Data Collection & Data Integration: Industrial Data Summit 2022

Posted on 30 Jun 2022 by Tom St John

We take a look back at this year’s Industrial Data Summit, where we sat in on a discussion table that explored the varying difficulties and outcomes of data collection and integration

Though it’s accepted that data is the foundation of a modern manufacturing environment, there are many processes and methods available to gather it, store it, and present it. This creates its own challenges; manufacturers often create overlapping/competing investments based on different stakeholders’ needs, and the expertise of the technical enablement teams they rely on.

This discussion put a spotlight on practices that every manufacturer can use when building their strategy – from understanding the complete mix of “users” for different data, to the characteristics of data platforms and tools that can make serving that broad group easier.

Some of the pain points for manufacturers on this discussion table were as follows:

“The company has mapped out a new five-year plan and a lot of that is focused on data integration. We’ve got a lot of systems and none of them talk to each other – the ERP is a mess. It’s not on fire, but we’ve not been able to capture what we need.”

“We’re trying to manage all the data from a lot of different sources and so far we’re getting nowhere fast. There’s a big lack of governance and understanding about how we get systems to talk to each other. But then again, the questions that we want to get answered are also vague. We’ve got plenty of data oil barrels, but we can’t move them.”

“We’ve still got lots of people doing work on spreadsheets, so we need to start to work towards digitising that and making sure we capture all that data. We’re starting to think more about data visualisation and within a constant stream, identifying what data is actually important to us as a business.”

“My role in our business involves looking into technologies that will enable us to create products at a much higher rate in the next generation factory that we’ll be building. This involves looking at all the different stages in our system structure that data is going to flow through, and how we can use data to reach those levels.”

“Were at a place where we’ve got some good data approaches going on in small patches of the business. Our key challenge is around making that part of our everyday business and spreading it across the wider organisation. We also have that old chestnut of how to deal with legacy systems which produce different structures and data that basically doesn’t talk to each other.”

Sean Robinson, Service Leader at Novatek UK, rounds-up the day’s discussion table.

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