Most owner/operators and EPCs would like to use data more efficiently in their industrial facilities, however, a number of barriers stand in the way of maximizing the power of the data to achieve their Smart Digital Reality. For one, continued reliance on manual processes is common and a practical way to access, process, and utilize data in order to make better, faster decisions seems like an impossibility.
In some organizations, the concept of digital transformation is simply overwhelming. It’s such a huge undertaking—third-party legacy systems, siloed data, spreadsheets, paper files. Where do you start? Convincing executives to see the benefits of digital transformation and make it a strategic priority can also be challenging, as the hidden-costs and inefficiencies of doing business as usual are often not apparent.
For owner/operators and EPCs who are prioritizing digital transformation across the industrial asset lifecycle, other obstacles arise. Specifically, the increasing volume of data being generated creates a new challenge: How to visualize and contextualize the data so it gets to the right place at the right time to make it truly actionable.
Overcoming obstacles to digital transformation and increasing data velocity
First and foremost, there is no one-size-fits-all solution on the road to digital transformation. Hexagon takes an systematic approach to each customer’s unique challenges and goals, homing in on the long-term vision, then focusing on solutions that allow the customer to leverage “digital your way.” Transformation occurs over the long-term, with incremental short-term wins building momentum for bigger outcomes along the way.
So, where does data velocity—the speed at which you get usable data where you need it and as actionable information in context —come in? Hexagon helps industrial customers focus on and amplify data velocity to address the challenges posed by increasing volumes of data. By increasing the speed, accuracy, consistency and transparency in how data is managed, Hexagon technology empowers smarter and faster role-based decision-making.
Ultimately, the goal is to increase data velocity to lightning speed, which allows owner/operators and EPCs to unlock the potential of data and generate insights in real time. As data velocity increases, so does the ability to better-predict potential risks and performance issues that can threaten operational integrity. Increased data velocity also enables the ultimate goal of autonomous industrial facilities that can operate with minimal human intervention.
Untangling multiple, disconnected manual systems: Where to start?
Right now, you might be thinking, “This data velocity concept sounds interesting, but really, where do I start?” Consider a common situation where data is stored in multiple legacy systems that don’t talk to one another, not to mention information siloed elsewhere, like spreadsheets on a lead engineer’s laptop or purchase orders filed away collecting dust.
That’s where Hexagon’s proprietary Digital Backbone comes into play. Whether you’re breaking ground on new construction or managing a decades-old existing operation, the Digital Backbone captures and processes data (right down to those dusty old purchase orders), which provides the infrastructure and services needed to facilitate data consolidation and interoperability.
Streamlining and centralizing the entire data inventory enables users to achieve more and make better-informed decisions immediately— data velocity—not just with Hexagon solutions, but with interoperability to legacy systems including third-party software. This equates to systems and users talking to each other—and making decisions—in real time with the most up-to-date information available.
How much time does it currently take you to analyze data fragmented by manual processes and siloed in legacy systems today? Can you trust the information when you find it, or do you need to physically verify information in the field? Not to mention the time wasted and risks faced while trying to respond to a crisis or make a major financial decision—with data that is most certainly out of date. Data velocity helps mitigate risks (think workplace accidents, purchasing decisions, cyberthreats), while saving time and money.
Use cases: Data velocity and the Digital Backbone in action
Performing cost reports for projects: Multiple opportunities exist to improve data velocity in the asset lifecycle. Take, for example, the time it takes to perform a cost report for a project that assesses how a project is progressing and identifies any problems that have arisen since the last report.
Traditionally, it may take two to three weeks to compile a monthly project cost report because information is gathered manually. Data is not connected, which impedes data velocity. By the time the report is finalized, the information is so out of date and no longer actionable because the problem started weeks ago.
With Hexagon technology, you evolve from data bottlenecks to being able to see project performance in real time, by leveraging data from the model and work in the field to accelerate data velocity. This allows you to identify the root cause and address issues proactively when danger signs come up. The sooner you identify issues, the more impact you can have on course correction, which can provide savings on cost, or schedule, or both, resulting in reduced project risk and more predicable project delivery.
Asset investment planning (AIP). AIP reports present another opportunity for improving what’s largely been a manual process with use of the Digital Backbone to drive data velocity. These reports assess where investments will be made and what processes or actions are projected to change on an annual, quarterly, or even a monthly basis. They provide information on various assets as they're defined from a maintenance, refurbishment, and replacement standpoint, to help determine the investment involved and how it impacts budgets.
With the Digital Backbone, all of this data can be automatically gathered and presented in one holistic view, within the right context and at the right time, accelerating data velocity to enable better and more informed planning and decision making around critical issues like how often a particular asset needs to be replaced, and based on that frequency, the associated cost for the replacement. Pulling all of that information together and calculating costs for one scenario could take months under traditional manual processes. Now, data velocity means calculating multiple scenarios in a matter of minutes.
Achieving Your Smart Digital Reality
Hexagon’s Digital Backbone enables the data velocity necessary to unlock the potential of data to fuel your Smart Digital Reality, a unified, role-based and real-time view of the physical and digital realities across your industrial projects and assets portfolio. This is more than just a virtual representation of a facility as a digital twin. It also entails automating processes and analytics, and increasingly removing human intervention, errors, and risks on the journey to a fully autonomous future. And, you can take advantage of new features and services updated regularly to accelerate digital transformation—adding more value to your Smart Digital Reality over time.
Hexagon’s enables your Smart Digital Reality because it does something that other approaches can’t do: Evolve incrementally over time as new data is collected. That means you receive the up-to-date insights you need to make informed decisions based on what’s happening today, not three weeks ago, three months ago, or more.