It’s not easy being innovative in traditional business sectors such as the oil industry. That's why we're super excited to have been invited to participate in Aker BP's innovation initiative Eureka – a portfolio of projects that aims to identify ways of liberating and utilizing Aker BP’s vast amounts of data. The goal is to discover how the company can create digital innovation without compromising on safe, efficient operations.
Making valuable data accessible
Aker BP, a Norwegian based upstream oil and gas company, is looking to the future and to ways of innovating and becoming more agile in a traditional, strictly controlled industry. So they initiated Eureka, a portfolio of large-scale projects that involves Aker BP collaborating with Cognite and several other companies to liberate all of Aker BP’s valuable operations data. This data includes process diagrams, work orders, seismic information, sensor data, and other data related to the company’s production processes. The data often gets stored in duplicity, in different formats and places with difficult access. Via agile coaching, then, as well as applying UX (user experience) and UI (user interface) design, EGGS is acting as a facilitator to improve both the usability and accessibility of the data by structuring it into several prototypes while gathering insight through user testing.
Why use design in such a tech-based assignment? Innovation always demands change in some shape or form, which can be notoriously difficult for many people – especially when involving cross-functional teams. Visualizing is an efficient way for people to understand complexity and different paths better. Visuals are a universal language that professionals from different areas understand. Also, when working agile, it’s essential that solutions are quickly visualized and tested in the form of prototypes. Designers can swiftly create user interfaces that people can interact with straight away. As a result, geologists, economists, engineers, etc., can immediately test stuff out and give valuable feedback, like how the software and access to data will help improve their workflow.
Being innovative while staying safe
Being innovative, along with maintaining high levels of control in an industry very much concerned with safe, efficient operations, is challenging. The Eureka portfolio of projects, which run parallel with Aker BP’s regular operations, ensure the company take full advantage of the digitalization process by developing their own way of being strategically innovative – finding new ways of liberating and utilizing the data – while at the same time continuing to operate safely. EGGS service designers, therefore, also played a role in preparing Aker BP’s management when it comes to change and implementing new digital systems on assets throughout the operational arm of Aker BP.
Preparing for the future
Becoming agile and developing ways to adapt to change is vital for any company. Eureka will, consequently, equip Aker BP with tools and culture to confidently acclimatize to a rapidly changing future. Data liberation will become a future enabler in facilitating safer, more efficient production, which, in turn, helps reduce pollution and energy consumption during production processes. Ultimately, it’s about enabling people to make more informed decisions faster, and being able to simulate, test and predict smoother workflows that are fit for future purposes.