Global professional services firm Accenture has announced plans to launch an applied intelligence studio for the mining industry in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Set to open in February 2019, the Applied Intelligence Studio for Mining will bring together data science capabilities from Accenture Applied Intelligence and industry expertise from the company's mining industry group. The studio will attempt to apply data science and AI technologies with new data sources to help mining companies solve analytical problems through the application of digital solutions.
The studio will aim to provide both global and local clients with access to deep mining expertise, and will have a strong focus on mining and data skills local universities within the vicinity of Johannesburg.
Rachael Bartels, a senior managing director from Accenture's global mining business, said: "[Mining companies] are increasingly looking to apply advanced analytics to reimagine processes, unlock trapped value and drive operational excellence in their businesses today and position themselves for growth tomorrow.
"Volatile commodity prices, rising input costs and changing global demand for commodities require mining companies to rethink their strategies and business models to remain competitive," she added.
Dr. Caroline Belrose, data science lead for Africa at Accenture Applied Intelligence, confirmed that the recruitment of data scientists with engineering and mining experience was currently underway, and that the new recruits would join Accenture Applied Intelligence's global team of more than 3,000 data scientists.
"[The new recruits] will work collaboratively with our global digital and local Accenture teams to deliver digital solutions to address the mining sector's unique challenges as well as priorities," Dr. Belrose noted. "This work will help ensure operational efficiencies, worker safety and reduce environmental harm."