Big Data and the role of data governance in Asset Management

According to the ISO55000, Asset Management is the coordinated activity of an organisation to realise value from assets. It is about a holistic approach within an organisation to take care of valued assets.

Within many organisations, data usually exist in silos and hence, the critical need for a Data Governance process or policy, that enables data to be governed across each department (silos) and presented in a meaningful way to realise value (going back to ISO55000’s definition of Asset Management).
Big Data is a term that describes large volume of data – both structured and unstructured. Doug Laney in 2009 described Big Data as the three Vs – volume (amount of data), variety (different formats) and velocity (speed of receiving data especially in real time). The ‘Big Data’ concept is about trying to predict the future. Data has always existed and the issue is about ‘meaningful’ data. Yes there is an increase in the data generated today and the possibilities are huge. For example, with analysed data you can determine the root causes of failures, issues and defects in near-real time.
Other opportunities include the ability to make insightful planning, fore-casting and predictions as regards asset behaviour and production patterns, which should increase return on investment (ROI) e.g. predicting and avoiding asset down time. Equally, matching data samples around different asset operating parameters and the resulting production output can give us insight into how different operating levels affect the asset and its components. Such information allows for a truly optimised operation as an asset is run to the most efficient production rate, whilst ensuring that equipment and components lifecycles are at maximum capacity.
Failure to produce relevant data for decision making is a major drawback due to the lack of very intelligent analytic tools. This is where a well-articulated Data Governance strategy can have a huge positive impact because without knowing what data you have, how current it is (real time or not), how quick it changes, who uses it and what it is for, an organisation will struggle to get the insights mentioned earlier. So again, Data Governance is about getting value from your data, which ties in nicely with the ISO’s definition of Asset Management. In addition Data Governance is about encouraging good data behaviour.
Whatever it is, the opportunities depend solely on the proper application of Big Data and this can be fostered by proper Data Governance. This means the ability to understand what data sample is needed, how to analyse and interpret these data and of course the flawless application of the findings. Without factoring each of these functions, Big Data may be just too much to handle.
On the flip side, one needs to balance the effort (cost or otherwise) required in sifting and analysing Big Data in order to predict an asset failure with the cost or impact of the asset failure. This I feel is where the focus should be as the practice of Asset Management is about realising value from assets.
So organisations need to avoid operating in silos with a reactive, short-term term mind-set as this impedes Asset Management, while a multi-disciplinary, holistic and long-term approach enhances it. So departments, business units need to work together in achieving the organisation’s goals and this demonstrates the holistic approach of Asset Management and equally confirmed by Mother Teresa of Calcutta when she said “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
In conclusion, without proper insights from data (raw or refined forms), then the whole resources spent on gathering and analysing Big Data becomes a waste. And with more focus on Predictive Maintenance strategies, which is a key aspect of Asset Management, Big Data has a major role to play with a robust Data Governance process.
Written on 30 January 2017 by Chidi Umeano (Principal Consultant), Codub Group of Companies.

His a life lived with purpose and integrity which surely may not come with the trappings of fame and fortune, but the number of people whose lives have been positively molded by this exemplary living is enough to place him among men of value in Nigeria whose achievements cannot be ignored.
For those not aware of how Chidi Umeano, Principal Consultant, Codub Group has gradually made his name an endorsement of value, a brief insight into his life journey may still be necessary. A graduate of the University of Nigeria and Brunel university United Kingdom, he had worked with different world class organizations across continents before his patriotic desire to contribute to nation-building brought him back to Nigeria where he set up Codub Group, and the experienced engineer, information management and business analyst has expectedly made the Codub one of the firms of repute in Nigeria today.

Asked about his guiding philosophies, he replied “Honesty is on key principle for me and this is reflected in one of our organization’s motto “Service Delivery Through Honesty and Transparent Partnership With Our clients. Another is trust in God and making sure I do not disappoint those that trust in me”.

Apart from the inspiration he gets from the life of Jesus, the astute professional at different period of his life had been influenced by Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy, a catholic priest, Prof Savvas Tassou of the Brunel University, Martin Luther King Jr, and his parents.

An Amiable man with disciplined character, Umeano is one those who believe that parent have failed in their responsibility of raising character conscious children in Nigeria. Hear him: “Firstly, as parents we have failed our children and also failed the next two generations after us by placing more focus on materialism over ethics and values. Thus, our priorities are misplaced and when they are misplaced, then we lose focus.

Secondly, the media has contributed immensely to the decay in ethics and values as more and more focus seems to be on the celebrity culture. That is why this bold drive by the Guardian Newspaper to change the mind set of youths is a laudable initiative. Well done.”

Explaining what informed his decision to set up Codub group and the firm has fared over the years, he said: “Driving down cost, cost and cost. At Codub, we use Technology to Reduce Costs, Improve Efficiency and Increase Revenue. Over the years, Codub has been assisting organizations in determining what they own (Asset Register), the condition of their assets (Condition Register) and the maintenance required (Maintenance Standards). We provide solutions (software and consultancy) for the management of the life span of physical assets including costs, environmental impact and asset replacement”.

“We have also assisted organizations in moving towards industry best practice process delivery with the use of cutting edge and adaptive software technologies including SAP, IBM Maximo, FSI Concept CAFM and Maintenance Connection CMMS and Codub Training has provided capacity development solutions for all levels of people in both the public and private sectors.

Our turnkey summits in Nigeria called Infrastructure Asset Management Summit and the Asset and Waste Management workshops are helping to change the mind of set of many Nigerians towards reviving and adopting proper maintenance culture in order to drive down operating costs of the public and private sectors.”

Sharing his vision for Codub, he said: “Our vision is to be the preferred consulting form for Asset Management and CMMS Projects in West Africa and to retain every client for life and turn them into a raving fan. Our Mission is to use the largest technology to assist organizations develop a robust strategy for Asset & facilities Management”.