Business Intelligence Tools Data Science & Analytics Updates

Hacking for Houston 2020: Improving Care in Our Community

As a proud member of the community, wanted to give back. We created the “Hacking for Houston” event to give the user base a voice for good in the communities in which we live and work. 

Bringing together O&G technical experts and public health professionals

Uche Arizor, Team Lead at PHI Lab commented that, “Our mission is to facilitate cross-sector collaboration, creativity, and innovation in public health practice. Partnering with for Hacking for Houston 2020 was a great opportunity to bring people together from the sectors of oil & gas, data science, and public health to work on real issues that HCPH would like to address.” 

All of us were surprised when the night before the hackathon, a water main burst in downtown Houston. The 610 East Loop was closed for several hours due to flooding. Our team exchanged e-mails to decide if we needed to cancel the hackathon, but felt reluctant to do so, after all the hard work put into organizing the event with our partner, the Public Health Innovations Lab (PHI Lab) at Harris County Public Health. Employees arrived early and decided to press on with the Hackathon; we are so glad that we did!  

We encouraged anyone with a passion for data science to attend, especially our clients and partners, as well as university students in data science and public health. We were unsure if attendees would still be able to join us in light of the water main break—but even the turnout for the optional two-hour morning workshop was fantastic. Shota Ota, Support Engineer, and Jason May, Data Scientist at covered tools and topics useful for the Hackathon. 

After lunch, the hackathon began with a high-intensity couple of hours where participants worked in teams of 1-3 people to build and code projects. Teams were not restricted to any particular software or tools to implement their solutions and people deployed a variety of tools including Power BI, Spotfire, R, python, ArcGIS, Excel, Jupyter notebooks, and even open-sourced 3D visualization software. 

Three Challenges were laid out to participants, each with actual data provided by HCPH. Teams then chose one of the available challenges to work on during the event. 

Go Upstream for Downstream Costs


  • Identify the rates of preventable hospitalization types and charges from zip codes with the highest rates of preventable visits.  
  • Create profiles of select zip codes that explore trends in socio-demographics, health outcomes, and issues in health care access.   

Increase Government Efficiency


  • Model the overlap and gap of services provided by current facility locations based on community need (population density, poor health outcomes, etc.) 
  • Identify pilot sites for the co-location of public health, clinical health, and mental health services, while justifying community needs around the site. 
  • Explore the impact of other public and private facilities that may offer similar services in affected communities.   

Reducing West Nile virus (WNV) Disease Risk


  • Use disease, mosquito, environmental and population data from the past 4 years, to develop a model that predicts areas in Harris County at higher risk for WNV disease transmission compared to others.   
  • Identify the key factors that influence WNV disease risk in Harris County as a whole or in different clustered communities. 

At 5 pm, each team gave a 5-minute presentation or “pitch” to the panel of judges and other participants. Their projects were judged according to four categories: communication, technical achievement, creativity, and aesthetic. Our 2020 judges included: 

The judges were impressed by all the teams and how much they were able to accomplish in just four hours. Each team presented their findings and their recommendations for HCPH. The winning team consisted of Callie Hall from the Houston Health Department, Elena Feofanova, a PhD candidate at UT Health, and Alex Lach, a reservoir engineer at Oxy. Their team chose Challenge 2, Increase Government Efficiency, and combined outstanding data analysis with a great pitch.  

Dr. Beckham, Director of the Office of Science, Surveillance, and Technology at HCPH, said, “The hackathon was a great way to network with future leaders and address public health issues in a creative and innovative way. Information taken back will be implemented to assist with making better business decisions to provide services to Harris County residents. It was a great opportunity for government (HCPH) and private industry ( to work together for equity and better health outcomes for the community.” 

The success of Hacking for Houston 2020 made it an easy decision for us to bring it back in the future. If you missed the event, joined the Community to stay up to date and hear about our next hackathon. 

Transfer Updates Year in Review 2019

It’s been an incredible year! We launched into 2019 with determination to become even more focused on what we love doing — helping our clients accomplish more with their data. We care about the journey that knowledge takes form the source to the board room, and helping our clients deliver new insights.

In the process of aligning our company, product, and focus, we changed our name from to so that our new name reflects our mission — to build and deliver not only a new way of organizing information in oil and gas, but also a new way to run the E&P business, built solidly on data. We’ve worked in drilling, reserves, completions, production, portfolio management, subsurface, artificial lift, EOR and A&D. We’ve had the opportunity to visit our customers in oil and gas cities across North America, and we’ve hosted and attended some incredible events. Here are some highlights from 2019.

Building the team doubled in size. We welcomed so many amazing team members. Not just in the Houston office, but in our new Montreal office as well. We’re a group that likes to work hard and play hard, supporting each other and our customers every step of the way.

To make room for everybody to do their best work, our Houston headquarters moved a few blocks to its new location in the Houston’s downtown historic district at 114 Main, Suite 200. If you haven’t had a chance to come by and check out the new space, reach out and plan a visit! We love having guests come by and experience a part of our culture. 

Back at the ranch held its annual retreat near Brenham, Texas to bring the whole team together— the Houston and the Montreal offices— for in-depth brainstorming, teambuilding, and of course, some Texas barbecue.

The retreat served as an opportunity to discuss the latest trends in data science, oil and gas, and ways to keep pushing the edge cases of our industry.

Four Weeks, Seven Cities

When we launched our petroleum analytics meetups in Houston this past summer, we had a vision to take them on the road as well—one O&G town at a time. We picked cities where we had clients, conferences, and new connections we wanted to make. The 2019 Pub Crawl kicked off in Dallas, then went to Midland, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Denver, Calgary, and ultimately back home for one last event in Houston.

Here’s our team at the Midland Beer Garden.

The Power of Purple

If you saw us at one of the conferences we attended this year, from the SPE OKC Oil and Gas Symposium in Oklahoma to the ATCE in Calgary—you may recognize our colorful purple booth. The power of purple is giving customers a seamless user experience and delivering even better tools for oil and gas workflows.

The Channel

We created almost 30 videos this year showcasing some of our workflows and new features. You can see them all and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Some highlights include our Q&A series with world geomechanics expert, Stanford professor, and technical advisor Dr. Mark Zoback. You can check out the full playlist here.

Standing Room Only

Not only have we been able to build some incredible tools this year, but we’ve also had the honor and opportunity to offer week-long geomechanics courses and many, many training sessions on client sites throughout the year. Our instructors work hard to make technical concepts not only accessible but engaging. One recent highlight: our Technical Director Lucas Wood captivated a crowd at the TIBCO Analytics Forum. When the crowd asked for more advanced material, he adapted examples on the fly to match the curiosity in the room. We are so grateful for all the engagement, not only at this event, but at all our training sessions throughout the year, from Houston to Midland to Denver.

Troy Talks Founder and CEO Troy Ruths made multiple appearances on expert panels and interviews throughout the year. Not only does he remain accessible to every single member of the team, but also to the whole community. He’s passionate and committed to sharing big ideas about the future of the industry, and that drive shapes the whole company. As an expert in oil and gas, data science, and tech culture, Troy can talk about it all. Check out his guest appearance on a podcast discussing “The Future of AI in O&G.”

Lastly, but most importantly…

We have incredible customers—both long-time clients and newcomers this year—and we feel so grateful to keep offering the very best products and services. We really take the trust placed in us very seriously and look forward to all the projects and milestones ahead in 2020.