min read

Spotfire and Power BI: Simultaneously the best and worst thing for O&G Operations

Have you ever questioned WHY your Operations is fumbling around with hundreds of custom BI reports? You should...

The advancement of reporting and analytics through Power BI and Spotfire in O&G Operations has led to massive value, including:

  • Cost savings: Analysis of historical well work jobs, cost, and production leads to better candidates for interventions & higher ROI.
  • Time savings: Combining multiple data sources into a single customized view for analysis to compensate for poor interfaces in OVS, Cygnet, & Prodview leads to time saved by Operations.
  • Modernization: Lowering the perceived hurdle for "data analytics."
  • Last but not least... removing the 1,048,576 row limit of Excel!

Let's give credit where credit is due: these reporting tools have been a positive change for Operations.

However, if we do not recognize the limitations of these tools, E&Ps will be banging their head against a wall wondering why "Technology" doesn't work.

The Problem: E&Ps are confusing reporting and analysis tools as using "Technology" to run an "efficient business". This misapplication negates the tool's positive impact & stagnates efficiency gains. 

The consequences of this are:

Operations is using "dumb" data to try and make "intelligent" decisions, creating inefficiency on all levels of the business.

  • Downtime codes overlaid on production plots create more questions than answers leading to unnecessary communication churn in Operations.
  • The trickle-down question/answer game from management is a growing % of front-line work. However, the outcome is no different with the occasional question shotgun spray. Management just "feels" more in control & comfortable. 
  • Solution: Start asking why the shitty data capture isn't answering the question for you instead of having to ask the engineering manager, who asks the engineer, who calls the foreman, who texts the operator, and the telephone game continues. Start asking what data you would need to continuously improve the Operations, don't sit on what you have and expect it to give you magic. 

The growing perception is E&Ps can build "in-house" technology like AI, ML, data capture, and internal workflow tools. The reality is they create a cost code to dump money in with no return. 

  • It is a massive leap from making a report with +-/x= calculations to making enterprise, scalable technology. The gap is like trying to jump the Grand Canyon. E&Ps are better fit to leverage existing technology than expend resources developing it. 
  • Solution: "Learn from the mistakes of others; you don't have enough time or money to make them all yourself!" Please don't build an internal tool to run your business... seriously. 

When you have Power BI or Spotfire (hammer), everything looks like it needs a report or analysis (nail).

  • Reports, dashboards, custom calculations/queries are used to try and solve ANY question. This causes degrading quality and increasing quantity of outdated, inaccurate, unstandardized reports/queries. 
  • Reporting with Power BI & Spotfire is a step in advancing technology use in O&G, not the destination, so don't be afraid to expand your toolkit.
  • Solution: Standardize the core daily reports and identify the problems trying to be solved in non-core reports. Ask: is there external technology to address this problem or process?

At Tasq, our reporting is thoughtfully founded on quality inputs, models, and workflow with decision intelligence to create an efficient & effective operations. Reporting is not "What we do" at Tasq, it is a byproduct of the outputs from identification, prioritization, assignment, and execution of work in Tasq.  Until Tasq is in your business, you will keep hammering nails with Spotfire/Power BI AND reporting will continue to be a telephone game founded on poor quality inputs.

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