The digital oilfield is characterized by information sprawl, a landscape of data silos that span corporate network drives, databases, and the cloud. In the past, this was met with large data migration projects that attempted to warehouse an energy enterprises’ disparate data in a monolithic way. These types of projects, while still relevant in certain contexts, are expensive and slow to adapt to evolving business needs. But are data silos bad?
I’d argue that siloed oil & gas data is the natural look for the digital oilfield information landscape. It arises from the way energy professionals work and our digital ecosystem of varying vintages of software and their project databases, home grown solutions, and internal data sources. Data silos will always be with us, underscoring the need for a way to bring scattered data together to support energy industry workflows.
In my last blog post, I argued that data is the new black gold and that effectively managing it is the most essential skill to have in the digital oilfield where billion-dollar decisions hinge on having easy access to accurate data. Effective data management is like building a gathering system that moves information along a digital value chain through processing, storage, and consumption by downstream end users.
Taking the digital oilfield analogy further, think of data silos like an unconventional oil reservoir. Valuable data is trapped between layers of disconnected systems and departmental ownership. Land, drilling, geoscience, engineering, production management, field operations, accounting, and compliance manage their data in systems of widely varying vintage and interoperability. To break down data barriers and surface cross-functional insights, you need to frac your data.
Like hydraulic fracturing, fracking your data requires the right technology and process. But accessing and stimulating the flow of data across multidisciplinary data sets, on premises databases, and cloud APIs is daunting even for energy companies with large IT budgets. Each of your data silos (Well View, Aries, ArcGIS, legacy systems, etc.) must be individually unlocked in a unique way (i.e., direct database access, API integration) that is specific to the database structure.
Most data management tools designed to extract, transform, and load data from point sources into a data lake/central repository fail to meet the scale and diversity of oil & gas datasets. And slow, costly systems integration initiatives fail to hit fast moving data management targets. Your team needs agile data connectivity purpose-built for oil & gas, which is what EnerHub was designed for.
EnerHub embodies both a modern data management tool and Stonebridge’s 30+ years of project IP moving data for clients and integrating the vast digital oilfield ecosystem. It’s integration layer, EnerLink, boast 50 pre-built connectors to common data sources and commercial products that leverage our deep oil & gas expertise in Peloton and other industry-specific software. In many cases, EnerHub connectors span as much as 70% of an energy company’s digital footprint. No data left behind. The technology is built for flexibility so that new connectors can be rapidly built to access proprietary database schemas and other commercial data sources.
In the digital oilfield, data management can make or break an organization. Unlocking trapped business data and creating a free flow for efficient consumption and decision-making is just the first step in effective oil & gas data management. Faced with multiple versions of the truth, incomplete, and poor quality data, organizations must also have a data governance strategy. That’s the topic of my next blog, so stay tuned and please reach out if you have any questions along the way.