I would start by identifying acute problems in your area of expertise (

**domain**): production , reservoir, drilling, completions, geophysics, chemistry, seismic, geophysics, etc., that you feel could be resolved by applying data science.They may be big problems or small ones. Start with the small ones, or break the big ones in

**manageable pieces**that you can address one step at a time.Once you have two or three data science “project” candidates, start applying the basics to solve the problem. There is

**no magic formula**that fits all the data science projects.What I am trying to tell you is that you study Data Science at the same time that you are

**solving a real world problem**. That’s how I learned.Before you embark in a formal education in Data Science or Statistics, as

**MsC**or**PhD**,**try first with the online courses**, and have a taste of it. Then, if you fall in love with DS, move on the most expensive path -and at the same gratifying-, of studying in a university.I recommend the online classes in Coursera by Johns Hopkins university. They have a specialization on data science and has a

**rigorous approach**. I have the best of experiences with Johns Hopkins. The instructors are all PhDs and they share all what they know.Data Science is different from other things that I have studied over the years in the sense that is a

**multidisciplinary career**: it requires from you to review, and study deeper, math, statistics, matrix algebra, computer science, and even physics; and read a lot material: papers, books, chapters, articles.I published an article a little while ago on how to

**turn Petroleum Engineers in Data Science wizards**. Here is the link: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/transforming-petroleum-engineers-data-science-wizards-reyes/Regarding coding and scripting in R or Python, just keep in mind this: you

**don’t have to be an expert programmer**to be a good data scientist; you have to know enough to use it as part of your toolbox. Same as with statistics or math; you don’t need to be an expert statistician or a math wiz to do data science, but you have the learn the essentials, the fundamentals, to apply it in your**business solutions**. Of course, knowing and learning more opens your mind in approaching a problem in innovative ways.Data Science is the beginning of something bigger:

**machine learning**and**artificial intelligence**. I know all of this may sound like a lot. But as they say, any long journey starts with the first steps. If you fall in love with data science, it will bringing you rewards in your career as a petroleum engineer.

# How can a Petroleum Engineer kick start with Data Science?

Alfonso R. Reyes

(4 December 2018) Online

(4 December 2018) Online

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