ZE has been in the commodity space for quite some time now, what are the major trends you’ve seen emerging over the years in that industry ?
We continue to see substantive consolidation of data processes within companies of all sizes. Those companies that have so far relied on in-house systems are finding that they can no longer support the volume of data or complexity of required analysis, reporting and integration. Moreover, as governance needs become more prevalent, companies need suppliers that can demonstrate adherence to relevant standards and regulation. Especially within energy and commodities, scalability is key as data solutions evolve to meet front, middle and back office needs along with integrating machine enhancement of data through various enrichment. Data, and more critically enhanced data access, is increasingly a competitive differentiator for companies with market exposure.
In your opinion, what does it mean to be ‘going digital’ (Automation? Big data? Data lake? All of it?)? What is your advice (top 3) to companies embarking on the digitalisation journey ?
The digital sphere is full of a lexicon that is often confusing, overlapping and subject to interpretation. Going digital is the process of converging data around collection, validation, analysis, transformation, enhancement and integration. Every step is multifaceted and is highly automated. Corporations typically deal with large amounts of data, while Big Data used to mean many files of large size, today this can also mean time series data that comes in high volume. Timeliness is critical in capturing and validating data as data is collected in Real Time as available and stored in a centralized data repository (or several repositories). These repositories are sometimes called the Data Lake. Data within the Data Lake is attributed and becomes available for analysis, transformation, reporting and integration with downstream systems. The analysis and transformation can be simple mathematical and statistical manipulations delve into the realms of advanced analytics, predictive analytics, deep learning, machine learning and artificial intelligence. This enhanced data is used to drive many important trading, risk management, investment and operational decisions in energy and commodity companies. These days almost all companies are committing their data architecture to the Cloud as they invest in what can be called Data as a Service (DaaS) on the lighter side or Platform as a Service (PasS) for more comprehensive offerings. Companies embarking on the digitalization journey should consider 1) what is really possible 2) what can they support independently from a technical perspective and 3) the scalability of the solution.
When it comes to risk management solution integration, what do you think is mostly overlooked by risk managers and IT teams ?
Unfortunately, risk management solutions are often implemented with data as an afterthought when in fact risk management is intimately data reliant. Risk managers should take the effort to automate and clean their data and curves processes prior to investing in a new risk management system. This early investment will allow upfront savings an efficiency in data management as well as codifying and improving data processes prior to defining the workflow in the risk management system. Doing so will reduce rework and save significant implementation and other costs associated energy risk management. Too often companies embed poor practices and run into cost overruns because they left data to the end.
ZE will be taking part to ComRisk this year again. What are you most looking forward to at the event ?
ComRisk is an opportunity to interact with our peers in the ever growing energy and commodities space. We look forward to sharing our new innovations in data management with the many attendees and having important discussions with how market participants perceive the future in their industries.
Aiman El-Ramly – Chief Operations Officer – ZE
About ZE PowerGroup Inc. (ZE)
Established in 1995, ZE’s sole purpose is to help clients to be more efficient through information automation and superior services. ZE is the developer of the award winning ZEMA™, a comprehensive data integration and analytics platform for resolving data management and business process automation challenges. By providing unrivaled data collection, analytics, curve management, and integration capabilities, ZEMA offers end-to-end automated business process solutions for clients in all markets and industries.