Industry Research

Data Management - Choosing the Right Program for Your Company

Jun 30 2020 | by Dustin Weaver - President, Refined Land Services

What are the tenets of a great project? Organization, teamwork, budget consistency and timeliness. All are great buzz words and very noble attempts to define the success of a project. But what about once the project is complete? What are the key successes for the operational teams who commission the project and then manage the many promises, requirements and amounts of data that have been put into the project?

Most companies today store previous project data in data warehouses or the vast world of Share-point. This is a great tool, but not very accessible as a reporting or learning function. For instance, finding information on challenges in operations (dig test, cathodics, etc.) are incredibly difficult. Is there a better way? Perhaps one that releases operational personnel and in-house land professionals from the anxiety of not knowing?

The answer is yes, and it is in the sophisticated digital management of your data. This is an ownership task, meaning that a company, department and team must be all in on appropriately managing data digitally.

A Successful Program

Here are the four categories of a successful data management program: accessibility, adaptability, reliability and affordability.

  • Accessibility describes the ability to have real-time data inputted and extracted easily, as well as the system’s communication ability to link to other systems (GIS, PODS, SAP) and the ease of access to third parties.
  • Adaptability describes the system’s capacity to customize reports/data and to vary requirements during volatile business environments.
  • Reliability needs to inspire the confidence of the clients that the program, software, hardware and tech support will be there to fix things when they go array (because they almost always do).
  • Affordability is the most undeniable business tenet, because we all have a cost-benefit analysis to contend with concerning every business decision made on a product.

The next phase of a successful database begins with being able to ensure accuracy in your data for the long run. Here are three very appropriate steps in your strategy to ensure that what goes into the database is accurately depicted in order to leave a legacy impression.

  • Understand the importance of hiring or training professionals in the field. Folks with a title, due diligence and project knowledge are a must. Remember your database is only as good as what data is put into it.
  • Create a strategy and timeline for the actual process of reviewing the easement/property rights agreements, landowner data and project metrics (compensation, timelines, etc.).
  • Pick the right database technology that captures the essence of your needs as a company. This can be tremendously difficult, especially with the barrage of options in the technology space around organizing data. Look back 10 years and you rarely see an Energy, Pipeline or Electric company using a sophisticated software (database) to review, report and support their projects and operations. Choosing the right database provides a leaner workforce and improved stakeholder support.

In Summary

Historical land rights were previously outlined and stored in Excel spreadsheets, Share-point, SAP (payments) and Box/Google drive. However, there are several software and industry companies today that have created various versions of land management software. Just look at Landworks/Pandell, Flairsoft, Quorom and WORKS by TMI. I have had the personal opportunity to work with some of the aforementioned platforms and I think that our technology experts will rise to the call. It will fall on the land professionals to influence their managers into understanding that interweaving the right technology into the assets tool kit is the best path forward.

It is said that an energy company’s largest stakeholder group is their landowner base. This is especially the case for companies like Williams Companies and Energy Transfer, where they have access to hundreds of thousands of stakeholders across the entire United States. This data tool could be used as a messaging CRM (Customer Record Management) and would allow for a company to check in on their progress as they serve in many communities across the states.

As technology evolves with the business and organizations, start to adopt a better way to manage the support of capital and operational projects. Only time, efficiency and adoptability will be the true indicators of their success. Today, I already see more and more companies adopting this new strategy of working efficiently, progressing the world of infrastructure for years to come.

Article Citation
Article reposted from Data Management - Choosing the Right Program for Your Company by Dustin Weaver, Right of Way Magazine, Vol. 67 - No. 3, May/June 2020, pages 31-33.

About the Author

Dustin Weaver is President of Refined Land Services in San Antonio, TX. He holds an MBA from Baylor University and is licensed as a Texas real estate broker.

About Pandell

Pandell is an industry leader in delivering Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions to 500+ energy companies in Canada, the USA, and abroad. Our customers range from startups to major enterprises across energy sectors including oil & gas, pipelines, utilities, mining, and renewable energy. Our cloud-hosted product suite helps finance, land, and field operations run their business more effectively; while our enterprise division builds and manages large-scale web portal applications that facilitate work across organizations. Combining the strength of our industry experience, Lithium™ technology, and practical software subscription model, we are Crafting the Future of Energy Software.