Data Scientist Spotlight

Drilling rates, seismic data, shipping and transportation rates and occupational safety statistics are just a small sample of the large amounts of data that oil and gas companies generate every day. But, what can they do with all that data? That’s where Data Scientists come in. They have a knack for connecting the dots to find useful insights and realize the data’s full potential.

What a typical day looks like:

Data Scientists combine tools and methods from statistics, artificial intelligence (AI) and database research to extract meaning from data. First, they collect large, complex, multi-dimensional datasets from a wide variety of sources ranging from explorations, well drilling and production sensors. Once they have the data, they will clean it, which means that they will get rid of any information that isn’t relevant, accurate or has been corrupted.

Once the data is ready, the Data Scientist will use complex computer systems to convert the data into visual insights or dashboards. Here they can analyze it to identify patterns and anomalies. They will then build algorithms, models and predictive analytics to show how the company could improve and optimize operations.

Data Scientists are a critical part of data-driven decision making, so their findings and recommendations need to be clearly presented. They develop clear presentations and reports that are shared with team members, engineers and management in order to tell a broad story and answer pressing problems business is facing. Broader business decisions within a company can be made based on their data analysis and recommendations.

Data scientists are normally found working in an office environment in the exploration and production, oil sands, oil and gas services and pipeline sectors of the oil and gas industry. In large companies, Data Scientists typically lead analytic practices in cross-functional teams to identify and prioritize actionable and impactful insights across core business areas.

The kinds of problems Data Scientists solve at work:

Data Scientists are consistently working to make things run better or more efficiently. They can transform a sea of data into actionable insights—from finding better ways to schedule deliveries to discovering ways to optimize a reservoir. Combining their knowledge of computer science, statistics and analytics, data scientists can find answers that will help organizations make objective decisions.

Skills used most on the job:

Data scientists are naturally curious. They also have a strong knowledge of statistics, mathematics and various computer analytics scripting languages such as Python, R, SQL. They also have strong computer skills and are comfortable working with statistical analysis environments such as MATLAB, SPSS or SAS.

Data Scientists work hard to solve a data puzzle. After collecting, cleaning and analyzing the complex data, they are the people who can draw out conclusions that will help the business make decisions.

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