Do you enjoy analyzing situations or you believe in arriving at an immediate conclusion? If solving riddles and identifying the challenges interests you, analyzing a business might as well be a great career option for you. Generally, we tend to go for career paths that align with our personal interests. For the younger generation, finding a job is not enough. It is about building a career, a professional foundation that is fulfilling in a lot of ways. Undoubtedly, the oil and gas industry offers a diverse range of career opportunities – not just in technical roles but also in the non-technical ones. People who are running the show off the field. One of such roles is that of Business Analysis and here’s an overview of the business analyst role in oil and gas.
What is Business Analysis?
The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) defines Business Analysis as “the practice of enabling change in an organizational context, by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders.”
What is the Business Analyst role all about?
To put it simply, the Business Analyst role involves introducing constructive changes in a business, to help it grow. A Business Analyst is rightly considered as an agent of change while he/she, with a well-designed approach, introduces and manages changes in an organization.
From comprehending how organizations work, identifying the problems, articulating the need to introduce a particular change and to facilitate that change, business analysis covers it all.
Typical Responsibilities of a Business Analyst
- Presenting a detailed business analysis
- Outlining problems, opportunities, and solutions for a business
- Planning and monitoring
- Budgeting and forecasting
- Financial modelling
- Variance Analysis
- Defining business requirements
- Reporting the requirements back to stakeholders
As business analysts, you will be working on maximizing the value delivered by an organization to its stakeholders. Business analysts work across all levels of an organization and are mostly involved in everything from defining strategy, goals, and improving business processes, technologies, and systems.
Where does the real value of business analysis lie? It is in the realization of benefits, the cost-effectiveness of projects, identification of new opportunities, understanding of required capabilities and modeling the organization accordingly.
Hear it from a Business Analyst – Oil and Gas
We got a chance to speak to Sujit Surendran, a Senior Business Analyst at Accenture. From what motivated him to join the oil and gas industry to his current job role, we got some interesting insights. Here’s an excerpt from the conversation.
What motivated you to join the oil and gas industry?
I won’t make justice to this question with a short answer. I had taken up Mining Engineering on my whim considering it as an off -the-trodden path; unique. At college, we had scarce resources to read and no professors to be the guiding light. There was an urgency to self-learn, compete and be the best among the lot so we could get good jobs at the end of the fourth year. Those students who could gather study-material were considered to be a different league. The Internet had yet not touched colleges and mobile phones to an extent that it can be used for sourcing e-books and online materials. But I had managed to unearth websites from where I can order books to read. ‘Coal Mining’ from Geoffrey Hayes was the first-ever book I ordered from the newly born startup Flipkart. It gave me a perspective of the Energy Industry. How ‘Dynamite’ invented by Alfred Noble, which was used to crack coal from the rocks underground, gave a thrust to the Industrial Revolution.
I went on to work with a quarrying firm in Bhutan after my graduation where I got an opportunity to talk to the country’s Director General of Mines who mentioned: “ The country could have its own oil reserves but it’s deep beneath the mountains and not viable to extract”. I was always a quick student to earth sciences and the study of geology. The new landscape of oil and gas had left me intrigued. I could relate Alfred Noble with Edwin Drake who punctured the earth with a pipe to let the oil keep flowing out without the earth caving in; their monomania that changed the world. On a friend’s suggestion, I took admission in the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun for my postgraduation in MBA Oil and Gas. Before joining the college, I read “The Lobbyists, the Untold Story of Oil and Gas Sector” by Rajeev Jayaswal. The book is an assortment of political events that shaped India’s Energy Security. It made me realize that the industry I was going to embrace had gritty stories in the past. Even a small gas discovery in India had shaken powerful nations like the US.
The industry is enormous and breaks conventions. It operates beyond reach and research. There is always something left that is unknown.
As a young Oil and Gas professional, what is that one thing about the industry that fascinates you the most about this sector?
It is an industry full of opportunities for years to come. But it is notoriously fickle and needs a constant watch to chase its developments.
Tell us a little about your role at Accenture. What is a typical day at work like?
As a Senior Business Analyst at Accenture Technology Centers in India (ATCI), I am asked to understand the client’s Business, ask relevant questions and understand the key stakeholders, solve the problem with a dosage of technology and be one of the partners in the client’s innovation process.
A day begins with a set of tasks, team meetings where we discuss the congruence of our understanding of the client’s problem and celebrating small wins at the end of the day.
What do you enjoy the most about your job role?
My work comes with a lot of acknowledgment for the knowledge of Business and Industry. This makes work enjoyable, but it also keeps me on my toes.
I take lesser liberties to make mistakes.
Where are the challenges?
There is a constant need to upskill myself. The technologies are becoming more volatile and the Industry is getting to immune to embrace these quick changes. The unlearning and learning process is sometimes exhausting, challenging yet enjoyable.
What would you say to the young generation seeking a career in oil and gas?
It is advisable not to live in brackets in terms of choosing career options. It’s good to lend an ear, be vigilant and take up chances to explore new opportunities and roles.
You are a Technology Enthusiast. According to you, which particular technology is set to make the most impact in the industry and why?
Technologies are climbing steeper hype cycles. 2018, it was Blockchain. 2019 was the year for AI. According to me, any technology with Data Crunching ability and Data Visualization will make the most impact. It’s important to make use of the data to understand which process can be automated and how the power of technology can be ransacked.
Apart from the technical skills, what skills do you think are the modern oil and gas employers looking for?
We are a generation with a lot of energy and distorted focus. An ability to lead people and having entrepreneurial qualities are much preferred. Leadership Skills do matter.
Where do you see yourself in the industry 5-10 years down the line?
The industry has several realms to explore. I don’t know how soon I can catch up but I want to be known as someone with a strong acumen about the sector.
(This is an excerpt from an exclusive conversation with Sujit Surendran and Energy Dais reserves all rights of publication. To explore exciting career opportunities in the oil and gas industry, sign up at user.energydais.com. Feel free to reach out to us for career help.)