Essential Pre-Requisites for Maximizing Success from Big Data


The Science and Technology for Exploration and Production Solutions (STEPS) outreach program is now in its second year. This year, the associated STEPS Distinguished Lecture series has followed the theme of Big Data in Exploration and Production (E&P).

Big data is an important component of the E&P industry’s digital transformation, which many oil and gas companies are about to embark upon. It is, therefore, essential that E&P professionals understand what big data is, how to approach it and how it can be leveraged to maximize success.


The third lecture in the “Big Data in E&P” Distinguished Lecture Series will be delivered by Muhammad S. Khakwani of Saudi Aramco on April 4, 2018. His talk is titled “Essential Pre-requisites for Maximizing Success from Big Data.”


Abstract: Big data is an emerging technology in information management (IT) that holds promising returns on investment, as it can provide advanced analytics capabilities. It is well suited for large enterprises, and when used properly, it can lead to breakthroughs in analytics, deriving value from data that was previously not possible. However, a big data project cannot be approached using traditional IT system design and methods. Its success relies on teamwork and collaboration among petroleum engineering subject matter experts, senior IT professionals and data scientists. To ensure that big data initiatives do not deliver poor results or disappoint, big data projects require significant preparation, which dramatically increases the chances of success.

This presentation provides practical information about how to get started and what to consider in your big data strategy, and it gives useful tips and examples for planning and executing your big data project. At the end of the presentation, attendees will know what big data is, what it offers, how to design such projects, business areas of interest to petroleum engineering that can benefit from it, what the roles and responsibilities are for the project’s key members and how it should be implemented to benefit their organization. Big data analytics offers enterprises a chance to move beyond simply gathering and storing data to analyzing, mining and correlating results for insights that translate into powerful business solutions.

Biography: Muhammad S. Khakwani is a Senior Information Systems Consultant at Saudi Aramco, working for the Upstream Database Services Division. He has more than 25 years of experience in the IT industry working for large enterprises in Canada and the United States, and for the last 17 years focusing on the oil and gas industry in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. He has in-depth expertise in database design and has worked on large-scale projects in both the public and private sectors globally. His current responsibilities include designing and managing Saudi Aramco’s upstream enterprise data model, as well as strategizing and managing policies related to the corporate upstream database necessary to meet changing business needs. He has a B.S. degree from the University of Western Ontario and an MIS from Webster University.



This Distinguished Lecture will be hosted at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on April 4, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. local time. To attend the lecture in person, or to view the live stream email Alternatively, visit the University Hub on iEnergy® for news on tuning into the live broadcast or how to access the on-demand recording of this and previous lectures.


If you are interested in the STEPS initiative, please register your interest at and join our growing iEnergy Community.