Market intelligence plays an integral part in shaping the strategic direction of Proserv’s various business units.
As a Market Analyst, it is part of my job to understand the macroeconomy, political changes and the overall direction of the energy industry.
I know the sector is now cautiously looking to become more expansive in its ambitions as it continues to move forward from the pain of the last four years. I am equally aware that when the current buzzwords include the likes of ‘efficiency’, ‘reliability’ and ‘optimisation’ and capital expenditure remains moderate, market intelligence really needs to be as accurate as possible.
The role of a Market Analyst undoubtedly conjures up an image of endless data and spreadsheet interpretation, complex modelling and number crunching. There is certainly a lot of that involved but arguably the most important part of what I do revolves around communication. The channel between external data providers, data interpretation, field intelligence and the needs of the business is critical to its success.
In order to maximise their ability to harness market intelligence, business development teams maintain a healthy and constructive dialogue with their analytics functions. Field intelligence still has an important role but in today’s fast-moving world, swamped with often conflicting messages, ensuring a balanced point of view considering all the facts, helps teams make better choices.
For their current opportunities, the ability to access critical project data, perhaps impacting the owner of the asset or a main contractor, can give teams valuable fresh insight into their target and steer their next move.
For future opportunities and for predicting potential trends, a firm’s attitude to market analysis will become increasingly important. At Proserv, our capabilities cut across different sectors and phases of the energy supply chain. As a case in point, if our Production Controls Business Unit was studying prospects in a specific onshore market, I can work together with them to focus on the relevant metrics within a full data set to create the intelligence required to influence their future strategy.
By looking at the specific stage of a well (is it being used for exploration or development), its depth, whether it is an injection well, its suitability to our capabilities, its proximity to our regional support hubs and other useful metrics, we establish an informed view as to whether it constitutes a target, either now or in the future.
The challenge for an Analyst is to find the right cocktail of data sources, depending on the various specialisms and activities of the business. For Proserv, there are several data providers who can potentially offer information relating to a range of metrics including subsea equipment, platforms, rigs or wind turbines, but, as in everything, not all the data points agree with one another, and multiple sources need to be used to achieve the best informed outlook.
The variation in data requires close communication with the provider so that at any time I can say, “this is what I really need and this is what will help my business.”
The best data houses take the time to listen to their prospective clients. They don’t regard the dynamic as a commercial exchange of data or a licence but rather the formation of a partnership so that their services, and the client’s needs, are both maximised.
They will seek to learn what your main operating activities are, what services you provide and whether their data sets will, in fact, prove useful to you. Their Analysts will continue to advise and support you throughout.
The business world is a competitive space, whether that is in the oil and gas service sector or in third party data provision. The data providers who will succeed in the long run are the ones that reach out effectively to the operators and the supply chain. To generate data that can theoretically comprise an assortment of metrics satisfying the needs of a diverse range of clients, from majors to small service companies, needs genuine collaboration.
Many data houses are clearly showing a trend of engaging more with operators, and also with original equipment manufacturers, to offer additional metrics around upcoming contracts or makes of equipment supplied, as they have listened to their clients and know this type of information could be key.
Greater interaction between third party providers, operators, the supply chain and also trade bodies will inevitably lead to more sophisticated, nuanced data that, in itself, will have a certain degree of intelligence built into it.
More accurate data sets will certainly lead to greater competition in the industry and if additional metrics are added to supplement what the third parties provide, and further statistics are placed freely in the public domain, then everybody benefits – including Market Analysts.
But ultimately, data is only as good as the interpretation placed upon it. Applying the relevant metrics, in any given situation, and appropriate to the specific requirements of a diverse business, is the differentiator and enables the generation of informed market intelligence.