It’s not the size of your DATA that matters; it’s how you use it


When you hear the term “BIG DATA” what do you think of? Many people in the oil and gas industry think of seismic data. Some people think of this…

BIG DATA is not just seismic data to aid the educated guesses of energy exploration nor is it just a fictional AI android sentient being that could deliver hilarious lines with stone cold accuracy. BIG DATA is everywhere. It is your mobile phone, your bluetooth devices, social media, public transportation, traffic lights, and baby monitors just to name a few. It is literally everywhere. Data is the binary code of ones and zeros that make up all the information streaming, tracking, sharing, uploading, messaging, imaging, and transacting between all the people logged-on in the entire world. The matrix is real y’all and it’s so much more than what Keanu led us to believe when we were all partying like it’s 1999.

The statistics representing the boom in data across the world is staggering. 90% of the world’s digital data has been created in the last two years. Let’s take a moment and stare at our phones together and look at the numbers.

Every minute worldwide:

Social Media Stats


Think it might be time to take a “Facebook vacation”? Maybe later, it’s wedding season after all.

What does this mean for the energy industry other than a real peek into how much employee time is spent on social media during “bathroom breaks”? It means that as an industry we need to take a closer look at not only WHAT data we use to do business but HOW we use it. Just as AOL Instant Messenger came and went in a blink of an eye and Facebook has become the new door to door sales model, many of the business intelligence and structured databases that are go-to solutions for business are not evolving fast enough to keep up with the changing landscape.

Bill Gates

Sorry Bill. Excel is no longer, well, excelling.

Recently a client requested one year of oil and gas related public records for one county in North Dakota. This data set consisted of 65,000 lines of data exported to a massive excel file – thanks to magical algorithms – in a matter of a few hours. However, that amount of information was un-sortable by the client’s desktop computer. Technology fail? Not quite. The industry is facing more of a software and intuitive analytics fail. Just like operators had to bite the bullet and start increasing their investments in horizontal drilling, the time has come to start investing in innovative technology to manage and analyze the immense amount of oil and gas industry data.

The current systems now in use inhibit our ability to digest the mountain of data available and thus created inefficiency more than anything else.  The natural tendency is to revert back to what we know has worked in the past. Let’s make an excel spreadsheet! With so much existing data and new data being generated every second of everyday operators, service companies, brokers, and investors that are not using software with the capabilities to store and analyze the most relevant data are falling way behind. The opportunity to manipulate and analyze all the relevant data to a project across all disciplines in one big picture view is extremely valuable. It can mean the difference between proactive versus reactive business decisions.

The oil and gas industry in the U.S. will celebrate its 157th birthday on August 27, 2016.  We have this historic industry to thank for being a major driver in the economic success of our country but also for the red solo cup full of PBR you’ll raise in a few weeks at the July 4th picnic you drove to in your gasoline powered vehicle.  Can I get a ‘Merica!?

How do we love thee, American business? We count the ways via competition, making more money while spending less money, investing in new opportunities before your competitors, and doing better than the previous generation with less effort. ALL of these are drivers in the oil and gas industry. In the face of current industry difficulties, innovators and creative thinkers have a ‘UUUGE opportunity to get ahead of the curve by investing in technology that will keep the oil and gas industry relevant and competitive for the next 157 years.

Want to see how Basin Intel is making waves in spreading the good word of data management and innovation in the oil and gas industry? Here is Basin Intel Co-Founder Lexy Mastroianni presenting Data Science and IT Solutions: Uncovering Hidden Assets at the recent COPAS Education Day.

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