Land Management Systems: Efficiency06/28/2019
In order to increase their overall efficiency, many upstream oil and gas organizations are turning to land management software.
Land management systems might seem like an obvious solution to help a company become more organized, but they also have a positive impact on efficiency and productivity. All companies want to increase their efficiency, but how do you know if land management software is the solution? Take a look at your data. How do you keep it, track it, and report on it? If you want to know if land management systems can increase your efficiency, then you need to ask yourself: Are you in complete control of your data? Or is your data controlling you?
With land management software, all your data is kept in one place, meaning it's easier to store and access and is always accurate. Time saved on data entry and troubleshooting can be spent on actual data analysis – making your data work for you – resulting in informed decisions that are made quickly.
How Data Is Kept & Tracked
Using a manual system, data is typically stored on disparate spreadsheets throughout departments or even as hard copies in one central location. In order to access or update this information, individuals need to enter the data and then distribute it to the relevant parties, so they can update their own spreadsheets. This might also mean having to track down hard copies in filing cabinets, wait for requests to be filled, or wait for coworkers to return the information you need. These processes are time consuming and highly prone to errors.
Any time data is handled or altered is an opportunity for error. This could be a typo, a missed digit, or even a failure to update all existing copies of a certain file. It can be difficult to keep track of the most relevant information, and an outdated version can accidentally be used in place of a more accurate, updated document. By storing data in one place, it only needs to be input once for all relevant parties to gain access. There’s no need to distribute the data throughout departments or reenter the information into different spreadsheets. Land management software isn’t just a digital storage unit for your data; it also simplifies the process of data collection and conversion.
Land management software greatly speeds up data collection. On a manual system, if you’re entering more than one lease agreement – no matter how similar they are – you need to enter them all individually, sometimes multiple times. Land management systems allow you to copy an agreement and simply alter the relevant fields. Instead of inputting the same information over and over again, you’re able to focus on the differences that matter and minimize the risk of mistakes.
Conversion Through Artificial Intelligence
Worried that your land management system might not be compatible with other organizations’ data systems? Don’t worry! Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) technology have made it easy to leverage AI in tandem with a services consultant. With this service, if you receive documents from another company, you won’t have to manually enter them. It’s as simple as scanning the documents or notes and uploading the data into the land management system. Let’s say your company has recently made a large purchase of 1,000 new leases to organize and track. In the past, this would certainly have been an overwhelming amount of information to input manually and distribute throughout the organization. However, now it’s easy to scan the hard copies, digitize them, and let AI handle the rest.
Provisions, names, and dates can all be extracted from documents, hard files, and images. AI can even learn to recognize special provisions and save you from losing a lease. Lease agreements can be complicated and difficult to read. Numerous pages scattered with very important details can be difficult to catch, especially after looking over so many. Unlike humans, AI technology never gets tired of reading leases and never misses small details.
How Data Is Reported
Sure, you can create reports without a land system, but is it really worth the effort? Digging through a seemingly endless number of spreadsheets to compile data that keeps changing? Hunting down the most recent documents and then having to reformat everything? With a land management system, you have immediate access to the most up-to-date data. You don’t have to worry about organizing or making sense of the data yourself, and you definitely don’t need to worry about formatting.
Let’s say there’s a meeting on Friday. Two different employees decide to make reports for the meeting, and one pulls data on Monday, the other on Wednesday. A major deal went through on Tuesday, completely altering the data. No one realizes they’ve been working with completely different data sets until the meeting. By working with static reports, it’s not immediately clear who used the most up-to-date numbers or what caused the data to change. Now one person has spent time making an outdated report and additional time needs to be spent troubleshooting and clarifying the error. With no way to track why the data changed, even if they find a record of the deal, they might not know exactly what leases or agreements were affected.
Land management software offers the ability to view any data changes in the form of a journal when linked to compatible reporting software. This allows you to view your data changes over time. Curious how your acreage or agreements have been adjusted over the past few months? It can be easily visualized to pinpoint the exact day of any change. There’s never a need to wonder why certain changes were made when you can view them on a day-to-day basis and see what other relevant fields were adjusted.
Sometimes data needs to be more grounded. If you’re curious about which data applies to specific acreage, you don’t need to manipulate graphs and charts. Land management software offers fully-integrated maps so you can quickly find the information you need. Mapping is a fully-automated process – when data is put into the system, the map is updated so you can search for information through a lease or directly on the map.
Strategic Decision Making: Control Your Data
Don’t let your data hold you back. The real-time dashboard associated with land management software can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection and delivers live, key business indicators. The status of projects, upcoming payments, expiration dates, and the general status of prospects can all be viewed from the dashboard. Instead of digging through data or waiting on calls or emails to answer questions, quickly access key metrics through the dashboard. When questions are answered quickly, decisions are made quickly.
Oil and gas organizations know how important it is to make informed decisions. However, no one wants to spend their time waiting on information instead of taking action. If you need to know which leases expire first so you can prioritize your drilling, you can quickly run a report and identify critical data. You can also create a map based on urgency. The map color codes areas based on their expiration date so you can easily plot out a drilling schedule.
When less time is spent on data entry and searching, a lease analyst can actually use their time to analyze leases. This helps improve data quality and leads to more informed decision making. A workplace atmosphere improves when teams are fully utilized, and an organization transcends from being reactive to proactive.
For upstream oil and gas organizations, being efficient and optimizing performance is always a priority. Successful companies are constantly looking for new ways to fully utilize their existing teams and make their data work for them. By using land management software, upstream oil and gas organizations can house their data in one central location – increasing access, accuracy, and efficiency, and resulting in faster and more informed decisions.
About The Author
A graduate of the University of Louisiana Lafayette with a Petroleum Land Management degree, Richard has over 35 years of experience as a practicing Landman. As co-founder and vice president of iLandMan, he oversees all company operations for its Land and Lease Acquisition and Management software application. Some areas under his management include business continuity, implementation, marketing, database, staff and record management. Richard is the recipient of the 2008 AAPL Best Director’s Communication Award and currently serves on the AAPL Board of Directors as the Director from the AAPL Local - Lafayette LA Association.