Making Sense of "Big Data"

SMS Team / March 24, 2017

It’s often said that we are now in the age of “Big Data” with organisations scrambling around to get as much data from various sources as possible. However, having vast amounts of data is one thing but being able to use it is another. Analysing huge amounts of data from multiple sources can of course be confusing, which is why more and more companies are presenting the data visually, rather than in standard Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. The main problem with historical data management being;

  • Vital data can be missed – reviewing countless spreadsheets of raw data at the same time makes it difficult to interpret exactly what is important and what’s not. Visualisation tools can be used to instantly highlight the important areas of interest and spot trends, whereas in the traditional method it’s often hard to “see the wood from the trees” as it were.

  • Loss of historic data - spreadsheets aren’t the best place to store historical data. To keep the size of the flies manageable, they are often “updated” which can result in companies losing valuable data. This also makes it near impossible to spot trends over a period of time.

  • Out of date data – because of the risk of data being accidentally deleted or changed the spreadsheets are rarely “live”, meaning you may be looking at old data. Having real-time accurate data however will ensure decisions are made to reflect the current state of affairs.

Turning "Big Data" into useful information

We completely agree with the statement from GE that “Big Data in Oil & Gas Is About More Than Just Lots of Data”. This is why we have spent time developing our Interactive Reporting Software which is able present data from multiple sensors (corrosion monitors, sand monitors, erosion probes, UT wall thickness monitors etc) in a clear, visual format. This enables decision makers to see analytics presented visually, so they can grasp difficult concepts or identify new patterns. From a simple single web page interface, you can instantly analyse in real time, online from anywhere, anytime. 

By visualizing your asset, you can plan maintenance and integrity management proactively. Not only can you decide where is best position to place the sensors, but you can also plan a full work schedule based on precise and relevant information. By improving planning, you can reduce non-productive downtime, improve asset integrity and reduce maintenance costs.

This SMS reporting suite eliminates the need to rely on pre-packaged “flat” reports and spreadsheets which don’t give you the multidimensional summary and analysis which is so valuable. One screen can provide the same amount of data as multiple text documents and statistical graphs, and can be digested and understood in a fraction of the time.

For me, this interactive data visualisation suite is the best way to process and understand not only the importance of the data, but communicating the insight into what the data means in a clear and concise way.

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