How many times have you wanted to click on that reserves chart, only to realize that it is just an exported picture?
Nearly 20 years ago, the petroleum industry was one of the earliest adopters of interactive data visualization tools such as Spotfire, Tableau, and PowerBI. Today, interactive visualization remains a mainstay of many engineering workflows, yet nearly all reserves reporting systems still rely on static reports. They might support interactive visualization by exporting data to a third party visualization application, but this approach creates completely new workflows, and without secure database views it creates serious issues for corporate data security.
Imagine a reserves ranking report where you can drill into low performing assets, or a waterfall graph where you can extend the time frame and expand the level of detail.
For the purposes of this discussion, let’s define an interactive reserves report as something that allows the recipient the ability to drill down, filter and alter the perspectives for the results being presented. The user is able to view relative contributions of different business areas, timeframes or activities and generate their own insights. Imagine a reserves ranking report where you can drill into low performing assets, or a waterfall graph where you can extend the time frame and expand the level of detail.
Analytic tools allow varying degrees of interactive capability to be built into dashboard style reports. It is this interactive capability which makes them analytic tools in the first place. This can be compared with static reports, which serve only to share a single perspective and the insights available from that perspective.
Sharing a single perspective is useful when the goal is to gain approval for a chosen course of action.
Sharing a single perspective is useful when the goal is to gain approval for a chosen course of action. The ultimate example of the use of static reports for persuasion are the internet graphs based on cherry picked results where even the underlying data is hidden.
...sharing interactive reports allows each recipient the opportunity to apply their own expertise, and to find new insights.
On the other hand, sharing interactive reports allows each recipient the opportunity to apply their own expertise, and to find new insights. Greater insights will result in better decisions. Not very often does a team look back at a decision and say “It’s a good thing we didn’t think of that at the time!”
For research on how data presentation impacts team IQ, consider Roger Swartz’s From Smart Leaders, Smarter Teams: How You and Your Team Get Unstuck to Get Results.
"Having a common pool of information enables informed choices. The formal leader still has the right and the obligation to make decisions, but people will be more supportive of a decision they have helped shape."
Or, for a deeper dive into the behavioral psychology of group decision making, consider this excellent article from the Harvard Business Review:
"...groups are even more likely than individuals to escalate their commitment to a course of action that is failing."
Yet at the same time:
"...deliberating groups can correct or reduce certain biases."
The overarching message is that an abundance of perspectives creates holistic solutions and helps to build smarter teams. Interactive reserve reports draw people into the problem solving exercise, rather than trying to convince them of a specific solution. Though it’s rarely as intentional as internet propaganda, the difference between interactive and static charts and reports is the difference between leveraging team IQ and flattening it.
PDQdecide offers three delivery mechanisms for interactive reserves reporting:
All three approaches have their own place in team communication, and all three can be used independently to distribute interactive reports and maximize team contribution. It’s not just about having smart people, you need smart teams.