- Inconsistent data points, due to collection by various different field personnel at sporadic times.
- A substantial time gap between when the data is collected to when it is actually compiled and interpreted.
- Potential data loss due to objective hazards and inability to monitor performance of equipment, which leads to our next point . . .
2) Confirmation of data acquisition is key.
Most field-work campaigns are costly, incurring expenses from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars for travel, room and board, equipment and personnel.
Let’s say your field campaign warrants an expense of $100,000, in order to gather data. With data loggers set up to log data, your plan is to return and collect the data from the loggers that will drive your feasibility study. However, upon your arrival, 6 months later, you find that the logger only logged for a week before unexpected flooding at your field site fried the instrument’s sensitive circuitry.
You can do a quick cost comparison between the cost of a telemetry feed and a second trip to your field site, but the answer is clear when you consider how many feasibility projects are dead in the water because 20 minutes after installation, the field crew flew away in the helicopter and no one knew what was happening at the site until they revisited it a year later.
These situations not only waste valuable time and resources, but can seriously impede a project’s start date. Further, reputations are at stake – if only they had a live feed of the data!
3) We cannot succeed when there is an unknown interruption in the data feed.
Real-time data also allows us to respond if/when we see interesting changes in the phenomenon that we are observing. But, we can also decide whether or not to take action if the feed is disrupted when instrumentation is exposed to an objective hazard. With real-time data we give ourselves a choice:
- We already have a sufficient amount of usable data and can address any issues when we revisit the site during the next scheduled trip, or
- We are just heading into an important data gathering season and we need to capture the transition to make our case. Let’s take steps to troubleshoot the problem and re-establish the data feed.
4) We achieve optimal success when we save valuable resources: time, money and reputation.
With tight budgets, it’s important to make the most of project resources, namely time and money. Thus, a loss of data could compromise your ability to do so, along with your reputation, if project results are compromised.
Ensure project success and save resources; don’t just get your data, get it in real-time.