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Meeting the Records Management Challenge Resulting From Company Acquisition and Expansion


Following a series of major UK asset acquisition and expansion programmes, our client’s records management team faced the challenge of ensuring that all geotechnical data was visible, trusted and accessible to the business. Legacy issues arising from the acquisition programmes had resulted in a lack of data visibility for the business, inconsistent index metadata quality and data field standardisation. In addition, increased field operatorship intensified requirements for improved governance and identified data provenance.

Although the physical records indices acquired were complete, they comprised several disconnected data tables, each only accessible through a standalone interface available solely to the records management team, plus a separate excel spreadsheet. Within the data tables and the spreadsheet, standards and index quality were inconsistent, with field values not always following either internal or external industry standards.

As a result of these legacy issues, there was an inability for business users to directly undertake comprehensive searches for themselves, leaving them unaware of (and therefore disconnected from) the physical data items available to them – the usual catalysts for the proliferation of individual silos of documents and data.

The only complete method of locating all captured information was to place requests with the records management team – and with no one-stop view of available data, even simple requests required separate and complex searches of each data table. At the same time, the lack of formalised standards within and between each disparate data table made all-inclusive searching a complicated and extremely time-consuming process.



The challenge was straight-forward – to provide the business with a clearly visible and unified access to clean indices of physical items of corporate geotechnical data, while at the same time streamlining internal operational processes (across the business as well as within records management) and enhancing geotechnical data compliance and provenance.

As our client’s major offsite storage provider is Iron Mountain, the decision was taken to implement their web-hosted instance of eSearch – their own application which enables compatibility with Iron Mountain, as well as the direct searching, export and ordering of physical geotechnical data items that are maintained and stored offsite with them.

This enables our client to control the descriptive metadata and ensure alignment with corporate and industry standards and Iron Mountain to control the physical data attribute elements pertinent to their warehouse management procedures and workflows.

To implement this solution, Venture consulted with key business subject matter experts prior to managing the merging of the several disconnected geoscience physical data catalogues into distinct tables based on data type.

This was followed by extensive clean-up work with each data table being ‘cleaned’, with values populated where empty, and/or normalised to conform with corporate and industry standards, e.g. well names and seismic survey names standardised, unique well identifiers (UWIs) inserted, CDA CS9 seismic survey codes added.



Geotechnical data users now have on-demand access to their physical data items stored both offsite with Iron Mountain as well as onsite at our client’s premises. One system now facilitates real-time searching, ordering and retrieval of physical data items, avoiding any requirement for separate index listings or the creation of individual data silos. Compatibility with their key storage contractor also provides the records management team with the ability to directly index to the catalogue, plus amend and edit existing descriptive metadata.

With more accurate and complete indexes of information held both on- and offsite, and with data users now able to search and place data requests/orders online, request copies, check order status, this has simplified work processes and data flows as well as vastly enhancing general user confidence in data and records management.

By improving the classification of certain data types, the clean-up has enabled the implementation of not only better data governance processes, but also better data security, through identifying and distinguishing (for example) proprietary data, non-proprietary data and spec data, each of which has its own distinct regulatory and contractual requirements.


Client Spotlight


Venture has an extensive history of successful delivery of information management solutions to Nexen.