Interview with Giewee Hammond, Senior Data Scientist, Aramco. Leaders in Data Science Series

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

Data science and analytics are playing an increasingly important role in all aspects of energy exploration, production, and distribution. Welcome to an interview with Giewee Hammond, senior data scientist at Aramco, who talks to us today about the formative influences in her life, and the current trends and future possibilities in data science as they relate to energy.

What is your name and your background?

My name is Giewee Hammond, a senior data scientist with Aramco. I have always been fond of math. To me, as a child, solving math problems was similar to playing a game or participating in a competition, such as a relay race. I especially enjoyed timed math exams in elementary school – and was always willing to join anyone in a friendly competition to provide the most correct answers in the shortest period of time. Later in life, I pursued theoretical math for my undergraduate degree and later pursued two applied math degrees, actuarial science and data science for my graduate studies. I have served in many different roles throughout my career that required me to jumpstart data management, knowledge sharing, and data forecasting projects.

How did you get interested in analytics?

My interest in math led me to a career in analytics, a discipline that evolved further and became officially known as data science. I am thankful to my mentor who, early on, encouraged me to pursue this field of study. While in graduate school, I delighted in the concepts of the degree, particularly natural language processing, times series and spatial analytics.

What were some of your formative experiences?

I have experience in data management, knowledge sharing and predictive analytics for upstream data. At Aramco, I have worked on projects for optimization completion, well event detection, rock property detection and many more. Because math is universal, I believe that my previous experience outside the oil and gas sector has assisted me in offering simplistic solutions that otherwise might not have been considered.

What are some of the insights in analytics that made a difference to you early in your career?

I was taught data science by a statistician and learned early on that data preparation should never be minimized. Additionally, with a theoretical background in mathematics, I know that a flaw in your starting numbers – missing data and unhelpful data – lurk in every data set and can adversely impact your findings. To ensure your approach to data science is the most trustworthy, it is imperative to respect the process of data collection and governance.

What do you think will be exciting about the future of analytics?

Data science is currently a hot topic in the energy industry. Historically, the oil and gas sector has faced challenges with the management and analysis of large data sets – but that is quickly changing. Data automation is now taking hold across the industry and, with that, we are discovering underlying information in our data with complex patterns that was virtually impossible for humans to break down and forecast on their own. Automation is transforming our industry.

Please recommend a book that you enjoyed.

Cryptocurrency 2020: Mining, Investing and Trading in Blockchain by Abraham K White. In addition to learning about cryptocurrency, the reader can find out how data will be collected, stored, and trusted in the future.

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