Rethinking Fleet and Personnel Management in the Era of IoT, Big Data, Gamification, and Low-Cost Tablet Technology

Sean Dessureault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The ubiquity of big data, internet of things (IoT), and smart devices is radically changing society; our personal lives are being tracked, digitally motivated through gamification, where information has become an addiction at all income levels, genders, and generations. These forces should not be held at bay in mining; rather, we should embrace and take advantage of this phenomenon to improve safety and productivity. It is time to rethink long-held conventions behind Fleet Management Systems, such as permanently mounted hardware, connecting through cables and “black boxes”, equipment centric rather than operator-centric, wireless requirements, minimal to no feedback to the operator, and high costs. We should also reconsider how we are collecting much of our safety, training, and preoperational forms on paper that then, must be entered into computer systems for compliance, and rarely if ever used in analytics, rather than entering the data directly into a digital device. Collecting safety and location data directly digitally also unlocks the information contained in safety forms and audits enabling new data mining and analytical approaches. Managing then gaining value from this new, greatly expanded mountain of largely unstructured data, requires the use of modern tools and approaches, such as gamification and big data, as well as skill sets, not traditionally available in mines. Furthermore, tablets can now provide a better user experience as well as new sensors when compared with traditional fleet management systems (Mining Magazine 2019, 2016, 2015), at a fraction of the cost, employing the extremely esthetic and engaging visuals derived from the video game industry. Real case studies of these applications of both technology and approach, such as gamification, show that these tracking technologies can bring high visibility and large amounts of data to even the smallest operations and the challenge of making use of the data can be facilitated through the application of gamification. As with our personal smart devices, these technologies are poised to deliver huge improvements in operator feedback, tracking, and performance management, at a much lower cost per unit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)591-596
Number of pages6
JournalMining, Metallurgy and Exploration
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 2019


  • Big data
  • Fleet management systems
  • Gamification
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Mining technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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