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Sunday, 31 May 2015

Who am I?

The name is Bond, James Bond.  All one need is hear is the name.  Everything about this person (entity) is evident.  What he does, how he dresses, what he drinks, how he reacts and what he likes the most (i don't have to explain this).  Such is the power of the right identifier.

This is every Data Manager's dream.  Ability to drive the history of the entity by its identifier.  In reality, this is a huge challenge.  For the sake of this discussion, let us assume there is a fair and consistent understanding of "What is a Well".  For decades, the industry has not been successful to create a true identifier for the Well and associate data to the identifier.  The challenge is that over the course of the life of the well, it gets identified differently.  In my humble opinion there is no better person to explain this than me for having lived with a similar challenge throughout my life.

My full name is Meenakshisundaram Thandavarayan.  My dad did not trust me to learn english so made sure my name had most of the alphabets.  He did not want to trouble the rest of the family so shortened it to Sundar just for them. Then came my school and college friends, they address me as Meenakshi.  If you have slightest knowledge about Indian names, Meenakshi is actually a name of a goddess.  Every year this confused the heck out of new students and teachers who came across this name.  Then came my office friends, who found Meenakshi difficult and shortened it further to Meena, another famous woman name in India.  I am not sure how many countless times i have disappointed fellow employees on the phone, when they expect to hear a female voice. :)  


My name went further modifications.  Meena Sunderam (see the spelling change from Sundaram to Sunderam), Meenakshi S,  Thandavarayan (see the picture for more variations).  Few of the occasions due to system limitations - name too long to handle, unable to fit it in a card....  This is the MDM, Meena's Data Management problem that i am dealing with.  Imagine if one of my office colleague meets my school friend, they both might be talking about me but probably could not connect the dots due to the man made identity crisis.  So how do I fix this.  Is it logical for me to go back to everyone i know and reset expectations.  Not practical isn't it.  


This is very similar to the scenario within the Upstream industry where the Well identifier goes through multiple transformations and lose its meaning and history.  As with the above scenario, it is not practical to identify and change every reference of the identifier.  As we go through attempting to fix this identity crisis within the industry, there needs to be well thought through and calculated approach.  Follow these 3 principles
Do not lose the Big Picture - what is the end goal 
Follow an Opportunity based approach - Address the high business value ones

Make it Agile - be methodical but be agile to deliver value quickly

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