Master data management (MDM) for most companies in the E&P sector are dreaded words. Mainly because not only do they have to deal with developing a framework for data yet to be created but also because there is a lot of historical data to be cleaned up. Yet the lure of having a functional MDM is so great that many E&P companies undertake this perilous journey. Some companies make it, unfortunately others do not. What is it that sets apart those who succeed? I believe, that it is the iterative & focused implementation of the simple Tripod framework to this complex problem.

Tripod Framework

Data Quality Management – This is the starting point, where the E&P Company has to assess current systems and the data in each system. The key here is to understand – what are the important attributes for each system and the process that affect them. It is critical to understand the attributes in context of the processes – how is the data created, transmitted & communicated inter-departmentally & intra-departmentally.

Data Integrity – The next step is to understand how data relates across departments and systems. This is where the company needs to determine the key IDs and from each system and how to cross-reference across systems. Most companies find this portion the hardest to accomplish due to the large amount of non-cross-referenced historical data. In the long run a company with tightly integrated data is essential to an E&P company’s success because cross system reporting is critical for a holistic understanding of the business.

Workflow – Once the company has dealt with historical data, it is time to ensure that the data stays clean moving forward and that’s where putting a process in place with a technology component can really help. Streamlining master data flow across systems & departments allows the organization become more efficient.

The application of this framework is simple and extremely valuable, but there are some pre-requisites as with any framework to be successfully applied. The key among them being the complete buy in from stakeholders. It is only with the support of the business functions and IT that such a result can be achieved. So start that conversation with your stakeholders ASAP, because by far the hardest thing about this entire process is to get that buy-in.