Belltree are an Oil and Gas consultancy based in Edinburgh. They are the creators of bMark, an oil and gas recovery factor benchmarking software that allows clients access to a rich, deep data-set of industry reservoir statistics (which Belltree collate from numerous sources).
Validated and enriched by their team of expert Geology trained Data Analysts, the information is displayed within an easy-to-learn interface. The tool boasts in-built analysis, mapping, and plotting features, to enable individual report customisation.
The Belltree Challenge
In late 2021, bMark saw the departure of the team member who had historically led on the data ingestion process. This enabled Peter Clark (Technical Director) and Andrew Berrow (bMark Product Owner) to take a step back from current processes, which had evolved over 7 years, and consider whether improvements could be made.
Belltree had utilised time across the COVID pandemic to migrate much of their operations to cloud services and, therefore, had gained access to the many new options available in that space. As such, Peter and Andrew had a number of options to weigh up: replace like-for-like in terms of job roles, tweak the technology/processes, or a combination of both.
Approaching TORCH, their assumption was that there were efficiency gains to be had through upgrading their technical approach. It was noted that existing processes and data volumes were beginning to stretch their original Excel 365 based tool-set.
Peter and Andrew approached The Data Lab with their bMark challenge and commissioned a short project to help scope and evaluate the range of solution opportunities available to them.
Working closely with the Belltree team, Senior TORCH Architect Iain provided a spectrum of solution options. These ranged from ‘significant technology changes’ through to ‘specific improvements around data management and related processes’. It also considered a ‘leave as is/recruit accordingly’ approach.
It was quickly agreed that, whilst feasible, a major technology change would be too disruptive and the payback would take too long. The team felt that the ‘leave as is’ approach was (in some ways) least disruptive, but left significant potential gains unrealised.
With these thoughts in mind, Iain began drilling down to the finer details of solution options to help determine which was the most promising.
He told us,
“We verified that using SharePoint as a staging data management solution could enable increased automation, data validation, and the necessary audit log of data changes. In doing so, we spoke to two members of the TORCH Supplier Network; both Microsoft specialists. They confirmed the SharePoint approach, subject to each having slightly different recommendations.”
TORCH also noted that, once upgraded solutions and processes were in place, there would be additional bonus improvement opportunities. These would revolve around making the current machine learning (used to drive formulae and calculations within bMark) easier and faster to manage. In practical terms, this means Peter will be able to spend more time adding value to the data-set than at present.
What’s next for the project?
Following introductions to potential service providers from the TORCH Supplier Network, Belltree have chosen to move forward with Cloud Cover IT, who (amongst other services) specialise in Cloud Data Management.
“Holistically reviewing our historical use of people, processes and technology, TORCH combined third-party perspective and an in-depth knowledge of the technologies available to provide three future solution options.
Rather than being sold on one solution from a specific vendor, Iain’s impartial view allowed the pros and cons of different options to be discussed openly. This, combined with the contacts within the TORCH supplier network, allowed us to approach targeted providers with a clear direction and priority list.”
Iain Henderson said,
“The team at Belltree came to us with a very specific, well worked out brief and a working assumption that some efficiency gains were possible. We worked well together and it became apparent that the time was right for the business to tweak some ways of working, invest in some technical change, and that the returns should be significant”
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