Data Management refers to the process of collecting and organizing data in a way that makes it useful and easy to retrieve, navigate, and read at a later date. Over the course of a single day, the average facility will generate immense amounts of data. This data includes things such as pressure, flow, and conditions of various pieces of equipment such as pipelines, valves, and pressure vessels.

Whether in the downstream refining, midstream, renewable, offshore, chemical, or other sectors, proper data management is important for effective Asset Integrity Management programs, which require large amounts of data to be easily archived, accessed, and holistically analyzed. Facilities and vendors have developed software that can collect, manage, and analyze asset integrity data to drive actionable insights to enhance operations.

Inspection Data Management Software

Data management can be a complex process. This is because data can come from various incompatible sources, such as multiple types of nondestructive testing (NDT) tools and online monitoring systems, that have been collected months or even years apart with different levels of completeness and complexity. Integrating these distinct sources of data together can be difficult, which is where an effective data management system and an experienced data management partner can provide crucial support.

A comprehensive inspection data management software (IDMS) solution can specialize in asset integrity, corrosion, and more to efficiently store data and help ensure assets meet industry regulations. Not only can advanced IDMSs store data but they can also analyze and generate actionable insights from the data that empower operators to make more informed inspection, mitigation, and repair decisions.

From inspection tracking and analysis to corrosion analysis and trending, an IDMS provides solutions to execute mechanical integrity (MI) initiatives and make data management as reliable as possible in the digital age.

Mechanical Integrity Data Integration

Integrated metrics can tell the entirety of a company’s data story. The future of asset integrity within refineries and plants lies within the benefits of an integrated data highway. For the downstream sector, the oil & gas industry has introduced a data management solution that supports every aspect of MI data management. With IDMS systems and mobile data management platforms working in sync, the integration of data has never been more useful or accessible.

An Asset Performance Management (APM) application allows oversight of multiple assets across multiple facilities on one platform. With an IDMS and mobile inspection reporting platform, an APM application can be automatically updated, avoiding the need for personnel to manually input data. This increases transparency in the inspection process and helps operators more effectively meet compliance requirements.

Oil & gas organizations can simplify the process of integrating data from multiple inputs by partnering with organizations that specialize in a wide variety of asset protection solutions. Rather than retroactively integrating incompatible data from multiple sources (such as data from drones, inline inspections [ILI], NDT, and online monitoring systems), relying on a single vendor to execute each of these activities helps ensure that data collected at any point during operations can be easily stored and analyzed in a central location.

Digitized Mechanical Integrity Data

In the digital age, plant operators can benefit greatly by transitioning from traditional, paper-based inspection reporting methods to mobile, digitized operations. Digitized data is an increasingly notable method for data management and is made possible through mobile inspection data reporting tools.

Advanced mobile inspection data reporting platforms have developed into mobile cloud-based field inspection, execution, and reporting solutions. Through the use of handheld devices in the field, mobile inspection data reporting platforms allow technicians to develop reports directly on their device and send that information dynamically to an IDMS, thus removing the time and manpower inefficiencies that can be present when inspectors have to manually enter data into the IDMS. This streamlining of work has improved time and work considerations for plants.

Data Management Advantages

The advantages of proficient data management are apparent within every aspect of operations. Data management as accomplished through proficient IDMS and mobile data reporting solutions can result in time and cost savings for the plant. The streamlining capabilities allow inspection work to occur faster and data to be visible in real-time. Data management allows post-inspection work to be more informed and relevant since the data is easily organized and stored properly. These advantages reach even greater heights when effective data management is done in conjunction with a provider that has the knowledge and capabilities of a wide range of asset protection solutions that includes enabling data from throughout the oil & gas value chain to be centralized and used to drive actionable insights that maximize uptime and safety.

Relevant Links

Topic Tools

Share this Topic

Contribute to Definition

We welcome updates to this Integripedia definition from the Inspectioneering community. Click the link below to submit any recommended changes for Inspectioneering's team of editors to review.

Contribute to Definition
Articles about Data Management
September/October 2022 Inspectioneering Journal

While data science has the power to revolutionize the reliability industry, it will only do so with strong guidance from SMEs. This combination enables facilities to develop solutions to challenges based on each method’s unique strengths.

July/August 2022 Inspectioneering Journal

Earlier this year, Inspectioneering and Pinnacle co-hosted their 9th “Meeting of the Minds” roundtable discussion with a select group of leading MI experts. This year's focus was on data collection, data organization, and data analysis.

Authors: Jeremiah Wooten
May/June 2022 Inspectioneering Journal

A case study on utilizing the Quantitative Reliability Optimization (QRO) methodology to help better evaluate equipment risk and predict future product availability.


