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Data Management: It’s a Benefit, Not a Burden

“Information is a source of learning, but unless it is organized, processed, and available to the right people in a format for decision making, it is a burden, not a benefit.”

– William G Pollard, The Manhattan Project

We recently attended a presentation on data management by Stefan Auerbach from ExxonMobil and Cindy Cummings from IHS titled, “Leveraging Legacy Data: Treasure Trove or Data Graveyard,” and the above is a great quote that they shared with the audience. Their presentation covered a subject that many E&P companies are struggling with today, which is, “What is our data management strategy for legacy records?”

The reason this question is so important today is that, as we discussed last week in another blog about data management, no matter the volume of data you have, people need to be able to make sense of that data for it to be worthwhile.

As Auerbach and Cummings stated, the average E&P employee does not “have all the information they need to make knowledgeable decisions.” Instead…

– It’s difficult to get access to information when needed.
– People waste valuable time looking for this information, many times never to finding  what they need.
– Critical decisions often have to be made without good information.
– Nobody ever realizes the business value they could have received.

As the speakers related, one of the biggest contributing factors to these issues are paper files, which can accidentally be destroyed or lost, in addition to being difficult to track down due to a lack of meta-data.

Fixing this issue, while initially time consuming, will save time in the long run. Gathering, scanning, cataloging, and performing quality control on these files based on rigorous business rules and a well defined scope is a great way to tackle this problem.

While data management of this nature is time consuming and painful at the beginning, this process will save time in the long run and go a long way towards generating value from your legacy files.

For more on this topic, read our blog post discussing how data management can help translate data into decision enabling information…

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