situation.

The nature and extent of these potential, mutually beneficial networks are only limited by one’s imagination, creativity and drive.


Many mining companies operate in remote, inhospitable and dangerous locations and environments.

Often the costs are high, staff morale is difficult to maintain and safety can be compromised.
“Fly-in, Fly-out” policies and practices do not address or redress the complex underlying operational fundamentals.

“Meta-Data” is an adaptation of “Big Data”. Input is derived from multiple sources, including geologists, surveyors and spatial scientists. It is then retained, collated, analysed and applied, using “cloud” technology and capabilities.

The enhancements in operations, margins, profits, overheads, efficiency and effectiveness are impressive. Productivity is optimised.

For example, Rio Tinto has an operations centre in an attractive, convenient and appealing complex located at the Perth Airport in Western Australia. The mega-sized “dump” trucks in the iron-ore mines in the isolated Pilbara region some 2,000 kilometres to the north do not require on-site drivers. They are “driven” and controlled remotely from the Perth Airport site utilising Meta-Data.

And, how interesting. Cost of operations and ttyres (which can be worth over $10,000 each) are some 20% lower than normal manned vehicles. Technology and Meta-Data are less taxing than human resources.

The same principles can be and arguably should be, applied to the trains which transport the ore to ports.
Moreover, the operations of some underground mines in South Africa which are extracting resources and commodities from depths of up to 4 kilometres are keen to introduce Meta-Data-dependent technology, which removes the need to expose miners to the rigours and dangers of such sites and depths.

The potential social, political, educational and employment consequences are enormous. The “cooling-off” of the mining investment cycle is only one minor issue that needs to be addressed.

“Meta-Data”, like “Big Data” is a genuine game-changer. It is a future that has arrived. Politicians, governments, union officials, workers, investors and educators cannot ignore or deny the reality and possible manifestations.

Now is the time to reflect, to contemplate and to act. Tapping into one’s own pool of “Big Data” would be a good start.

Contact Barry Urquhart

Mobile: 041 983 5555

Telephone: 08 9257 1777

Email: Urquhart@marketingfocus.net.au

Web: www.marketingfocus.net.au

Visit: Facebook, LinkedIn

Return to home

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

health news headlines provided courtesy of Medical News Today.

Click here to

If any difficulty is found in subscribing, please use the "Contact Us" panel found in the navigation bar with the message "subscribe" and your email address.

Subscribe to our mailing list

Email Format


  • Copyright (C) 2000-2020 Computachem Services, All Rights Reserved.

Website by Ablecode