Letters to the editor

Feedback on the ‘Data Management 101’ editorial in the April 2008 issue of Oil IT Journal.

The discussion was very interesting. I agree with the fundamental terminologies used (master data and metadata). I have learnt this already and propagate these ideas to my clients. Recently, as you rightly said, some vendors are come into the E&P domain and are confusing this with terminology such as ‘data mining,’ ‘data warehouse’ and ‘business intelligence.’

Olabode Ojoade, Schlumberger.


I thought this was an interesting piece. What a shame we are here in 2008 and it is still required, but I see why, it is those horizontal vendors messing up our already complicated vertical. Here are a few comments. I find the term Master Data very misleading and I’m not sure you have clarified here. You say ‘master data is what ties different data stores together’ and is confused by ‘the fact that the concept came, not from E&P but from the data warehouse community.’ I think we have an opportunity to clarify and differentiate. We talk about ‘master tapes’ and remastering. Surely this term means the accepted best copy. Therefore I suggest that raw data is the data as the acquisition company captured it. Master data is the accepted best version i.e. what the expert produced from the raw version once it was corrected and quality controlled. Reference data is the data that ties different stores together. Wells, licenses, seismic surveys etc. should all have a standard accepted set of reference data values. We can have strings of reference values, a well log referenced to the ‘well name’—the well to the field, field to license, license to country, country to division of company. Meta Data—is data about data (ouch I got punched!) and should contain the reference value if there is one. Master data management as a discipline has to include the maintenance of both reference and master data. I’d suggest it should also ensure each data type has a ‘Data Definition’ which would define the quality, naming, meta data, storage standards and security classification. On a lighter note, I’m currently consulting in Copenhagen—my Danish colleagues here have asked me to point out that words such as obfuscation only adds to the obfuscation, but you have no need to worry as they have not got pugilistic tendencies!
David Lecore, Schlumberger.

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