Data Management Challenges We Addressed

Through our consultancy work on asset data management we were met with this recurring question from our clients:

How do you keep asset data (plane, ship, process plant, etc.) readily usable by all those who need it over the 60-80-year life of the asset, a period that may span ten generations or more of hardware and software?

This question raises a number of challenges. Here are but four:

  • Multiple stakeholders: On any long lifecycle programme there are numerous stakeholders ranging from regulatory bodies, owner operators, EPCs (Engineering & Procurement Contractors), etc. Their differing requirements raise legal, intellectual property, ownership, safety and governance issues that need to be addressed. For instance, regulators mandate that work is carried out according to industry standards complete with traceability and audit trails.
  • Wide range of users: Users in design, manufacturing, sourcing, support, as well as external people such as contractors, suppliers, partners need to access asset data throughout its lifecycle (60-80 years) in the course of their day-to-day activities. To achieve this, data needs to be fit-for-purpose and readily usable by all those who need it, when they need it and in the form they need it.
  • Evolving user needs and technology: In today’s fast changing business and technologies landscapes, the only thread that runs through the 60-80 years life of an asset is data. How the data is used, by whom it is used, and for what purpose is in continuous change. Therefore, next generation solutions need to evolve with technology and the needs of users in an evolutionary way and not in a step change every few years as is the case with current generation of solutions.
  • Legacy: Many long lifecycle programmes predate the start of the digital age leaving significant legacy of data on obsolete media such as microfilm, microfiche as well as paper. In addition, with the fast evolution of digital technology, there is also a legacy of dated systems (silos), that have long passed their ‘sell-by date’, but still hold important data that is not easily accessible, never mind being in a usable state.

Replacing ‘asset’ by ‘patient’ shows that these challenges are equally applicable in healthcare. How we address the challenges of multiple stakeholders, a wide range of users and the evolution of user needs and technology can we seen in our healthcare demonstrator video.

To find out more about how we manage legacy, watch our SiloSolve video

Delivering Next Generation Solutions

Current data management solutions tend to be designed and built around a predefined functionality which is then extended through a series of upgrades with the aim of satisfying ALL the customers ALL the time. This is an unachievable goal, as each customer’s needs are not only different, but also in constant change. Datamation understand solutions need to be more flexible and adaptable in a world where the business and technology landscapes are fast changing.

At Datamation we have turned software solutions development on its head. We do not start from pre-defined functionality, because what is state-of-the-art today, would be obsolete tomorrow. Instead, we have developed our universal Information Platform (uIP) to manage data independently of how, where, by whom and for what purpose it is used. This ensures that the data can be used for multiple purposes today, and at any time in the future.

Datamation’s ‘Platform Approach’ makes it possible to build, and tailor solutions, to meet the specific needs of each individual customer much like a manufacturer delivers built-to-order cars, or other hardware products, from the same assembly line. That is, by building solutions from modular components, different customer needs can be met with solutions that include different combinations of ‘standard’ components.

In short, the Datamation’s ‘Platform Approach’ offers speed of development and tailoring, plus the agility to benefit from the latest advances in technology. What is more, this is achieved in an evolutionary way by adding new modules and retiring old ones rather than a step changes every few years from one generation of the base system to another.