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95% of Industrial Asset Data is Unusable: It's Time to Change That

December 15, 2020

Some tools just aren’t cut out for certain jobs. For example, you wouldn’t use a spread sheet to stand up your enterprise financial planning and analysis processes, any more than you might choose a screwdriver to seal a bad actor in a chemical plant. So why do so many industrial organizations continue to think that a spreadsheet can solve their OT data challenges?

OT data is fundamentally different. Time-series and other OT data collected from assets is spread across many plant sites, locked up in legacy systems at the plant and in engineer’s spreadsheets. OT data has notoriously demonstrated low quality – attributed to a lack of metadata to provide context to the OT data – and no standardization because of poor and inconsistent data labeling. OT data is some of the most ungoverned, and ungovernable data.

As a result, currently as much as 95% of industrial data goes unused – or, at best, it’s leveraged at a local level and via homegrown solutions that can’t scale to meet the universal needs of a large-scale industrial company.

Standardizing industrial data is critical so that you can make apples-to-apples comparisons of like equipment types, as well as deliver context for decision making. The relationships, or connections, between the data, are as or more important to represent as the data itself.

Standardization also organizes assets into hierarchical or process-oriented relationships to create the “graph” of your industrial operations. But, to date, the effort to create some sort of actionable industrial graph has been manual and laborious, often requiring months, or even years of human effort working off of spreadsheets, or teams cobbling together point products. This antiquated approach doesn’t scale, and is very error prone, causing quality, scalability and security to take a back seat, and resulting in excessive costs and a high level of failure.

At Element, we believe that this OT data purgatory cannot continue. The demands for productivity, resiliency, reliability and cost savings are too great for OT to persist down the path it has been on for decades. It’s time for a better way of harnessing data and making it actionable in order to:

We’re ready to help make that change. Introducing Element Unify™.

Today I’m proud to share that we’ve introduced Element Unify™, a cloud software solution that automates the integration, contextualization, and governance of OT/IT metadata. Unify for the first time enables simplified analytics, accelerates time to analytical value and keeps data synced and evergreen across IT/OT systems of record.

Importantly, Element is not a “rip and replace” solution – it integrates easily with existing IT and OT systems, as well as the AWS and Microsoft Azure IIoT service stacks, solving the data problem through a unique “data fabric / data hub”system of record approach that connects to all data sources and feeds all consumers in a seamless manner. With Unify, industrial organizations can:  

I invite you to see for yourself. Contact our team to request a demo. I also recommend you checkout our new eGuide, "How to Talk to IT and the C-Suite to Get the Green light on Transformation."

With the call for healthier, safer, more productive operations echoing louder than ever before, we must more fully exploit the power of our OT data. Now is the time. And I firmly believe that Element Unify is the solution our industry needs to move forward.