In the last installment of "Data Rich and Insight Poor" we discussed the need for consistent data quality at the onset of a project and as an ongoing governance item need to ensure lasting success. No doubt the data is the fuel for consistent results and insights which are imperative to successful organizational outcomes and improvement.
In most circles that would be known as Achieving Operational Excellence - Historically the benchmark of being "Operationally Excellence" would be measured by MTBF, MTTR, CAIDI, SAIDI and their other abbreviated cousins. In today's Data Driven World another benchmark is emerging on par with the older bed rock metrics.
The new measure has to do with your organizations ability to not only exist but to Thrive in a Data Driven World.
So lets take a look at a couple of approaches and considerations that you can use to perform a self examination of sorts;
Sources of Data - Are you taking advantage of sensory equipment that the vendor has already provided in your plant ? Do you find that the connectors are behind plugs or perhaps cut and taped off ? Are you finding yourselves adding more and more third party sensors to legacy equipment ?
Data Aware Design - When you are in the design process and define specifications for a piece of new plantequipment are you opting for a full instrumentation package that would allow the condition of the equipment to be sent throughout the organization for analysis? Are you facilities being built out with connectivity via wired and wireless modes ? Fiber is a more and more cost effective option and emerging technologies such as mesh / peer to peer are alternatives.
Data Storage / Historian - Are you considering established vendors that are working with other standards bodies and leading suppliers to the market ? Interchangeability of components within a given protocol will lead to a more inter operable system that can be expanded upon as asset classes and quantities grow .
Analytical Tools - Choose a tool set that supports the latest graduates as in the Data Driven World many of the newest techniques and approaches are being served up by a skill set that is in highest demand. Remember that the Utility industry is now in direct competition with the rest of the world for a Data Scientist.
In the end decide on a platform approach that will inherently work to drive the convergence of your Operational Systems ( OT ) and the Information Technologies ( IT ) .