The Real Deal: Data Migrations vs. Data Conversions in Land04/29/2020
In land management, data is crucial in understanding and maintaining your lease position, but fundamentally, all data has issues. Data integrity is critical, especially when you need to move, convert, or otherwise manipulate data within a land system. So how do you maintain your data and ensure its accuracy? A data conversion, i.e. data consultancy, is a surefire way. First, let’s discover the true nature of a data migration and a data conversion, two techniques people believe to be the same but are starkly different.
A data migration is moving data from point A to point B, from one system to the next, mapping fields with ease. Many companies claim to convert data when really, they’re just migrating it over. A data migration is important, but it is an easy 1:1 move that does not involve true data manipulation.
Most land software providers can perform data migrations easily. Few provide data conversions as part of their data extraction process because they’re time-consuming exercises and cost more for a vendor to complete. Because data conversion work is 90% human and 10% programmatic, vendors try and steer clear of delivering data conversion as part of their packages.
A data conversion is an extraction of data that involves manipulation and can be a burdensome activity. It’s an update to a dataset that involves investigating gaps in data. During a conversion, one must be truly invested in the quality of the data and must consider specific questions that impact the data before, during, and after extraction:
- How was the data generated?
- What are the missing fields, e.g. dates or royalty names and addresses or owner codes?
- What's the naming convention for using the various data points?
- Is this a conventional conversion or an unconventional conversion?
- Is the land data for operational purposes or non-operational purposes? Are the units and wells producing or non-producing?
- Do you have to generate a division of interest or not? Is it going to be used on a tract basis or on a lease basis?
- Do you have maps or GIS files?
- What are the obligations that are due in the short-term and long-term interval?
- Are payments to be generated by the land data, or are they coming from accounting?
- What accounting system is going to be used? Is there any integration between systems?
- When was the land data updated last? Is the data stale, or is it valid?
The Nuts and Bolts of Extraction in a Data Conversion
The use of tech tools like APIs and conversion scripts help identify gaps. Discussing extraction techniques (from leases, joint operating agreements, ownership reports, Excel files and Word documents, PDFs, and shapefiles) provide for a solid data conversion effort, which is no small feat. A data conversion is an undertaking unbeknownst to many in the industry who think it’s a simple copy and paste. In reality, a data conversion is amalgamating large quantities of data, relating it all together, and putting it into a template that tells a complete story.
Are You Telling Your Best Story?
It’s time to ask yourself: Am I moving to a new system to get detailed ownership reports related to my leases? Do I want or need to see ownership by tract and depth?
If you are moving to a new system to be able to get this information, chances are you don’t have all the required supporting data to generate said reports. In other words, you have gaps in your data. And while gaps in data certainly don’t equate to bad data, it's likely your legacy system doesn’t have the ability to capture this specific information. This is where data conversion work comes into play. To leverage the functionality of a new system, you will have to fill in gaps in your data. You can elect to do this all up front, or in phases with higher priority areas going first. In either scenario, you need a data conversion to help you present your most compelling story.
Make the Distinction in Due Diligence
Many upstream oil and gas companies fail to talk about the data they're going to receive in an acquisition – whether a 1:1 data migration or a true data conversion – until after the deal closes, and that's a huge mistake. As an expert in the business, you should be talking about it during the due diligence phase, so you understand exactly what you’re going to receive. If you wait until closing, three disastrous things can happen:
- You can't get the seller's attention
- You end up with missing files
- You have no way to retrieve data on important leases unless you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars running title, and in some cases, even buying new leases
When you go through a data conversion, you arm your land department with a better perspective on its land position including net acres not only from a surface view, but from a three-dimensional formation view as well.
Our Data Conversion Expertise Runs Deep
P2 has been doing data conversions for over 30 years. We do a majority – if not all – of our implementation services work, and we provide dedicated quality control resources that help you rid of erroneous, error-laden data.
- Are your dates formatted incorrectly?
- Are your royalties not coming through the system correctly?
- Did you miss adding overrides?
All these things and more are taken care of through a data conversion, which P2 helps land customers complete as part of their contracts. In other words, we act as data consultants for our customers, providing them with the utmost confidence that their data remains accurate, true to form, and useable from one system to the next.
P2 customers maintain over 150 million acres of leases. Last year, P2 converted over 1.15 million tracts and 850,000 contracts, over one million title instruments and 750,000 owners.
Partnering with a software provider that not only has the ability to convert your data, but cares as much about your data integrity as you do is a smart, cost-forward way to run your business. No more third-party contracts, no more juggling of multiple vendors, no more confusion around P2 possessing software that’s difficult to get data into – we’re officially dispelling that myth. Our data engineering and land expertise runs deep, is battle-tested, and has been proven in upholding the highest data quality standard in the industry.