Analytical Instrumentation

  • How Could Apple's Mobility Trends Help Oil Companies?

How Could Apple's Mobility Trends Help Oil Companies?

Jul 14 2020 Read 382 Times

Data is one of the most valuable assets energy merchants can leverage, with traders continuously collecting and analysing information to gain a competitive edge. Apple is the latest company to strive for a slice of the pie, with the American-owned giant recently unveiling technology designed to track human mobility trends and capture data relating to directional searches on smartphones.

Real-time travel data “holy grail of metrics”

Apple is hugely popular in the United States, with around 100 million people owning an iPhone. This gives Apple enormous scope when it comes to data collection. Real-time petrol consumption figures could transform the way oil is traded and empower investors with the scope to monitor trends as they happen. The technology was particularly important in the face of the COVID-19 recovery, with traders frantically searching for clues to predict the speed of the market recovery.

Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at Boston-based tech company GasBuddy says the data capturing technology had potential to emerge as “the holy grail of metrics.”

Apple technology fails to win over traders

While the capacity to integrate real-time human mobility and directional search data into market models had enormous potential, traders rejected Apple’s technology due to its reliance on search requests instead of actual distance travelled. Experts say while the technology is useful it doesn’t offer the same accuracy as other existing indexes. The technology was also limited due to its reliance on searches. While people do use online maps to source directions to new destinations, regular trips such as work commutes don’t require a search and are therefore overlooked.  

Value of real-time demand data here to stay

Moving forward, experts say the sudden slump in oil demand will make investors smarter when it comes to collecting and leveraging data. “The pandemic made everyone a lot smarter about sourcing and using real-time demand data, a trend I think is here to stay even after it subsides,” says Matt Sallee, managing director at Tortoise Capital Advisors. New players such as Apple have a place though won’t be overtaking reliable sources such as the EIA report anytime soon.

As well as monitoring market trends, data is also used to enhance safety and improve environmental credentials. Find out more about how wearable methane gas detectors are being used to harness the power of cloud computing and big data to monitor gas detection issues in ‘Methane monitoring is a ’must’ with insight from Stephen B. Harrison on behalf of sbh4 GmbH.

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