The addition of data science into traditional reliability methods allows models to evolve continually and learn, preventing results from becoming stagnant.

March/April 2022 Inspectioneering Journal

This study found that a machine learning model was able to predict degradation rates for a hydrocracker unit more accurately and with a smaller margin of error compared to current industry practices.

Partner Content

Our proprietary furnace tube inspection system, FTIS is an ultrasonic inspection technology capable of rapid, automated fired heater coil inspection in refinery fired heaters. The data captured by our furnace tube inspection system is...

March/April 2022 Inspectioneering Journal

A changing workforce means an increased need to digitize AIM technology, including data capture and analysis, to facilitate remote work requirements and more efficient methods in a digital market.

Authors: Floyd Baker
March/April 2022 Inspectioneering Journal

This article discusses some of the common fitness-for-service (FFS) issues plant engineers in the chemical and refining industry are facing and a handful of recommendations on how to improve them.

Authors: Greg Garic
January/February 2022 Inspectioneering Journal

Applying advanced statistical analysis methods will provide owner/users with a RAGAGEP-accepted method for analyzing corrosion monitoring data while also integrating the latest improvements in inspection capabilities.


Complex problems require collaboration between process, operations, maintenance, inspection, and engineering. It is important to establish a sense of trust in your organization and work to avoid situations where "dynamic tension" is a way of life.

Authors: Rick Hoffman
September/October 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

The positive impact of digital twins on planning, costs, turnaround, revenue generation, and safety are substantial and rapid in their return. This article will examine why to leverage this technology and how to do so in a fiscally viable manner.

Authors: Floyd Baker
Partner Content

FFS assessment techniques are applicable to a wide range of damage types: LTA's, cracks, creep damage, dents, and more. These are very powerful analytical tools that often allow operators to not only keep the plant running, but to keep it running...

September/October 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

Utilizing a digital field service management platform for inspection and related trade support is the answer to many of the difficulties experienced in mechanical integrity programs today.

Authors: Ryan Streeter
September/October 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

Condition monitoring optimization goes beyond traditional CML optimization, which is often limited in the breadth of analysis, or can overemphasize a subset of the overall objective.


The results of the analysis demonstrate the exciting possibilities for how “Big Data” can be used to empower the reliability and corrosion engineer to solve real-world reliability challenges faster and more accurately than current industry...


Acting as a reliability twin, QRO is a new dynamic reliability approach that bridges existing first principles-based reliability models with advanced data science principles and system-based optimization to drive improved facility performance.


One of the most important opportunities is digitalization, visualization, and access to actionable information, which is best achieved via AIM software with digital twin technology. Yet, can it really create enough value to justify the business case?

Authors: Floyd Baker
Partner Content

Equity Engineering Practices® (EEPs) are a collection of design and maintenance focused corporate standards that include >850 engineering standards, and >300 piping classes. Enhance your mechanical integrity programs, improve equipment...


While collecting more data may seem like the solution, the key to successfully forecasting system availability is building a strong program based on existing data. This can be accomplished through Quantitative Reliability Optimization (QRO).

May/June 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

This article describes an owner-user’s evergreening process to maintain accurate data to support the mechanical integrity program and assist in planning inspections, turnarounds, repairs, replacements, and upgrades.

Authors: Ben Charlton
May/June 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

This case study of a CO2 absorber tower in a remote location investigates the use of a new type of wireless ultrasonic sensor for monitoring the thickness of equipment while on or offline.

Authors: Martyn Cooper

As the industry continues to collect more data, many facilities are unable to confidently leverage it to drive better reliability decisions because they do not collect the correct type or amount of data, which leads to unknown risks.

March/April 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

The manner by which reliability is achieved is experiencing a much-needed paradigm shift in the way it uses data. In this article, we’ll explain how you can leverage this industry shift to implement data-driven reliability at your facility.

Authors: Sean Rosier
Partner Content

What do you need: CONSULTING - Subject matter experts, consultants, or team of highly skilled engineers to help solve my problem. SOFTWARE - My team requires software, products, or resources that will solve the problem. TRAINING - I require...

November/December 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

Facilities that can successfully leverage both their data and expertise while effectively integrating this unified model into their core business processes can improve performance and eliminate non-value-added activities.

September/October 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

This article provides a guide through the actual execution of digital transformation. The author explains what digital transformation is and helps you understand the benefits you will achieve and the challenges that arise.

Authors: Nasrin Azari
September/October 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

Understanding asset integrity and its management framework is important to sustaining the integrity of assets in the oil and gas industry. This article will discuss eleven primary elements that make up an asset integrity management program.

