The Year of Geology 2016

Raw data requires understanding

According to Mikko Eklund, director, digital innovations and corporate data at GTK, a meeting of dumb data and a specialist who understands it results in benefits. Eklund states, however, that digitalisation must not be taken at face value. It should produce new opportunities, i.e. growth, or make current resources more efficient, i.e. bring savings.

GTK has adapted the culture of experimentation recorded in Finland’s government programme into GTK’s operating methods. GTK’s digital agenda contains large long-term measures and more experimental projects.

“It’s all about balance. We need unlimited visions, but before realising them in full, we need compact experiments that will measure the benefits,” Eklund describes.

One of the planned tests is related to geoenergy. According to Eklund, geological data has traditionally been collected only once by observing the environment or measuring. Now GTK plans to find out, whether data related to ground heat could be collected in real time and utilised in research.

“Useful information could be collected from ground heat with, for example, the heat well equipment. The monitoring data produced by them would be collected for research use through the Internet, and then used for developing the cooling and heating solutions of buildings.”

Pioneering modelling

In addition to digitalisation, terms “software robotics” and the “Internet of Things” – which the aforementioned ground heat example would utilise – occur regularly in public discussion. According to Eklund, these popular topics are discussed at GTK on daily basis as well.

Eklund says digitalisation is a natural continuation of automation that originated from the manufacturing industry. In terms of IT, the first digitalisation applications were adopted at GTK at the turn of the 1960s and 70s.

“GTK has also used 3D modelling regularly for a long time, because the underground world must be modelled in multiple dimensions,” Eklund adds.

GTK has a strong role as a producer of data in Finnish society. In addition to producing data, GTK now increasingly collects, refines, and distributes data produced by others. These tasks GTK carries out with various partners.

– The competence of GTK’s specialists is needed in refining the data. Interpretation makes data truly valuable, Eklund summarises.