The challenges of data collection in infrastructures

With over 30 years of experience delivering resilient industrial technology solutions, Madison Technologies knows many of the challenges facing the industrial sector as it embraces digital transformation.

The buzz around data is intensifying every day. By the time you finish reading this article, it is estimated that 16 billion connected IoT devices worldwide will be transmitting over 300 trillion bytes of data.

All of this data has the power to create value through better understanding – providing analytics and insights that can drive lasting change and positive impact for all organizations. However, before data can be used to better understand and manage resources, improve safety and increase efficiency, it must be collected.

For industrial operating environments, data collection begins at the sensing and edge layer, where the initial data acquisition takes place. As technological improvements are made, the sources of data we can measure continue to grow. In 2022, almost anything can be measured, and data sensors can be placed (almost) anywhere.

Once the data is captured, it must be transferred through a connectivity layer to an on-premises or cloud platform. This can be done through traditional wired communication networks or wireless communications.

When high availability and reliability of critical applications are required, network redundancy or mesh networks allow constant connectivity of static or mobile assets, so that they remain connected to the network. Finally, private and mobile network communications enable connectivity in remote and hard-to-reach areas.

For some processes, real-time decision-making is needed, and advances in edge computing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence mean that data can be captured, processed, and turned into action at any time. physical location where they are created or nearby.

Without the need to transfer data to the on-premises or cloud platform, this real-time data analysis reduces the time to get insights from minutes to microseconds, enabling decision making. fast for solutions such as intelligent traffic control systems.

For processes that do not require real-time decision making, the transferred data is now ready to be presented to a platform or application for analysis, visualization and contextualization. It is at this level that the hidden value in the data collection can begin to be unlocked.

It may be to identify a process that needs attention or improvement, to clarify the factors that influence human behavior, to provide insight to anticipate a future condition, or to identify the main sources of a problem that needs to be determined.

The final step in this process is to mobilize and present the data to operational stakeholders across an organization, so that informed decision-making can take place. Armed with this data, organizations can now identify trends and influence change.

Throughout this process, consideration must be given to cybersecurity and the need to secure data. Preventing manipulation of data so that it is reliable enables more accurate data-driven decision making.

Cybersecurity technologies designed specifically for industrial environments, in accordance with IEC 62443 cybersecurity requirements, can proactively identify and mitigate cyber threats in IT/OT environments and ensure business continuity.

Consider how data is currently collected in your operations. Is it set up to be insightful, secure, and is the right data going to the right people?

This Sponsored Editorial is brought to you by Madison Technologies. For more information, please visit or call 1800 72 79 79.

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