May/June 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

Despite the recent challenges that the oil and gas industry has faced over the past couple of months, facilities have the unique opportunity to embrace change in company culture, build data-driven processes, and focus on measuring value.

Authors: Lewis Makin

Bad data is the bane of equipment integrity — and I don’t just mean test data that is questionable. As a quick exercise, consider some of the key data issues you have encountered. Do any of the following ring a bell?

Authors: Inspector Frank
Partner Content

Becht’s industry-leading Corrosion and Metallurgical experts are here to help with significant owner-operator experience covering the refining, petrochemical and chemical industries. This expertise is leveraged to help our clients become more...

March/April 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

There are tools available that can achieve nearly 100% corrosion monitoring coverage. The use of robotics and ultrasonic inspection methods such as rapid ultrasonic gridding have shown to be highly effective in acquiring these data points.

Authors: Ed Bryner

When paired with the right software, the RBWS process can lead to significant reductions in turnaround work scopes. However, some software tools have distinct advantages over others.

Authors: Abby King
November/December 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

Today's operators are implementing a myriad of Mechanical Integrity and Reliability programs to realize greater results from their facilities. However, for each of these programs to be effective, they must be fueled by quality and up-to-date data.

July/August 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

This article demonstrates how substituting inspection reports that originate from pen and paper to reports generated using a stylus and tablet at the time and location of inspection can eliminate data entry errors and other common mistakes.


This blog will walk through practical steps for managing IOWS and will demonstrate what successful IOW management can look like.

Partner Content

TEAM’s integrated touch point corrosion program manages all aspects of the integrity process from screening for damage to permanent repair assuring integrity – every time. TEAM’s unique turn-key approach to touch point corrosion integrity...

March/April 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

In order to utilize data most effectively and realize the full power of AE testing, it is necessary to bring the capabilities of laboratory testing tools to industrial sites.

Authors: André Viaud

This article outlines current and future challenges for asset owners and operators in the energy and marine industries and how technology will change the way knowledge is captured, stored, and used across organizations for the better.

Authors: Tim Bisley
January/February 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

Take advantage of every reasonable opportunity to properly organize your databases. As the information moves toward High Fidelity, you can achieve improved effectiveness and efficiency in your reliability and mechanical integrity programs.

Authors: Greg Alvarado
November/December 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

This article describes how an international oil and gas company built an inspection data management program for its U.S. operations yielding improved confidence in decision-making information, cost savings through increased efficiency, and an...

Authors: Efrain Rios

In the fifth and final blog of this 5-part series, readers will learn the key obstacles faced in an implementation project and what measures can be taken to help prevent and mitigate their impact.

Authors: Efrain Rios
Partner Content

Download Pinnacle's Economics of Reliability Report - Refining to see how reliability is affecting profitability.


In this article, the author discusses how standardizing IDMS usage can help integrity teams perform more efficiently and effectively.

Authors: Efrain Rios

There are cases where selecting the best IDMS application for the company means that the end users will not immediately obtain all desired functionality. In some instances, users must forgo desirable features to satisfy more valuable requirements of...

Authors: Efrain Rios

In the industry today, there are numerous applications being used to manage asset integrity information, i.e. data and records associated with design, construction, corrosion, inspection, process chemistry, and degradation remediation. In the second...

Authors: Efrain Rios
March/April 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

This article demonstrates how the use of APM software can help prevent unplanned downtime by quickly identifying potential hidden failures.


In the industry today, there are numerous applications being used to manage asset integrity information, i.e. data and records associated with design, construction, corrosion, inspection, process chemistry, and degradation remediation. As the first...

Authors: Efrain Rios
Partner Content

Traditional, paper-based inspection processes can prevent plants from being as effective as they can be. By digitalizing your mechanical integrity process and data with MISTRAS Digital®, plants have realized up to 75% gains in IDMS data entry and...

January/February 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

Inspection data is vulnerable to flaws in collection and retention. For example, data might be inaccurate, duplicate, or incomplete due to procedural breakdowns. This article introduces Digital Data Management Systems (DDMS) as a response to these...

September/October 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Although value-drivers often differ between facilities, all can agree that effective asset management strategies should lead to better decision making. In this case study, the authors detail how process-based risk management strategies can make for...

July/August 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

3 common repair scenarios include routine maintenance, scope repairs, and major discoveries. An inspector’s ability to properly manage each situation can mean the difference between mechanical integrity success and failure.

