PNEC Data Management Conference Recap: The Role of IT in Data Management

The Role of IT in Data Management

At the 2015 PNEC data management conference for the oil and gas industry, one of the themes addressed by multiple presenters was the relationship between IT and the business. In particular, Chris Josefy and Omar Khan from EP Energy hit on three key areas that resonated with me in their presentation entitled “The Case for Transforming the Role of IT to support Upstream E&P Operations”:

  1. Being guided by the business objective, not the technical objective
  2. Driving more value from how the digital oilfield is managed
  3. Focusing on people, process, and data

Business value and strategic objectives are always in focus at Entrance when we engage on a new project so we strongly agree with the approach that EP Energy IT has taken. The technology is merely an enabling tool that allows the business objectives to be reached! It is often easy for the IT staff to focus on the technology (as they should know this the best) and lose sight of why the initiative is being undertaken at all.

In order to fully leverage the digital oilfield investment, you have to talk to the boots on the ground in the field. So often, decisions are made in the corporate office without assessing or understanding how they will impact day-to-day operations in the field. EP Energy made a specific initiative to send IT out into the field to understand where the real value is so that they implemented the most valuable tools in the shortest time. Entrance also believes in this. The photos on are web site are of our own consultants wearing the hardhats!

Ultimately what all of this type of approach means to the technical staff is the focus on people, process and data. People are key to the success of any technology project and Entrance has written and presented on this topic in the past because it has definitely been our experience as well. The process is about how the work gets done, which you will discover by working side-by-side with people in the field. The technology needs to streamline the process, not burden it with cumbersome extra steps, if the technology will be considered successful in the end. Lastly, we can’t ignore the data. Understanding the data as it’s understood and used by the field staff is crucial, otherwise you will build data models and process that are not sustainable.

Keep these points in mind on your next IT project journey!