With an almost 100-year history, Wood Mackenzie is one of the world’s longest-running and best-known providers of data, research, and consulting services in the energy and natural resources sector.
For decades, the company has provided companies and investors with the intelligence and insights they need to make informed acquisition, divestment, and trade decisions in the fast-moving natural resources industry.
Today, that industry is going through a period of fundamental transformation. As market forces shift, major players are expanding their investments in renewables, and building more complex and diverse energy and natural resource asset portfolios than ever before.
In order to continue to provide customers with the most valuable data and insights, Wood Mackenzie has been going through a major digital transformation programme to keep it at the forefront of the industry it serves.
Laying a foundation for digital product success
Wood Mackenzie outlined four main goals for its digital transformation. It wanted to:
- Bring its diverse digital products and services together under a unified customer experience and modern digital platform (Wood Mackenzie Lens®)
- Accelerate new product delivery and improve responsiveness to customer demands and industry shifts with a lean, agile, value-focused delivery culture
- Improve scalability and ensure ability to handle the immense volumes of data being created across traditional energy and new renewable domains
- Create a standardized foundation for all data and services to further enhance consistency and quality across data sets
Achieving all of those goals demanded specialist transformation support and digital platform expertise. So, they engaged Thoughtworks to help.
Together, we began building on Wood Mackenzie’s prior efforts for a flexible, platform-based product delivery approach, while enabling their teams to independently develop and release products in a more flexible manner. This ensured that the company could make frequent changes to multiple products simultaneously, as often as required, while still offering them through their single, consistent platform foundation – named the Lens platform – without bottlenecks.
By bringing its data together through Lens, the Wood Mackenzie team would also be able to more easily combine data sets in new ways, enabling customers and internal analysts to ask new questions, and significantly accelerate new product development.
Transforming unconventional valuation
In its earliest stages, the Lens platform focused on products for the oil and gas industry. Within this scope, the Thoughtworks team was initially engaged to assist with the creation of a flagship new Lens product, for valuing unconventional oil & gas production assets (known as ‘Unconventional Valuations’).
The Unconventional Valuations product calculates the financial value—both net present values and cash flow—of oil and gas assets in the mainland states of the USA. This enables investors and companies to view assets by geographical location or owner, making it invaluable to those interested in selling, acquiring, or trading oil and gas assets in that geography.
Wood Mackenzie had previously run into difficulties developing this as a new platform-ready product, so success was critical. With competitors already offering digital alternatives in the Unconventional Valuations market, rapid development and deployment were key to gaining market share, while ensuring wider customer subscriptions to Wood Mackenzie services and safeguarding Wood Mackenzie’s reputation for excellence.
The Thoughtworks team delivered the first working software to production in just four weeks, and had an initial MVP ready for internal usage, product testing and customer feedback in just three months—helping Wood Mackenzie get to market quickly, and make up for lost time.
Thoughtworks were the stand-out choice to partner with us in developing our flagship Lens platform while supporting our next-level digital transformation. Our shared core values around Lean, Customer-Value, and Agile Software Development enabled us to quickly establish an effective working style that led to rapid and iterative development of our L48 Lens solution. Today, the Thoughtworks partnership continues to drive innovation in our products and working practices that ultimately provide greater value to our customers.