Authors: Mark Savage

Having connected assets that continuously monitor their own health and feed that information back in a way that is timely and actionable will drive business outcomes and help organizations achieve loftier goals.

Authors: Ken Latino
March/April 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Inspectioneering Founder & Chief Editor, Greg Alvarado, recently had the privilege to sit down with Clay White, Director of Mechanical Integrity for Phillips 66 (Downstream), to discuss the world of fixed equipment reliability in the refining and...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
Partner Content

Pro-Surve recently invested in the latest portable Higher Order Modes Clusters (HOMC) Guided Wave Testing tool, a new concept for the inspection of inaccessible regions using short-range guided waves. Inspection is carried out from the accessible...

January/February 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

This article covers where to start, what to look for, and how to execute a data and systems-focused performance improvement project that can drive large overhead savings.

January/February 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Today’s intelligent technology can provide is interoperability, mobile data collection, cascading questions, picture referencing, photo annotation, data funneling and cost savings.

Authors: Justin Nickel
Online Article

It is a commonly held belief with oil & gas (O&G), oil sands, and pipeline projects that material test reports (MTRs) are always required for turnover to the owner-user, but that is untrue. In this article I will describe what MTRs are, how these...

May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

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...

March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

We have seen many different inspection recommendation management systems. Most of them struggle to effectively manage all inspection recommendations. However, a few of them are excellent. What makes an effective system?

Partner Content

Tri-Lateral Phased Array is a novel robotic phased array ultrasonic testing technique for the on-stream inspection of fixed equipment in wet hydrogen sulfide (H2S) service. TriLat identifies and quantifies wet H2S damage in the base metal of...

March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

It is estimated that there have been more than 250,000 layoffs in the oil and gas industry since the price of oil began to drop precipitously in late 2014. With oil not expected to rebound significantly for at least the next year or so, we should be...

January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

You probably already know that inspection apps for tablets and smart phones exist, and have notions of how these technologies can improve efficiencies in the field and beyond.

January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

When heading down the path of becoming an inspection professional, it’s helpful to understand the characteristics that truly make someone an outstanding inspector.

January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

The enormous decline in oil prices over the past 14 months has definitely slowed projects and changed the energy and production landscape. Despite this, refineries, petrochemical plants, and chemical facilities must continue to run safely,...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

It is often best to rely on properly trained and experienced inspection service providers to determine the proper method for any inspection project. Thus, inspection companies can suggest utilizing the most effective and efficient inspection...

Authors: Mike Brown
Partner Content

The bp refinery in Rotterdam was able to establish a continuous digital inspection process for the first time by using the DIMATE PACS – including the digital evaluation and transmission of quality-assured inspection data to the RBI.

September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

This article addresses a debate mechanical integrity professionals in the O&G and Chemical Processing industries periodically have about how thickness data gathered during a thickness monitoring inspection (TMI) should be recorded.

Authors: A.C. Gysbers
May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Pipeline integrity is critical to ensure maintenance and operational efficiency; however it is becoming an increasingly challenging task for the energy industry. Maintenance managers and inspectors must make sure their pipeline(s) and its associated...

May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Machine-to-Machine connectivity combined with advanced computing capabilities and industry-focused software enable a wide range of new capabilities. From smart homes controlled over the internet, to smart electric grids with smart meters, sensors...

May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

While performing visual inspections with a pen and notepad is the traditional way to record data, there are now more efficient ways to complete inspections out in the field. Investing in a mobile inspection application can be a great way to save...


There should be a policy in place and enforced by management at each operating site of not allowing equipment and repair recommendations to become overdue for inspection and handling. Such a practice goes a long way toward increasing the credibility...

Authors: John Reynolds
January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Avoiding cracking under pressure when managing high-energy piping systems is common subject matter in the power industry. Just as high-energy piping can give way to pressure, stress and fatigue, so can the people in charge of operating them when...

Authors: Pamela Hamblin
November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

Based on my 45+ years of experience working with fixed equipment mechanical integrity (FEMI) issues in the refining and petrochemical processing industry, this article summarizes what I believe are the top 10 reasons why pressure vessels and piping...

Authors: John Reynolds
November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

One of the major challenges inspectors and plant operators face after each turnaround is to ensure that all repair and scope work is and was completed in accordance with the client’s requirements. Sometimes that verification will be to ensure work...

Authors: Scott Corey
September/October 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

Recently developed RFID best practices provide an opportunity for pipeline businesses to transform their asset management and pipeline integrity management processes away from traditional paper-based systems to more efficient, highly-integrated...


Today’s blog post is a continuation on the 10 essential Management Systems needed for an effective PEI program that can achieve excellence. My previous posts covered the first six of these, including LCM, Risk Assessment and Inspection, and...

