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November 4, 2013 Issue

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Business Analytics for the Oil Industry

About Raven Bay Services

www.ravenbay.com

To be successful, business must be able to rely on having the right information.  Because technology is constantly changing, you need an experienced partner that can provide guidance as well as understand your business.

 

By bringing the right people, Raven Bay enables our clients to navigate technology, to see the possibilities and achieve the right results. We bring our expertise at the right time, in a way that suits your business with as limited interruption as possible. Our collaborative approach enables our teams to work toward a guided path to success.

Don O'Dwyer
CEO


Don has over 20 years of consulting experience in the technology industry. Raven Bay is the third successful company that he has founded. He sits as a director on the boards of 5 privately held companies and as a volunteer director on his local Soccer Club. He uses his field experience to translate the holistic approach used in all aspects of the company. Don believes in creating a culture to inspire innovation. He believes in empowering his team and this brings the right results. Don led Raven Bay to rank #20 in the 2013 Calgary’s Profit Top 25, #212 in the 2013 Profit Top 500, and #118 in the 2012 Profit Top 200 Fastest Growing companies.

 

Born and raised in Calgary, his entrepreneurial spirit was sparked when he started a roofing company as a summer job during the crash in the mid 80's to help pay for his Economics degree from the University of Calgary.
 

Education: B.A. in Economics with a minor in Business


“By taking static spreadsheet data and making it “live” with significant intelligence behind the data, it takes the administrative side out of the equation and allows people to spend their time on decision making. In a way we are data counselors trying to help different departments understand each other.” – Don O’Dwyer


Business Services

Analytics

 

Raven Bay Services
607 10th Avenue SW

Calgary, Alberta, T2W 1M3

403.695.1317

www.ravenbay.com

 

 Raven Bay Services

Print Version


 

Interview conducted by: Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published –  November 4, 2013

CEOCFO:
Mr. O’Dwyer, the tag line on your site is, “Simplify Your Data”. Would you tell how Raven Bay Services achieves this goal?
Mr. O’Dwyer: Our business is focused on business analytics. We leverage existing data to provide one version of the truth. We work mostly in the oil and industry, so pulling data from many systems is commonplace. It is exciting for us to provide a collective view of that data. The consolidated view often reveals results that might not have been apparent before bringing it together. We enable our clients to stop administrating data sources of data rolled up into digestible reports so that the end user can make decisions.


CEOCFO
: Analytics is a buzz word these days; what do you understand at Raven Bay Services about analytics that perhaps others do not?
Mr. O’Dwyer: We look at business problems as practically as possible. We have to understand our clients’ businesses. We are skilled at bringing the right people to the table to get the answers that are required. Our advantage is looking at information from a distance because there are times when our clients are too close to the information. 

 

CEOCFO: When you are talking with a perspective customer, what is the “ah-ha” moment when they understand that your approach might be different and superior?
Mr. O’Dwyer: We use an iterative approach to analytics, so we deliver something results quickly. With any project, whether it is technology or building a house, you want to see results as quickly as possible. We see ah-ha moments all the time. It is really rewarding.

 

CEOCFO: You mentioned oil and gas in Calgary; are there particular industries of focus for Raven Bay Services?
Mr. O’Dwyer: We do work across many industries because data is data. Our people come from oil and gas, retail, agriculture, distribution, environment consulting and publishing. We have many years of consulting expertise under our belt so we are not restricted to oil and gas, but given we are headquartered in Calgary we do spend a fair bit of time in that industry. 

 

CEOCFO: What are some of the challenges involved in the analytics for oil and gas?
Mr. O’Dwyer: It is interesting because much of it is about efficiencies. Typically companies know how much oil and gas comes out of the ground, but the information gathered from obtaining the lease to putting it in the pipe involves many different departments. Many companies today live in the world of spreadsheets and those are hard to share. Our time is spent working with different departments to determine how they interpret information. By taking static spreadsheet data and making it “live” with significant intelligence behind the data, it takes the administrative side out of the equation and allows people to spend their time on decision making. In a way we are data counselors trying to help different departments understand each other.

 

CEOCFO: Do most companies today understand the need for the kind of analytics that you provide or is it still not 100% mainstream?
Mr. O’Dwyer: Definitely! I do not think that there is a business out there today that does not want better information. Isn’t the first step admitting there is a problem. Now that the problem has been identified – “we need better information” – we can find ways to solve the problem. Sometimes it’s consolidation, sometimes we have to get better collection mechanisms in place. It is a journey, but rarely are we restricted in producing results. Five years ago this may have been more difficult, but data exposure is becoming easier and easier. It is a very exciting time to be in this industry. 

 

CEOCFO: Raven Bay provides a range of services; would you tell us about the main services that you offer and some of the services that people should be taking advantage of but are not?
Mr. O’Dwyer: Two areas that we see emerging are Predictive and Social Media analytics area. Perhaps that has to do with the fact that industry feels overburdened with data collection and consolidation. Significant gains can be achieved once companies start to answer the “what ifs” in a predictive fashion. Social media is another area that industry seems to be ignoring. So to answer your question, I think predictive and social media analytics for industry are going to be important topics to focus on in the near future.   

 

CEOCFO: How do you reach potential customers?
Mr. O’Dwyer: We have key partners that help us reach potential customers like SAP and IBM. IBM has been a partner of ours since day 1 and they have an extensive sales force who are always there to help us. We also have a number of key partners that focus on data collection systems like OnTracks.  OnTracks is another IBM partner that specializes in Asset Management. Asset management in oil and gas is significant because they have to track what asset is where and what it is doing, whether that be a pump, pipeline or truck. They gather the data and we report on it. 

 

While we also have a social media practice, we use social media to reach a broader audience.  We have great stories to tell and our team is very passionate about what they do, so social media gives us an opportunity to brag about those successes. I must admit that the bragging part is hard, because by nature our people are very humble. It is fascinating and exciting.

 

CEOCFO: What is the key to keeping up with new technologies and knowing what might stick that you would want to incorporate and what may go by the wayside?
Mr. O’Dwyer: Our training budget is significant. Retention is a significant part of our business as we work really hard at keeping our business. People are interested in a number of things when they work in a company. They are interested in the culture, their salaries, doing cool projects and learning new stuff. That is the people that work for us. We have an acronym for the kind of people that we look for. The acronym is SELF, which is people have the ability to “share”, people that do not have an “ego” that would inhibit them from working with other people, people that have the capacity to “learn” and people that are “flexible”. When people have those four qualities, the technology does not matter so much. They are capable of learning something new. We are all pretty aware that it is going to change, so if you have this thirst for knowledge, being able to learn one, two or three new things becomes easier as you become more mature in the workforce. Technologies come and go; we try not to talk about the technology too much. We talk about what the actual answer is and the underlying should not matter if you are producing real results.

 

CEOCFO: How is business these days?
Mr. O’Dwyer: Business is good. We are really excited about our markets. We focus on Western Canada, and both Calgary and Saskatchewan have been very active for us. We are very positive about the things that are happening as we head toward closing out 2013.  The future is even brighter when we add in our predictive and social media initiatives. 

 

CEOCFO: Why should investors and people in the business community pay attention to Raven Bay Services? What sets the company apart?
Mr. O’Dwyer: We are a mature analytics organization with years of experience that we bring to every one of our engagements. You do not hire a person when you hire Raven Bay, you hire a team. We care about what we do and we care about our client’s business.

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