Energy Sector Data: 10 ways to make it exciting

This is your problem. You are a data expert in an energy business. People want to see your seismic data so that they know where to drill and your subsurface data so that they can see the operational performance of your rig and also to see production and other flows. After all these years of data flowing through your systems you have still not captured the attention of senior management, let alone executive management, and certainly not the board. Your children are not excited by data either – yet you suspect (rightly) that there is real value here. What to do?

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We in Sia Partners UK are happy to help you answer the above questions. Not all of the tactics listed below will be relevant for you. We hope some are though. We are aiming to improve this list and we will keep it updated. If any of you has found a better way to convince your board of data’s value then don’t hesitate to let me know and I will give you due credit the next time we update the list.

  1. Establish how much you spend on data and then do a quick study to see if you are getting value for money from this asset. Experience tells us you will quickly find areas of waste and poor performance.
  2. Link data to safety. This may sound cynical – however if for example you can link the number of lost days due to injury to breakdowns in production processes and if both of these pieces of data are separately held then through careful analysis of safety matters you will find that many safety issues can be traced back to leading indicators which were not used. Some of the biggest accidents in our sector can be linked using this technique.
  3. Link data to EBITDA. In the Energy Sector we drill for data first and carbon second. We are all acutely aware of how badly we store our data – how much money we waste – how much production we lose. Get on top of this or make the case for doing so.
  4. Ride the “me-too” culture. Compare yourselves to others and see how you are performing. Attached to this blog is a document that explains the elements of data. It also explains how to use a quick assessment tool to compare your performance against others (it’s completely free and the only catch is that you need to give us a log-in so we can set you up on the system.  This is the executive version – the full version is our IP but there is real value in the executive version. If you are worse than the industry average then you can see where and why.
  5. Link data to risk. Outline the potential business impact of bad data. Read more in the Pitch Book.
  6. Demonstrate the link between Data Management and Business Performance – Revenue Increase, Acquisition Cost Reduction, Opex Optimisation (for instance data process, standardisation).
  7. Talk about “big data”. Big data is a collection of complex data so large that they are often difficult to process using traditional database management. Sensor data from offshore rigs for instance can be used to enhance process or reduce costs.
  8. Don’t talk about data at all – talk about digital strategies. Remember we are moving away from the analogue world.
  9. Draw a value model for data. Show where data is clearly of value. An E&P company may focus on Licencing Acquisition Processes where a downstream business may be more inclined to value retail related data. See the Pitch Book for examples.
  10. Go detailed. Talk about data objects (seismic data is a data object, so too is a purchase order). Follow these data objects around your business and see if they are being managed well.