Thursday, July 20, 2006

Data gathering


Almost two months have gone since I started my internship at Central African Gold (CAG) and the experience is so exciting .

I have been working on different tasks and that keeps me quite busy. One of the things I have been doing is collecting and analyzing information related to social aspects of mining. This is quite fascinating in a mining environment and most important to me is that sustainable growth is part of CAG’s vision.

To get back to data collection, which is something I have been good at for years and I am rarely worried about generating meaningful information. Moreover, being a French speaker gives me easy access to the literature from some French countries where CAG operates.

Despite all these advantages and available resources at CAG for one to fulfill his/her tasks, it happened that I encountered some challenges related to generating information:

  • Value and accuracy;
  • Access; and
  • Timeframe;

Whenever I am given a data-generating task, the first thing I do is to locate and collect information. Time management is very important here because I remember once to found my self spending much time collecting and trying to access information. In the aftermath, I was overwhelmed with data to analyze in such a short period of time. Good for me as I got it right and learned about managing my time at work.

Accessing data and getting valuable information is another good challenge I am learning to deal with. Some data are just useless and can cost one's time. What a nightmare if you spend all your time on that. When you know exactly what is needed you can still avoid that trap.

The another thing is that if you get something approximate to what is required, there is a reason for one to feel upset, especially if your supervisor cares for accuracy and validity. For the first time I got approximate information I was so stressed. In fact, there was not enough available information but I managed to get the best available. Though I was not blamed, I felt anxious about it.


I am quite happy here at CAG because many people have been helping me to get some information that are relevant to my tasks and I am learning to effectively manage the challenges related to data gathering. Analysis is another thing I like, but so far I have not been analyzing much and that is still to come. Nonetheless I feel happy about the feedback for some analysis I have submitted already. It is such a pride when you provide valuable information and I wish to do that as long as I am at CAG.

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