Jim Soos, IBM, on master data management in E&P

SPE Digital Energy group hears how MDM ‘hub’ assures consistent data use, retaining app flexibility.

Speaking at an SPE Digital Energy Study Group meet in Houston this month, Jim Soos, of IBM’s global business services unit spoke on master data management (MDM) in the E&P industry. Integrating information across the different E&P domains, subsurface, production, operations and finances, requires a trusted source of shared data. But ‘trusted’ data will likely be scattered around the enterprise in local data sources and will likely be co-mingled with data of varied provenance and scope. Soos defined MDM as ‘a set of disciplines, technologies, and solutions to create and maintain consistent, complete, contextual, and accurate business data for all stakeholders.

A master data repository holds master, meta and reference data along with historical data. This feeds into a services bus, supplying data quality, authoring, event management and relationship management. The forgoing comprises an MDM framework which itself is topped-off with a data governance layer.

The MDM system becomes a hub for existing applications, assuring consistent data us and providing a flexible mechanism for the addition of new applications and services.

Challenges for MDM deployment include functional silos, many industry standards of varied quality and take-up and inherently complex industry data types. Moreover, E&P data governance and ownership is ‘immature.’

Soos believes MDM can help improve the business, offers efficiencies and cost savings and can reduce risk. While a business can expect a significant initial cost for implementing MDM, once the capability is there, when folks are trained and the data is cleaned up, the cash flow curve, plotted as a function of line of business adoption and the number of objects mastered, crosses over to show a sustained ROI.

Soos stepped through the process of building and MDM capability, covering information architecture, governance and deployment. There is some interesting granularity here as MDM can be tuned to operations, collaboration and/or analytics. But the reality is that all of the above will be used in a successful MDM roll-out.

Soos noted that in a typical project, MDM software only accounts for around 10% of overall project cost. 40% goes on establishing data governance and architectural planning while the lion’s share (50%) is devoted to data remediation and clean-up.

MDM is a component of IBM’s information reference architecture—an impressive piece of slideware covering the whole enterprise IT enchilada! More from www.ibm.com.

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