Why Spreadsheets Don’t Work

March 25, 2024 • by Laura Holt, VP Products & Services, ESG Global

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Limitations of Spreadsheets in Land Acquisition

Land acquisition is a fundamental step in developing and operating energy projects, necessitating meticulous tracking of property details, legal agreements, and compliance requirements. Spreadsheets lack the necessary functionalities to handle the complexity and scale of land acquisition processes effectively. Key limitations include:


Data Integrity

Spreadsheets are prone to errors, data duplication, and version control issues, leading to inaccuracies in land ownership records and legal documents.


Collaboration Challenges

Managing land acquisition involves multiple stakeholders, including project partners, service providers, legal advisers, landowners, and regulatory authorities. Spreadsheets lack real-time collaboration features, hindering efficient communication and decision-making.


Scalability Issues

As energy projects expand, managing land acquisition data in spreadsheets becomes increasingly cumbersome and inefficient, impeding project timelines and resource allocation.

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Inadequacies of Spreadsheets in Royalty Payments

Royalty payments are critical for maintaining positive relationships with landowners and ensuring compliance with contractual obligations. However, relying on spreadsheets for royalty management poses significant challenges:


Calculation Errors

Manual data entry and formula-based calculations in spreadsheets increase the risk of errors in royalty calculations, leading to disputes and legal ramifications.


Audit Trail Deficiency

Spreadsheets lack comprehensive audit trail capabilities, making it difficult to track changes, verify payment accuracy, and ensure transparency in royalty transactions.


Compliance Risks

Inadequate data security measures in spreadsheets expose companies to compliance risks related to data privacy regulations and confidentiality agreements governing royalty payments.

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Challenges in Obligation Maintenance with Spreadsheets

Every energy project, whether in exploration, production, storage, transportation, or distribution, entails various obligations to acquire or maintain land rights, including regulatory compliance, environmental assessments, and community engagement initiatives. Spreadsheets fall short of effectively managing these obligations due to:


Compliance Complexity

Spreadsheets lack specialized features for tracking diverse regulatory requirements and ensuring timely compliance, increasing the risk of penalties and project delays.


Reporting Inefficiencies

Generating comprehensive reports on obligation status, performance metrics, and regulatory submissions is challenging with spreadsheets, inhibiting effective decision-making and stakeholder communication.


Risk of Data Loss

Spreadsheets stored on local devices are vulnerable to data loss due to hardware failures, human errors, or cybersecurity threats, jeopardizing critical obligation-related information.

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The Case for Specialized Land Software

To address the inherent limitations of spreadsheets in managing land acquisitions, royalty payments, and obligation maintenance, energy companies can transition to specialized software solutions such as Pandell Land, tailored to their unique requirements. The cloud-based, SaaS solution suite offers:


Centralized Data Management

Pandell land software provides a centralized platform for storing, organizing, and accessing land acquisition records, royalty agreements, and obligation documentation, ensuring data integrity and accessibility.


Automation and Integration

Pandell advanced land software solutions automate repetitive tasks, such as data entry and calculation, minimizing errors and enhancing operational efficiency. Integration with existing systems streamlines workflows and facilitates seamless data exchange.


Enhanced Security and Compliance

Pandell specialized land software offers robust security features, including role-based access controls, encryption, and audit trails, ensuring compliance with data privacy regulations and safeguarding sensitive information.

In conclusion, spreadsheets are inadequate for managing the complexities of land acquisition, royalty payments, and obligation maintenance in energy companies. To mitigate risks, improve efficiency, and drive sustainable growth, companies must invest in specialized software solutions designed to address their unique operational challenges. By embracing technology-driven solutions such as Pandell Land, energy companies can navigate the intricacies of their business landscape with confidence, paving the way for a greener and more sustainable future.

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Today 500+ energy companies, including 300 petroleum producers and a quarter of the world's biggest clean energy producers rely on our Pandell Land Suite to manage land acquisitions, map energy assets, calculate payments, and stay on top of obligations.

About Pandell, a Division of ESG Global

ESG puts the power of data in your hands™. Whether you operate in project development and energy production, storage and transportation, or metering and billing, you can rely on ESG’s end-to-end, cloud-hosted platform to help grow revenue, increase efficiency, and facilitate business innovation. More than 800 companies use our data management solutions to automate complex, time-consuming processes, and gain critical business insights that reduce costs and drive better results.

Our Pandell Division provides a suite of land, financial, and field solutions that enable oil and gas producers, pipelines, renewables, and utilities to efficiently track and manage business operations with less staff. Our Retail Division provides the broadest energy sector market and meter data management tools to optimize the customer-to-cash process for utilities, pipelines, storage, and retail energy providers. We deliver peace of mind across our customer ecosystem by complying with SOC 2 certification in North America and ISO9001/27001 in the United Kingdom. Further, we are backed by Accel-KKR, a global software-focused private equity firm with US$19 billion in cumulative capital commitments, ensuring we’re equipped for ongoing R&D well into the future. Visit www.esgglobal.com to learn more.