Chaparral Energy Boosts Productivity with GIS Search Software

December 2017


As a new member of Chaparral Energy’s GIS Department, the first thing the company’s Director Paul Morrison did four years ago was to try to get a handle on exactly how much data the company had. But, that was easier said than done. Like most companies these days, Chaparral Energy had collected huge amounts of data over its 25-plus year history. Data that its employees needed to easily access in order to do their jobs efficiently and successfully. With different people managing that data at different times, storing it in different places, and labeling it under different systems, employees were finding it difficult to locate and access the data they needed, when they needed it. This included things like lease files, oil and gas contracts, technical oil and gas files (also known as well files), and geologic documents – all imperative to Chaparral’s business. Morrison knew he needed to figure out a way to confirm how much data Chaparral had, and along with that, he hoped he could organize, index and make that data searchable, too. But how?

Early on in his career at Chaparral one of the IT Managers working in the GIS Department happened to meet with Voyager Search, thinking they might purchase the software to do exactly those things Morrison had wanted. To the manager’s – and Morrison’s – surprise, Voyager’s software could do much, much more.

As he learned about Voyager’s capabilities for making data searchable, discoverable, and manageable, Morrison also realized that, with the help of Voyager’s development team, he could extend the application to search for any file format on shared drives throughout the company’s vast network. Both teams worked together to write a custom code to take scanned PDF and OCR files and make all that text searchable. This led to over five million files scanned, indexed, and made searchable. Something Morrison thought was unattainable.

In addition, Voyager offers its users the unique ability to use various search terms, resulting in multiple instances of those layers.

“While gaining this type of access to the data was helpful for the GIS team, opening up search capabilities to anyone within the organization was like hitting a pot of gold,” Morrison noted. “Legal documents, oil and gas contracts. No matter how long you worked there or in which department, you could find the proper documentation and information – instantly.”

A Multi-Functional Software

Prior to working with Voyager, the old method at Chaparral used to be to recreate project files whenever someone couldn’t find what they were looking for – resulting in millions of duplicate documents. That situation is not unique to Chaparral. In fact, the large majority of companies and organizations that work with Voyager Search often have massive amounts of duplicate data – and most are shocked when they learn how much is truly there.

After a few short months using Voyager, Chaparral was able to reduce duplicates by 60 percent, while reducing all file sizes by a factor of 20. As part of this effort, Voyager also helped identify older data layers that people inadvertently used so the department could get rid of them, ensuring they – and others – were using the most up-to-date data sources for their projects.

The Results

By implementing Voyager software, Chaparral Energy was able to increase staff efficiency in finding critical documents to make important business decisions. And, with Voyager’s implementation of OCR, legacy documents and files are now easily searchable and accessible.

The key takeaways for Morrison, and the reasons why, as the company approaches five years with Voyager, they have no intention of leaving, include: the technology’s ease-of-use; its enhanced search capabilities; and a stellar support that is always available.

“Not only have we been impressed with Voyager’s technology, we’ve also found the team to be exceptional,” Morrison continued. “Whether it’s a simple question or a very technical problem, everyone is engaged and really trying to understand our needs so we can work together to solve the issues that are specific to Chaparral. It’s refreshing.”

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