By Andrew R. Attebery
Cloud. Artificial Intelligence (AI). Machine Learning (ML). We hear so many buzz words today around these topics and how companies are leveraging them to optimize business practices. With the ever-present need to capture, monitor, and analyze data, everyone recognizes the need for data analytics. But what are data analytics? How do data analytics deliver value? And more importantly, how do they drive action?
On its own, data provides very little value. Three key segments are imperative to getting the value out of our data that we so desperately need. Data to Insight. Insight to Knowledge. Knowledge to Action.
Without Action, data is just noise.
Data to Insight
Everyone has data. And today, almost everyone leverages that data for insights to make better business decisions. Leveraging AI and ML techniques in conjunction with cloud computation allows these insights to be more precise, and to be delivered quicker than ever before. Insights gathered from operational data can be transformative. These techniques can group, classify, and identify unhealthy characteristics of data signatures to easily pinpoint anomalous data. That alone is useful. But what if I want more than just insights?
Insight to Knowledge
AI clearly delivers material value. Correlations between process data signals that reveal subtle or complex issues are found in seconds. But what if we could leverage engineering domain experts to guide and cater those process data signals before we unleash AI and ML learning algorithms? Not only would we gain greater confidence in the results of AI learning; we would benefit from the broader perspective – e.g., root cause analysis, remediation strategies, opportunity cost considerations, etc. – that the domain experts bring to the table.
AI + Cloud Computation + Engineering Expertise = Knowledge.
Knowledge to Action
Operations teams are the backbones of complex facilities, (hopefully not literally) putting out fires daily. Data Analytics teams must be sensitive to the limited time of Facility Operators. Operations Teams simply don’t have the time to sift through mounds of emails with insights found from process data every day. Why? Because insights alone don’t tell the full story. Informing operations teams of critical, actionable information at the right time is imperative to a successful analytics program. This actionable information must be displayed in an intuitive, easy-to-use software platform that allows for instantaneous knowledge-sharing across entire facilities for critical business decisions. Without action, data is just noise.
Are you getting more than just noise out of your data? Are you operating as safely and efficiently as possible? Could your data, if managed appropriately, give you more? There will never be a time where the threat of unplanned outages or shutdowns disappears. But driving that number virtually to zero is no longer unrealistic. The beauty of data is that it is agnostic to any specific industry or market. Whether it be Power, Industrial, Water, Oil & Gas, or Telecommunications, your data is telling you something. Listen to it carefully. I promise you won’t be disappointed.