Part 3 – Master Data Demystified
“Multiple versions of the truth” is a phrase you often hear when talking about oil & gas data management. But what does this really mean? Substitute for “truth” any number of data types, like geological interpretations, land files, production volumes, or offset well data. In the digital oilfield with ever increasing volumes, velocity, and variety of data, we all too often contend with multiple sources (or versions) of data related to the same business object as well as duplicate datasets. The process of picking a single version of the truth to use in analysis is where master data management starts.
Like black gold, data is a commodity whose value is measured both in the millions companies spend to acquire it and the billion-dollar decisions the industry makes on it, which was the topic of my first blog post in this series on effective oil & gas data management. In my last blog, I explained how to build a digital gathering system that connects all of your data silos and multiple versions of the truth and the role of EnerHub in bringing those data sources together. Today, I’ll delve into how your team can transform your data pipelines into a single source for decision-ready data.
The complexities of the digital oilfield have necessarily given rise to data management as a discipline in the energy back office, weather that’s a full time data manager or skillset that geoscience, engineering, land, and accounting have acquired. Everyone in oil & gas is involved in data wrangling.
Just a few years ago, master data management was something only the majors, supermajors, and NOCs worked at. Attempting MDM was like a quest of never-ending, start and stop data initiatives, a hunt for the Holy Grail where vast amounts of time and money are thrown at data management problems but never really achieve the end goal. But amidst the torrent of data energy professionals wade through daily, master data is now essential for everyone no matter the size of the organization. Master data should be just as much an imperative for oil & gas as our core business drivers of finding, extracting, and moving hydrocarbons.
Most approaches to MDM focus on blending data streams, de-duplicating records, and merging into a single dataset. Garbage in, garbage out though. Multiple versions of the “truth” can be plagued with missing, incomplete, or flat out wrong data, leading teams to make decisions on low quality data. Indeed, another goal of MDM is to check data quality, enhance it, and ensure its integrity.
Our approach at Stonebridge focuses on orchestrating vs. blending data with the aim of creating a Golden Record, i.e., data that is standardized, normalized, and quality checked. Well headers are a good example. Think of all the different names your organization uses for a single well or field, not to mention the terminology outside vendors and state agencies use. Using EnerCore, the MDM and data processing layer of EnerHub, all of these versions of the truth are automatically converted to your preferred version of the truth.
The technology seamlessly orchestrates the ongoing task of maintaining a Golden Record as data flows in from applications, project databases, and external data sources on a real time basis. EnerHub simplifies the complexity of merging data streams and determines what data source is used first with business rules. That’s where Stonebridge’s deep industry knowledge of the digital oilfield ecosystem adds tremendous experience and value. EnerHub incorporates this knowledge and IP in the form of ready-to-use business rules designed specifically for oil & gas data types. Combined with a flexible editor for custom rules and the ability to alert data stewards to potential issues before data is distributed, EnerHub is the MDM engine that continuously ensures data integrity.
It’s surprising that many teams go to the trouble of creating a Golden Record only to have it sit unused or underutilized. This speaks more to the limitations of many data management technologies which are ETL (extract, transform, load) solutions first vs. a true MDM and data governance solution like EnerHub. ETL solutions and basic API integrations can only create 1 way streets between point systems and a data lake. But the value of a Golden Record is its consumption across the organization, underscoring the need to broadcast it to the systems and people that need high quality data in their workflow.
EnerHub’s connectors are bi-directional, enabling Golden Records to be written back to subscribing systems, putting everyone on the same page and helping your team make critical decisions armed with the best data possible. Driving data consumption and delivering actionable insights to energy professionals is the ultimate goal of creating a digital oilfield gathering system and ensuring data integrity with MDM, which is the next and final blog in my series. Have questions on EnerHub or master data management? Reach out, I’d love to talk data with you.