Big Data

In recent conversations with a potential new customer, they used the term “Big Data”. When looking at definitions online, one that stood out to me is:

“Big data is a term that describes the large volume of data – both structured and unstructured – that inundates a business on a day-to-day basis. But it’s not the amount of data that’s important. It’s what organizations do with the data that matters. Big data can be analyzed for insights that lead to better decisions and strategic business moves. 


In late 2016, two of our biggest customers (BHP and Rio Tinto) engaged PDS to develop web services to allow data to be pulled out of PDS for use in corporate business data insight tools.

At a similar time, PDS developed integration support for the Vayeron Smart-Idler Technology (, to allow idler failures to be created automatically in PDS and developed integration support for Fortescue Metals Group to push tonnes data into PDS.

The development of these numerous web services (REST APIs) formed a framework that allowed us to provide similar functionality to our whole customer network and for our own internal use.

Using the PDS APIs, we have conducted analysis that presented completely new insights, that could change key business decisions that were previously not evident in the current set of PDS reports.

Shutdown Effectiveness for Idlers

One of these analyses started with the following support ticket;

“we are struggling with shutdown roller scope. We aren’t diligent enough with conveyor inspections and the volume of rollers entered into PDS grows faster and faster as a shutdown approaches. We end up ordering a huge amount of rollers last minute and not having enough labour to do all the work.

We need to better keep track of how many rollers are being entered into PDS.”

Using one of the PDS APIs for Idler Failures, we produced the following visual that reinforced what we expected.

Plotting cumulative outstanding idler failures by day, we can clearly see the number of idler failures in PDS increasing leading up to a shutdown and the effort required during each shutdown for idler maintenance. We can also see the effort applied to idler maintenance during each shutdown may be insufficient as not all identified idler failures are getting addressed.

During the life of PDS, reporting is the biggest development challenge to our business. We believe reports must present valuable insights into customer’s data, to drive better business decisions and not just present the captured data back. Our reports will only keep getting better whilst our customers continue to ask the difficult unanswered questions they have about the performance of their assets.

PDS Support

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