Determining what’s next for your data landscape in a data-rich world

Written by Brandon Ney, Product Marketing Manager, AVEVA

Industrial leaders have always been driven to optimize operations. But even in our data-rich world, leaders are still working to build an industrial culture that relies less on intuition and more on hard facts. As leaders successfully shift that culture, many industrial organizations have started viewing data as a strategic asset. The more data-driven they become, the more the race is on to harness industrial data’s potential.

Industrial data growth: scaling up without slowing down

As you work to grow your industrial enterprise and more assets come online, you’ll hit a new roadblock: collecting more and more data from those assets. You’ll need to not only store that data, but also enable your users to extract value from it. Chances are your resources and personnel aren’t growing at the same rate as your data, which can put pressure on your future data landscape. The sheer scale of data collection has many industrial organizations scrambling to keep up without slowing operations.


New plants mean new data, and so new data means new needs actually, because we have more data, more value to extract, more algorithms to develop, and so this means that we are going to explore all of the new solutions that are coming and will arise in the future. -Alessandro Civiero, Plant Information Platform Engineer, ENEL

To stay on top of the growth, many organizations improvise hasty or spotty data-wrangling solutions. Different business units hire multiple contractors. Naming conventions and calculation units vary by group. Their models apply different coefficients and their analytics conflict with each other. When data users encounter these issues, it can damage the confidence they have in the data.

Industrial data access: no place for every data point, and every data point’s not in place

Of course, the above issues make a huge assumption that users can actually access industrial data. Often, at many industrial organizations, users must navigate a complex web of systems to gain access to the information they need. They may even need to VPN into each separate system and then search through the raw data. Similar data tags and streams may—or may not—have similar names or even be the same data, creating hurdles for users while wasting significant amounts of time. For example, individuals responsible for data get bombarded with ad hoc requests and must manage the access rights for dozens of systems—which becomes increasingly difficult as you scale.


We were completely data blind. I had built a central asset management team. They were really clever people with years and years of experience, and they couldn’t see a single piece of real-time data centrally. I had to ask one of the sites to print off a trend every ten seconds and send me the screenshots so I could understand what happened during an overflow incident. It doesn’t get worse than this. -David Bartolo, Head of Asset Performance, AGL

In an industrial environment, not all data users are the same. Some may need the data every second or every minute while planning teams may only need or want to see daily information. Does your organization have the multi-site view of information that executives need? Do you really have a mechanism for knowing that all your remote assets are up and running as their supposed to be right now?

Industrial data management: becoming truly data-driven

Answering these questions and addressing these issues can be a daunting task. But don’t let these difficulties expose your organization to avoidable risks and inefficiencies. It’s not enough to simply capture your data. To be truly data-driven, you must manage your data effectively.

That has helped create an ease of access to previously difficult data, and also just eliminated huge time spent on reports. We’ve been able to use that time to focus on projects we couldn’t get to. With the new information we’re getting, we’re realizing new approaches that we need to take. -Brando Crozier, Administrative Analyst, Riverside Public Utilities

While industrial data management solutions have existed for decades, it is a rapidly evolving marketplace. Analysts continue to cover the evolving dynamics of the market.

If you’re weighing the pros and cons for your next industrial data management investment, if you’re curious about the key capabilities of solutions in the market, or if you want to understand how to better ensure your return on investment, check out AVEVA’s webinar, The real value of industrial data management. Hosted by Joe Lamming, industry analyst from Verdantix and author of the recent report, Smart Innovators: Industrial Data Management Solutions, you’ll gain insight into laying the right groundwork to scale your operation and receive a copy of Joe’s report.