One of the biggest challenges faced by oil and gas companies today is how to manage the data provided by their data vendors. Part of that challenge is being stuck with out-dated and incomplete data that has, over the years, become an integral part of their corporate mapping system.
It seems that the real challenge is getting off of the bad data and migrating to newer, more complete datasets.
In many cases, the hardest part of the change is getting out of the looping contracts (aggressive rental/lease contracts) while also having to remove all that old data when unsubscribing. To many companies, this can make it prohibitive with the perception that it creates a great deal of work.
When evaluating your data, ask yourself these questions: Is it going to cost me every year? How accurate is the data? Does it include all the necessary datasets? Am I allowed to modify or keep the dataset if I choose to unsubscribe?
Luckily, the spatial data industry has changed and companies and contractors have made it easier for folks to migrate to a newer, more complete mapping system.
Our advice is that if a company asks you to subscribe, be very careful. Ask if there is an auto-renewal within the contract. Ask if you have to remove the data if you decide to unsubscribe.
In a perfect world, don’t subscribe to datasets. Pay for valuable updates, but don’t pay for the same data year after year. The good vendors will enable to you buy and own the data at a given point in time. The good vendors will offer updates, but will only make you pay for the updates. A trusted vendor will not make you remove the data down the road, and a trusted vendor will never charge you for the same data twice.
If you are moving to a new dataset, ask your new data vendor if they provide migration services, what’s entailed and the associated costs for the migration. You might find that they will do most of the work for you with limited risk and cost.