Global energy giant Shell has invested heavily in AI and analytics as part of a digital strategy that has saved it over a billion in cost reductions, production increases and additional customer margins. Heading up the company’s data science team is Dan Jeavons, a data expert and digitisation enthusiast who has been repeatedly recognised for his contributions to the field. Ahead of his keynote session at London’s Big Data World next week, we asked Dan about Shell’s hugely successful data strategy and where AI’s benefits are being most keenly felt
When did you first truly appreciate the power of data, analytics, and AI?
I’ve spent my career looking at how to drive business value from data – but it was around 2013 that I really saw the change starting. The new tools and methods coming to the market started to get really exciting. I saw the potential and so pitched for a role in this space. Since then, it’s been an exciting journey.
What are the key ingredients of Shell’s data strategy?
At the end of the day our data strategy is not really a standalone – we are trying to embed data strategy into our business strategy. We are trying to understand which KPIs are going to move the needle for the business and then use that to understand which data is needed, what quality it needs to be, and, of course, which AI opportunities to pursue.
How is Shell incorporating AI into its data strategy and why?
AI is at the core of our digital & data strategies. Most digital technologies create or consume data. AI provides the opportunity to create new insights from data by turning it into information. It also enables us to change our business processes by eliminating manual tasks. We see AI as a key enabler for value from digital technologies and have made an active decision to embed AI in every part of our organisation through the Shell.ai programme.