Worley's The Data Refinery

5 minutes with Mac McKee

Mehreen Yusuf

Mehreen Yusuf | Marketing Advisor, London | 27 November 2019

Data. Insights. Action. We caught up with Director of Strategic Initiatives for The Data Refinery – Worley's data science and machine learning solution center

What is The Data Refinery?

The Data Refinery is Worley’s partnership with Arundo Analytics, combining our industry expertise and client engagements with Arundo’s data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence know-how. It is also a creative space Downtown in Houston where we can come together to uncover data-driven insights for our customers and create solutions that help Worley deliver projects more efficiently and effectively.

How does it add value to our clients?

At The Data Refinery we use our combined capabilities to deliver insights from data. Ultimately, we want to turn those insights into actions that save our clients time and money, while improving safety and ensuring optimal working conditions.

For example, one solution we offer is condition monitoring of key industrial equipment, such as pumps and compressors. We collect historical data on how the equipment is running and then build machine learning models that allow us to identify and predict future occurrence of anomalies, so that preventative action can be taken. This saves money on maintenance by identifying a failure before it ever happens, and limits equipment downtime.

But there’s also a safety aspect, too. By having a data-centric view on maintenance, we can limit the amount of time personnel need to spend in the field near hazardous equipment.

We have also created a drawing conversion tool called DataSeer, which takes drawings such as piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs), that may only be available as hardcopies, and converts them to smart, electronic documents. We use machine learning to extract the information in these drawings and translate that data into industry-standard digital formats, helping to save time and cost – and improve conversion accuracy.

How has this been enhanced since we became Worley?

The merger between WorleyParsons and Jacobs' Energy, Chemicals and Resources (ECR) division means we have greater access to a wider number of subject matter experts who can tell us more about how clients design, deliver and manage their assets.

For example, both organizations had strong positions in the sulphur market with licensed technologies. This reach has now been combined, meaning our licensed sulphur technologies are being used by a marketleading share of all sulphur facilities around the world.

As a result, we have a large pool of facilities to engage as we develop a solution to improve operational control of the sulphur plant and reduce downtime and environmental impact.

"I’ve heard people say that data is the new oil. If that’s the case, it still needs to be refined just like oil to make it useful. And that is what we’re doing at The Data Refinery."

What is The Data Refinery’s ultimate goal?

We want to help Worley and the industry realize the value from digital transformation, by creating solutions that draw insights from data and turn those insights into actions.

I’ve heard people say that data is the new oil. If that’s the case, the data needs to be refined just like oil to make it useful. And that is what we’re doing at The Data Refinery. We’re refining data so we can figure out what it is telling us, so we can help our clients make better decisions that deliver better outcomes.

What excites you the most about The Data Refinery?

With so many new developments on the horizon, it’s difficult to pinpoint just one thing. But mostly, I’m thrilled that we’re part of changing the culture associated with data in our industry. What we’re focused on is all about the digital transformation for Worley and our industry, and we’re excited that The Data Refinery is at the forefront of uncovering what this kind of change can do for the energy, chemicals and resources industry.


This article was also published in Advisian Digital's Digital Insider Magazine

Mac Mckee

Mac McKee

Director of Strategic Initiatives, The Data Refinery

Mac McKee is the director of Worley’s Data Refinery, a partnership with Arundo Analytics to develop and deploy machine learning and artificial intelligence solutions to the energy, chemicals and resources markets. Mac is a mechanical engineer who joined Worley over 13 years ago and has worked across various project disciplines in the hydrocarbons space, and helped to develop and implement corporate strategy within the Worley group.