PUG Member Survey Results

This past Spring, the PUG conducted its first ever Membership Survey. The sample size was honestly lower than we were hoping, with 239 participants or about 7% of the total membership which hit 3500 (Now over 3700) during the Houston Petroleum Conference. Our advertising of the survey consisted of several posts via LinkedIn, due to the limitations of frequency allowed for direct messaging. The survey ran for about a month and a half, before, during, and after the Houston conference. The questions were divided into two sections with the first portion being related to the make-up of the PUG and the second set relating to what PUG members want out of the PUG.

Who Are We as PUG?

To summarize, the respondents have diverse working histories with experience that runs deep. The respondents were an experienced group, with over 70% having more than 8 years of experience, and reporting a mix of titles identifying mainly as GIS Professionals or Managers, with the heaviest contingent (43%) identifying as front-end oriented GIS professional, and about 23% identifying as a supervisor/manager.

For what GIS functions have you been responsible during the course of your career?

Respondents were Jacks and Jills of all trades…

Cartography (90%), Spatial Analysis(82%), Spatial Data Management(86%), Application Development(47%!), Administration(46%), Architecture (36%!), Desktop Support(55%), Training(67%)

currentrole howlong

For which petroleum business areas have you used GIS?

Not many surprises here, with the years of experience and the various titles reporting in, the areas were broad and varied. To generalize, more than half of respondents have worked on Exploration, Production, Land, Environmental, and Pipeline; Smaller groups between 30-45% reporting in for Health& Safety, Field Data collection, Facilities, and IT; Single digits for Shipping, Retail, and Human Resources.

What department does GIS support team report to in your company?

IT at 24%, a business department at just shy of 44%, and hybrid of about 24% as well. 8% don’t know where they report… (large company dynamics or non GIS Professional responders?)

Is GIS recognized as a discipline?

A rather even split here: Yes (48%) and No (42%), and Don’t Know (9%) (again large company dynamics or non-GIS Professional responders?)


PUG Membership Topics

Regional PUG Events

6 continents reported in, 21 Countries; 75% of respondents being from the US with a little more than half of that coming specifically from the Houston area. 85% of respondents knew about regional PUGs with just over half having been to at least one event. Let’s see how we can bring in those other 15%!

The PUG is a global organization, several respondents indicated interest in a South East Asia PUG, and a Latin America PUG. There is now a chapter in South East Asia, you can find them in the LinkedIn subgroup of the main PUG group and on the pugonline.org website under Pug Groups>Regional PUGs>SE Asia PUG. For those in other parts of the world you can find your Regional PUG page the same way, and if one doesn’t yet exist, contact Robert Graham on the Steering Committee for information on setting one up, at: https://pugonline.org/groups/regional/

Communication from PUG

Just about 80% of members have been to pugonline.org, our main site. For the remaining 20%, this is where we keep our digital resources; you will find everything from the work on the Professional Discipline project to our monthly blog, to links to the various Regional PUGs (and information on starting one!). Also at the site is information on the various PUG Steering members and focus areas we have. In some of the free entry comments of the survey a few respondents asked about transparency and communication. If you want to participate more in the PUG, but don’t know where to start, start at: http://www.pugonline.org

LinkedIn has so far provided the backbone of our membership and communication tools. Many users expressed continued interest in receiving LinkedIn posts and email announcements. Unfortunately, we have limited control over the formatting, grouping and frequency of this content due to LinkedIn’s general policies and each member’s LinkedIn preference settings. Over half of respondents also expressed interest in hearing from PUG directly via Email. Right now this isn’t universally possible, since we don’t actually have a database of all member emails, but will certainly merit discussion by the Steering Committee for future consideration. You can, however, subscribe directly to pugonline.org to receive email notifications of new posts, this is external to LinkedIn.

92% of respondents indicated interest in reading a monthly blog from PUG. Good news: We have one! You are reading it! Visit http://www.pugonline.org to see the latest post. Once posted, we link to the blog from the main LinkedIn Group page, and if you directly subscribe, you will get an email notification.

The PUG List

“The List” is one of the oldest ongoing projects of the PUG. About 42% of respondents have been to a “PUG List” session and of those answering the “Was it useful?” followup question, it was considered clearly beneficial by about 68% of that subset. The PUG Ideas/ List is far more than just a session at the Petroleum Conference, did you know that work goes on year-round? You can check into PUG Ideas/ List items at the Esri Ideas site (http://ideas.arcgis.com) with the tag “Petroleum” under the Industries section. There you can add comments, give votes to those items that are important for you, and directly interact with Esri staff about the requests. You can also and touch base with the current Technical Chairs (Jacob Boyle and Scott Bateman) at: https://pugonline.org/resources/list/


The relatively low response we had to the survey makes it difficult to make conclusions that are much more than generalizations. That said, we will keep trying to engage our members and grow the organization for the benefit of all. PUG members are all over the map, in various disciplines, and have worn a lot of hats during their rather experienced careers. There seems to be significant interest in participation in local events in addition to the Houston conference, our regional sub-groups are a huge part of that and will continue to be. After all, what good is all that experience if it isn’t shared with others? Many folks are very interested in the technical aspects of workflows and best practices, and that work is ongoing. If you want to know how to get more involved in any way, your first stop is http://www.pugonline.org to connect up with a Regional Group, the Technical Working Groups or simply make contact vie the LinkedIn Discussions page. We were able to get a glimpse into who we are as the PUG, we will keep working to engage our members and identify ways in which the PUG can be both a resource and an authority for all of our members. Thanks to all who participated in the survey, and we’ll see you online!


The PUG would like to thank our sponsors for their support: Blueback Reservoir, BP, Coler & Colantonio (a CHA company), Esri, Exprodat, Logic Solutions Group, GeoPropel, Landworks, Schlumberger, TeachMeGIS and Trimble.  Special Thanks to Nexen Petroleum for sponsoring the survey website.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: