And Why Not “Scenarize”, Simulate, and Virtualize
(Part Two of Data Deluge, Insights Drought)
“Over the next 24 months, executives say they will focus on supplementing standard
historical reporting of data with emerging approaches that convert information into
scenarios and simulations that make insights easier to understand and to act
on”.- MIT Sloan Management Review: Analytics the New Path to Value (2010)
The New Intelligent Enterprise Report Cover (Source: MIT-SMR)
How 3,000 Executives, Managers and Analysts from Around the Globe Propose to Deal with Data Deluge
In my previous blog on the subject, I sought to establish, using quoted materials, that an intelligent enterprise is “… one that uses analytics in a sophisticated manner to produce actionable insights from the flood of data available to it, which insights lead to wise decisions”.
Note that the initial quote for this blog reintroduces a basic finding of the study which forms the foundation for coping with data deluge: executives are actively seeking new tools that will a) facilitate development of insights from data and b) enable them to promptly act on such insights.
The special report New Intelligent Enterprise from MIT Sloan Management Review (henceforth, MIT-SMR in this blog) is based on responses from a global sample of
3,000 executives, managers and analysts. One very significant finding is that over the two-year period following the time of the study (2010) executives expect to access improved ways by which “complex insights” are communicated “…so they can quickly absorb the meaning of the data and take action on it.”
The expected new tools and approaches that they hope to use for this purpose include the following [listing format supplied]:
- “data visualization and process simulation,
- “… text and voice analytics,
- “social media analysis, and
- “other predictive and prescriptive techniques”.
A Quick Note on Visualization
A good and modern definition of visualization is given in this Wikipedia article: “ … a tool or a method for interpreting image data fed into a computer and for generating images from complex multi-dimensional data sets…”.
Moreover, a cursory review of a number of Wikipedia articles on the subject has yielded various types of visualization tools and methods . Of direct interest to consumers/users of oil and gas data are the following:
- Flow visualization
- Information visualization
- Information graphics
- Data visualization
- Scientific visualization
A brief on each one is in order –
Geovisualization or Geographic Visualization, “….refers to a set of tools and techniques
supporting geospatial data analysis through the use of interactive visualization.” Its focus is constructing knowledge rather than “knowledge storage or information
Screenshot of exploratory spatio-temporal analysis tool. (Source: Wikipedia)
This type of visualization tool is mainly employed in fluid dynamics which renders “flow patterns visible’. The visible (or visualized) flow patterns yield directly usable “qualitative and quantitative information”.
A model Cessna with helium-filled bubbles showing pathlines of the wingtip vortices. (Source: Wikipedia)
This is an interdisciplinary approach to creating visual representations
“… of large-scale collections of non-numerical information..”. Examples of such information include “… files and lines of code in software systems, library and bibliographic databases, networks of relations on the internet, ….” and others of similar typology.
Partial map of the Internet early 2005. (Source: Wikipedia)
Information graphics (or infographics for short) is the tool to use to make quick and clear graphic visual “representations of information, data or knowledge”. As produced the graphics are able to quickly and clearly depict “complex information …. such as in signs, maps, journalism, technical writing, and education”.
The Washington Metro subway map. (Source: Wikipedia)
The same source declares “Data visualization is the study of the visual representation of data, meaning ‘information which has been abstracted in some schematic form, including attributes or variables for the units of information’”.
A data visualization of Wikipedia as part of the World Wide Web, demonstrating hyperlinks. (Source: Wikipedia)
Our source says, quoting York University Psychology Professor Michael L. Friendly, “Scientific visualization is an interdisciplinary branch of science ‘primarily concerned with the visualization of three dimensional phenomena (architectural, meteorological, medical,, biological, etc.), where the emphasis is on realistic renderings of volumes, surfaces, illumination sources, and so forth, perhaps with a dynamic (time) component’”.
A scientific visualization of a large simulation of a Rayleigh–Taylor instability caused by two mixing fluids. (Source: Wikipedia)
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At next and final install I will touch on “Scenarizing” (scenario building/scenario thinking) plus Simulation and Virtualization as the other tools executives would want to use to quickly gain and act on insights from masses of data that come their way.
I will also cite some examples and illustrations of how E & P software packages being used in the Oil and Gas industry are enabling users to effectively deal with data deluge challenges and opportunities. Particular mention will be made of geoSCOUT and Visage.