At one of the world's premier integrated energy companies, the Market Intelligence team provides extensive support in the procurement of $13.5 billion worth of products and services annually. The company's global operations include oil sands development and upgrading, conventional and offshore oil and gas production, petroleum refining, product marketing, and expanding renewable energy offerings. Effective management of those diverse operations has enabled senior decision makers to develop a broad portfolio of high-quality assets, a strong balance sheet and significant growth prospects.
The energy industry giant's ongoing procurement needs range from labor and lodging to transportation and chemicals, and more. To help the sourcing department spend those billions of dollars wisely, the Market Intelligence team must provide timely, reliable updates on developments around the world that may affect pricing, spending forecasts and contract negotiations – so they turn each day to a platform called IHS Markit Connect® for the latest information and insights.
"IHS Markit Connect has a very modern interface that works well for the way analysts work," said a Senior Analyst in Market Intelligence at the energy company. "It's clear that IHS Markit has given the platform a lot of thought. It feels like developers created IHS Markit Connect with the daily job of analysts in mind."
Procuring products and services globally, the company needs insights into the economy at large. The team seeks information on factors that will affect prices in the short and long term and must deliver research and analysis to decision-makers quickly and frequently.
"We're concerned about escalation rates on everything we buy," said the Senior Analyst. "We're looking for any information that affects material and services prices to support contract negotiations and price adjustment mechanisms."
Consolidated Information Source Locations
As longtime users of multiple IHS Markit solutions, the company's Market Intelligence team has consolidated the number of locations where it gathers information by moving to the IHS Markit Connect platform. IHS Markit Connect provides both integrated data access and greater dynamic interaction with the data. As a result, the company's market analysts have cut in half the number of places they must go to seek information, dramatically streamlining their research workflow.
The Market Intelligence team is also in a position now to develop stronger relationships with IHS Markit analysts who provide the information content on IHS Markit Connect. The team regularly attends additional online briefings - on issues that have implications for their industry and company - that are led by the same IHS Markit subject-matter experts.
We find the information we need and generate reports within IHS Markit Connect almost seamlessly. The quality of the reports we've been producing has also significantly improved… [Now] we can actually do more in-depth analysis and come up with more tangible results for our business units.
In addition, analysts can use the IHS Markit Connect interface to contact other IHS Markit experts with questions or observations. Feedback from end users helps guide research initiatives.
"We have a growing relationship with the IHS Markit analysts who cover our market areas," said the Senior Analyst. "Whenever we have a specific need, we're using their expertise as part of the IHS Markit Connect platform. That's something we're tapping into more and more."
Research and Reporting in One Place
Market Intelligence analysts access the IHS Markit platform on a daily basis, exploring topics of interest. They look at macroeconomics, commodities indicators, the labor and services market, oil and futures prices, and production carbon intensity (PCI) indicators for greenhouse gas emissions – all with an eye toward price changes for raw, semi-finished and finished goods.
With IHS Markit Connect, the team more easily navigates to the information it is seeking and can customize the interface by areas of interest. They can create new charts, graphs and reports on the fly, or save and update existing reports with one click.
In fact, more intuitive charting and graphing is one of the biggest benefits that the team has achieved with IHS Markit Connect. Before, the team had to look at information from CERA by IHS Markit and then develop its reports and graphs in separate tools. Now, they build them within the platform.
"We can create charts and graphs right in IHS Markit Connect, save them and publish them, rather than pulling data out and creating them in Excel or elsewhere," said the Manager of Market Intelligence. "We find the information we need and generate reports within IHS Markit Connect almost seamlessly. The quality of the reports we've been producing has also significantly improved."
Shifting Focus: From Reports to Analysis
The move to the IHS Markit Connect platform frees more time in the day for the Market Intelligence team. Analysts create charts and graphs at least 50 percent faster than before. Running updates or making changes to existing charts, graphs or reports is a matter of a few clicks. That speed contributes to faster delivery of information to decision-makers.
"We get requests from stakeholders to turn things around very quickly, which can be difficult with such a large database," said another Senior Analyst on the team. "With the help of IHS Markit Connect, we find we are able to satisfy them more and more effectively."
With less time spent searching for and organizing information, market intelligence analysts focus more of their workdays on research that will guide the strategic sourcing group in making the best procurement decisions for the company.
"Instead of spending time to make information shiny and bright, we can actually do more in-depth analysis and come up with more tangible results for our business units," said the Manager of Market Intelligence.
The Market Intelligence team also says that the IHS Markit Connect interface design makes it easier to assure that they are considering all of the factors that might impact procurement decisions. They feel more confident that their reports are addressing all of the relevant issues so company leaders receive the information and insights they need to enable continued success.