Inspectioneering Journal

Clearing out the Data Clutter: How well-maintained data can add value to your reliability program

By Jeffrey Foushee, Client Solutions Specialist at Pinnacle, and Ryan Myers, Product Manager at Pinnacle. This article appears in the May/June 2016 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.


We have all heard the phrase, “Good data in, good data out. Bad data in, bad data out.” While this concept is well known in theory, there is often a large amount of focus spent on acquiring the latest software and participating in the latest reliability trends, without ensuring that the basic data managed in our facilities is of good quality. In reality, data management is an integral part of maintaining efficient business processes. Properly maintained data can enable facilities to make better-informed business decisions, leading to optimized maintenance costs, improved safety, and greater compliance. On the other hand, bad data causes severe inefficiencies, a false sense of confidence in facility reliability, and an inability to accurately forecast a facility’s operational budgets. 

Figure 1. Business drivers affected by data management.
Figure 1. Business drivers affected by data management.

Good Data In (And Bad Data Out)

Data, in pure form, consists of raw, unorganized facts that need to be processed. Data can be found in databases, documents, drawings, reports, spreadsheets, and numerous other sources. Having data on hand is useful, however, it’s often inefficient and counterproductive to make decisions based on data in its raw form.

Instead, data should be processed, organized and structured—within a given context—to create information. Information consists of the findings generated by the data and is used to drive mature decision-making processes at all levels of an organization, including between departments, and between facilities and corporate stakeholders. These cross-functional teams depend on reliable information to help guide key business decisions. In order to gather reliable information, it is critical that the data under analysis is clear, correct and accessible.

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Comments and Discussion

Posted by Tom Wisherop on June 24, 2016
Great article! Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

Posted by Muhamad Faizal Abu Bakar on August 8, 2016
Spot on article. Managing asset integrity data I... Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

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