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E&P Data Management: Data versus Information

The past few weeks, we’ve been blogging about some interesting topics related to data management from PNEC’s annual conference. This week, I’d like to share what we learned from a Petroleum Engineer at Saudi Aramco, Omar Akbar. His presentation was called, “Before We Begin to Discuss E&P Data Management: Do We Speak the Same Language?” It was of interest because here at Entrance we talk about data and information a lot, but there is always some confusion about what the difference is. Akbar did a great job laying out the differences, in addition to giving some great pointers on how to make data management work in the E&P space.

Data management and businessIn his presentation, Akbar stated that the upstream business has been driven by technology, but a shift is called for so that business drives the technology instead. As we think about what that means, taking control of data management must be a priority.  Akbar definied data management for E&P as, “a process that exists to bridge the gap between the IT arena and Upstream business.”

And as we look for ways to do this, it is important to translate IT terms into language that makes sense to those who work in E&P, like geologists. This is where defining the difference between data and information comes in. From Akbar’s point of view:

Data is a fact, for example, a group of seismic figures
Information is data + context, for example, interpretation of those seismic figures
Knowledge is information + analysis, for example, a geological model

In order to make data management work for E&P, the team should create definitions of what things mean that everyone can agree on, and that do not overlap in scope.

For more on this topic, read our post on how presentation is just important to data management as the actual amount of it…



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