Authors: John Reynolds
May/June 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

Piping failures still represent a frustrating and ongoing problem for processing plants. Failures are still commonly reported and contribute to large losses. In the author’s experience, piping represents the highest percentage of fixed equipment...

Authors: A.C. Gysbers
January/February 2012 Inspectioneering Journal

Clearly, record-keeping and data management have a major role in achieving excellence in pressure equipment integrity and reliability (PEI&R). Everything else we do to achieve excellence in PEI&R stems from keeping high quality and complete PEI&R...

Authors: John Reynolds
July/August 2010 Inspectioneering Journal

Inspection intervals for equipment have in the past been defined in a prescriptive manner. However, industry is now embracing the Risk Based Inspection (RBI) approach which in contrast prioritises inspections based on an assessment of the risk to...

November/December 2007 Inspectioneering Journal

Facilities are often content in compiling event data, entering thickness measurements, assigning a system description, tracking work requests and recommendations in their databases. These are certainly valuable data points but using your database...

Authors: Mark Vining
July/August 2006 Inspectioneering Journal

The Shell Martinez Refinery has been in operation since 1915, and is located 30 miles northeast of San Francisco on about 1,000 acres of land. The refinery combines state-of-the-art facilities and equipment to convert approximately 165,000 barrels...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
January/February 2006 Inspectioneering Journal

This survey did not make metrics the primary focus. More importantly, our focus was on practices that lead to better performance. You still have to link these practices to performance.

Authors: Greg Alvarado
March/April 2004 Inspectioneering Journal

Data management is an important issue in today's world. We have data all over the place. Every manager is looking for ways to migrate data from platform to platform to save on the cost of re-gathering data and ways to share output from various...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
September/October 2000 Inspectioneering Journal

In part 1 of this article we covered the importance of quality assurance of UT data, that is, understanding for each particular application, the accuracy required of the UT data, and new ways/graphical program to analyze and show the...

September/October 1998 Inspectioneering Journal

Quality failure rate data have long been needed by the Chemical Process Industry. Unfortunately, the emphasis too often has been on the collection of data rather than on its uses . One must answer the question of what to do with the data once it has...

Authors: Bernie Weber
March/April 1998 Inspectioneering Journal

In Part 1 of my article, I focused on several issues that are vital to the successful application of any inspection information management system. In Part 2 of my article, I will concentrate on several...

Authors: Mark Bell
January/February 1998 Inspectioneering Journal

Inspection record systems, used to be just that, a place to "record" data. Our industry has spent many millions of dollars collection data to put into our "record" systems. The problem was trying to manage and utilize the millions of pieces of...

Authors: Mark Bell
September/October 1997 Inspectioneering Journal

This task though tedious and exasperating is a key part of the operation. Plant personnel often find ingenious uses and filing systems for key data such as UW 1 forms. The more remote the plant site is, the more extraordinary the hiding places. In...

July/August 1997 Inspectioneering Journal

Regulatory requirements such as OSHA 1910, industry codes and practices coupled with an international drive for more cost-effective preventative maintenance are leading the industry toward data information management systems to assist in organizing...

March/April 1997 Inspectioneering Journal

This is the second in a series of articles on piping inspection. In the last article, I enumerated four inspection issues that I believe contribute to inadequate piping mechanical integrity in the hydrocarbon process industry.

Authors: John Reynolds
    Videos related to Data Management
      White Papers related to Data Management
        Downloads & Resources related to Data Management
          Sponsored Asset Intelligence Report

          This Asset Intelligence Report on Digital Twins serves as a primer to increase your familiarity with Digital Twin technology as well as its applications in the refining, chemicals, and petrochemical industries.

          News related to Data Management

            Inspectioneering Journal

            Explore over 20 years of articles written by our team of subject matter experts.

            Company Directory

            Find relevant products, services, and technologies.

            Talent Solutions

            Discover job opportunities that match your skillset.

            Case Studies

            Learn from the experience of others in the industry.


            Inspectioneering's index of mechanical integrity topics – built by you.

            Industry News

            Stay up-to-date with the latest inspection and asset integrity management news.


            Read short articles and insights authored by industry experts.

            Expert Interviews

            Inspectioneering's archive of interviews with industry subject matter experts.

            Event Calendar

            Find upcoming conferences, training sessions, online events, and more.


            Downloadable eBooks, Asset Intelligence Reports, checklists, white papers, and more.

            Videos & Webinars

            Watch educational and informative videos directly related to your profession.


            Commonly used asset integrity management and inspection acronyms.