The 4 ‘Must-Haves’ for Successful Data Management for Energy and Commodity Markets

Source: ZE

Data is one of the most valuable intellectual properties a company can have. However ensuring they have the right system in place to collect and host their data is not enough on its own. Companies also need the assurance of knowing their data is being validated and being kept safely under lock and key.

With this in mind, I will briefly outline below what I think are the four ‘must-have’ features that every company data management system should have:

1.            Intellectual Property, Security and Ownership

One of the most adopted solutions for data management for energy and commodity markets data is software that has been developed in-house. However not a lot of these in-house developed systems are really up to scratch. Yes it makes companies feel in control, but it is more difficult to maintain, heavy on time and money, highly dependent on technical experts, untraceable, and mostly in-efficient. The data stays in the company and is treated the way everyone knows.

A good data management solution should give absolute control and ownership of data to its owner. Companies should also have the ability to store their intellectual property within a system they feel most secure with. They need to have full ownership of their data, so they can apply their policies, monitor it, and control who can access it.

2.            Quality Data

Better quality data is what businesses working in energy and commodity markets seek to help them make better decisions, find more and better opportunities, and improve performance. This is only achievable using the right type data; the type that has three major properties:

  1. Highly authentic and significantly accurate,
  2. The right fit for the business by industry (specially energy and commodities), volume, sensitivity, and location, and
  3. Complete in history for analysis and understanding.

Having the right system in place is important to ensure the data is gathered.  However having the right knowhow on how to collect and validate this data should be an important additional part of the system provider’s value.

3.            Intelligent Integration

When it comes to integration of market data for energy and commodity markets, data management systems are normally faced with nested formats of data, different sources (like spreadsheets, email, PDF, web, ftp, sensors, API, etc), and different granularity where the timing and frequency of new data differs among sources. The easier solution, followed by ordinary system providers, is to ask sources to change their outputs. In truth, this is an illogical change needed to satisfy just one system. Eventually, humans will interfere through manual data entry or in a best case scenario, through manual exports and imports. As we all know, manual updates are prone to errors.

Needless to say, using a data management system that can integrate in the manner of read from all and write to all “as is” makes your life a lot easier. It’s the data management solution’s role to intelligently address formats, types, and granularity … not the other way around.

4.            Proactive and Alert

On the topic of errors, the more data you generate, the more likely you are prone to errors. Data error in critical operations may lead to a significant drop in business performance. Especially in a time-sensitive environment like energy and commodities markets, if the error is not detected on time, it might lead to a chain of incorrect analysis leading to more and more mistakes.

Validating data is a very crucial. Starting from reading data to conducting analysis, data must be validated against being complete, correct, and on time. Multiple sets of measures should be applied leading to higher accuracy levels, less errors, better outputs, and better decision-making.

A ‘Must-Have’ Data Management Solution

Overcoming these elements has been the task of the data management system the company I work with – ZE PowerGroup Inc – has developed. The ZEMA Suite has been awarded the “Energy Risk Award” five years in a row for being the best risk-related data management solution in the world. Organizations in the energy and commodity industries recognize the risk value associated with data management, which is why many of them choose ZEMA. To learn more about ZEMA, Book a demo now.