Article: Oil & Gas Tapping Into Importance of Data Science & Interpretation of Big Data

In the past, data analysts and data scientists have found it difficult to break into the Oil & Gas Industry – not for lack of trying – but because, the industry was not ready.

data scienceNow, with emerging technologies and the increased ability to interpret and act upon Big Data being mined, data analysts and data scientists are finding increased need for their specific skills.

“For many years, technology in the Oil & Gas Industry was mainly focused on opportunities to expedite workflow,” said Ragan Shawell, Managing Director of the Energy Vertical for DISYS. “While the industry has had many knowledgeable and experienced technical professionals, the best way to utilize the ‘data scientist’ role is a relatively new challenge to address.”

Quick and accurate data integration is still an important part of the tech revolution in the oil and gas industry but it is also focusing efforts on finding ways to use all of the Big Data generated, to automate simple decisions and guide the harder ones.

These strides in Big Data will not only improve operational efficiency and help solve critical business problems, but has the potential to help the energy industry:

  • Discover new energy sources
  • Save money on oil drilling and exploration
  • Increase efficiency and productivity
  • Predict and prevent accidents before they happen
  • Avoid power outages
  • Gauge consumption patterns
  • Match supply to demand
  • Plan for better maintenance and repairs
  • Minimize impact on environment
  • Improve profit margins and long-term viability

A recent survey conducted by Microsoft shows 86%-90% of the executive O&G respondents say increasing their analytical, mobile and IoT capabilities will increase the value of their companies through aiding in the search for new deposits, identifying key logistical issues and help with the reallocation of manpower.

“The industry has always faced, and sometimes struggled with, the high cost of drilling and extraction,” Shawell said. “But now, with the increased insight data analytics and data science provides, operational decisions can be made quickly and accurately.”

Also, machine learning techniques are being applied so that software is ‘trained’ by analysts and data scientists. The technology adapts and continually learns to identify what data is actionable/useful and what isn’t based on the interpretation of large quantities of data by data scientists.

The speed that proper interpretation of this data offers, drives wiser decisions offering reductions in Estimated Ultimate Recovery (EUR). This newly-found speed has been and will continue to be spearheaded by enhanced information analysis through analytics professionals and data scientists.

By the end of 2016, the Big Data industry is projected to be an estimated at $53.4-billion. Likewise, the data scientist career path now offers tremendous growth across a number of industries – including oil and gas. Job postings for data scientists grew 15,000% between 2011 and 2012 alone and these numbers are increasingly climbing and has grown steadily at 75% year to date. Forbes Magazine even cited Data Science as being one of the ‘Top 10 Sexiest Jobs of the 21st Century’ in a 2015 article.

One of the key benefits of the data scientist career path is it is a skill that really doesn’t have an industry ‘specialization’ factor. Data scientists can move easily between industries and apply the same data analysis techniques. But the data science specialty has proven difficult to find in O&G as candidates are being swooped up by higher profile companies such as Google and Microsoft.

A key factor? Salary.

While budgets in O&G for technical innovation aren’t necessarily growing but keeping steady against spends from previous years, allocations within these budgets are shifting to the interpretation of this data and optimal ways to act upon it – making the search for qualified data scientists one of the hottest topics in the employment ranks of O&G. But this newly-added career opportunity has not yet reached the competitive salary range of companies such as Google and Facebook – who reportedly start their data scientists at upwards of $90,000. These higher-range starting salaries are enticing to newly trained data scientists add in the company culture surrounding these innovative, cutting-edge firms offer, O&G positions fall short in their total offering. The ‘newness’ of the data scientist specialty in the oil and gas industry doesn’t yet lend itself to a culture of collaboration and constant professional knowledge growth.

Machine learning technologies, another area where O&G has been behind the curve but is now exploiting, depends on the proper training of the software by qualified data scientists. These advancements, once the behavior is learned, can continually mine data and discern what is useful and what isn’t. Then, a data scientist reevaluates these ‘learned’ behaviors on a regular basis and applies newly discovered key findings into the machine learning process.

“When an industry that has always produced more data than it knew what to do with finally discovers ways to interpret and put that data to use, revolutionary change happens within that industry,” Shawell said. “This is an exciting time to be a part of O&G and help guide it through change.”

About Digital Intelligence Systems, LLC (DISYS)

As DISYS’ longest-established area of expertise, our Energy vertical has an extensive track record of partnership building solutions that address the key industry issues of today. As the world experiences large-scale diversification in the Energy sector, DISYS deploys solutions that enable management of energy in all forms. In particular, DISYS is helping the oil and gas industry traverse energy diversification by implementing solutions that preserve profitability while creating long-term, sustainable outcomes for the future. Our clients recognize that diversification is critical to business success and DISYS has diversified our solutions to keep pace with the myriad ways clients are approaching transition.

Whether expanding product offerings, consolidating networks or expanding global operations, DISYS is creating powerful application development, infrastructure, and resource management solutions that remain focused on regulatory compliance and safety – all in support of operational efficiency and business optimization efforts occurring globally.

For our Energy clients, DISYS is solving the following industry concerns:
Operational efficiency:
 Global process optimization through deployment of digital and mobile productivity tools and solutions. Centralized project management through DISYS’ proprietary CDMS tool offers improved management and support of dispersed implementation teams and ensures issue-free project delivery.

 Business transformation models that combine process integration, optimized resource management and low-risk project rollout. Diverse pricing models offer clients the ideal mix of low-risk, speedy implementation and cost containment.

Organizational Consolidation: Technology and asset relocation and support services for global and domestic relocation activities using our Datacenter Operations Framework. 100% adherence to critical safety guidelines resulting in zero productivity loss for touch-labor services.

Increased customer-engagement:
 Our Mobile Development Library enables app development that puts utility consumption and optimization efforts in consumer hands. Business Intelligence solutions that provide in-depth insight into consumer behavior – enabling the refinement of consumer marketing and acquisition efforts.

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