Microsoft’s big data offering for oil and gas

Big takeaways from big data or how HDInsight, Microsoft’s Hadoop might impact oil data analytics.

A position paper* authored by Microsoft’s Egbert Schröer looks at the potential for big data in the digital oilfield. Of all the technologies used in oil and gas, big data represents ‘one of the most disruptive and elusive competitive advantages.’

There are many definitions of big data, a term which now encompasses ‘all advanced data analytics.’ For Microsoft, big data encompasses ‘strategic planning, advanced mathematical analysis and collaboration and reporting.’ The aim is to produce ‘tangible takeaways’ (like a Big Mac?) from massive amounts of data.

For oil and gas this means deploying both high-tech and mathematically cutting-edge tools on the server along with an easy-to-learn and human interface ‘that allows decision-makers to view, assess and take action anytime from anywhere.’

On the server or rather, in the cloud, Azure HDInsight provides a Hadoop-based big data solution that scales ‘from terabytes to petabytes,’ processing clickstream, log and sensor data. For clients wary of the cloud, HDInsight can also be delivered through the analytics platform system (APS), an appliance for on-site deployment. APS also includes a SQL-server parallel-data warehouse and PolyBase for blending structured and semi-structured data.

At the client end, Microsoft’s ‘self-service’ business intelligence solution Power Pivot along with the ubiquitous Excel ‘allow users to develop data models and calculations’ without the need for IT specialists and developers.

Use cases include reducing non-productive time in drilling and production through machine learning-based predictive maintenance of critical components such as electric submersible pumps and to help reduce HSE incidents.

* Big Takeaways from Big Data.

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