Asset Data Quality: If your data was water, would you drink it?

"Data is the lifeblood of business…”

In the oil and gas sector, deployment of an effective maintenance program is critical to ensure safe, efficient and reliable asset management and equipment operation. A Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS) will go a long way to assist your business in achieving this, however the key success factor to any system is the quality of the master data. Without complete and accurate master data, the ability to plan and execute preventative and corrective maintenance activities can be difficult, and more expensive than it need be.

Data is the lifeblood of the system, it flows through an organisation like blood in the circulatory system, carrying vital nutrients (information) to the business functions relying on it. Like blood itself, data must be regularly cleansed. 


"If your data was water, would you drink it?"

Reports will be compromised if your data is suspect. Inaccurate data can be a contributory factor in equipment malfunction of your assets.  Loss of confidence can mean that data remains ‘on the shelf’ rather than being analysed and utilised to enhance business performance. High quality data enables people to make informed decisions.

It’s quite common for a business to spend vast sums of money on technical infrastructure, end user training and years developing business processes. But if we then pollute the system with dirty data, we should hardly be surprised with the low value, or simply wrong, data coming out the other end. Your analysis will only ever be as good as your data.

"Anything else I should be worrying about???"

Many of our assets these days are deemed ‘Safety Critical Elements’ (SCE), and as such, will have various degrees of compliance and regulatory legislation attached to their operation and maintenance. In order to satisfy the appropriate authorities, businesses are obliged to demonstrate their ability to accurately plan and record all maintenance activities. It is therefore business-critical that the data surrounding these assets is accurate and fully auditable. 

"Why Bother?"

Ok, so we know that data is the lifeblood, the corner stone, the be-all-and-end-all of our system… But fixing it seems so much hassle. What’s in it for me?

There are many benefits of clean data, let’s look at just a few.

  •     Establishes an authoritative source of information
  •     Enables better decision-making and timely, accurate reporting
  •     Facilitates proactive maintenance through trending & forecasting
  •     Manages risk more effectively
  •     Reduces wasted time and effort searching for crucial information
  •     Allows efficient, standardised processing across multiple assets
  •     Presents ‘One Version of the Truth’

At the end of the day it all comes down to enabling safe and profitable operations.


"And finally…"

It could be argued that “it’s all about the data, not the system”… The application is just a means of collecting, managing and collating the data.

The theme throughout this blog has been consistent; High quality data, at every stage of every process is everything. Many organisation continue to suffer the pain, both mental and financial, that inefficient, dirty data brings.

by Craig Kennedy, SAP Consultant


Absoft’s Data Quality Health Check

At Absoft, we have over 20 years of data management experience in the upstream oil and gas sector. Using our Quality Health Check experience, we ensure that our clients have well trained People, standardised Processes and the latest Technology. Our Asset Data Health Check equips our clients with an in-depth understanding of their master data.

For further reading, why not download our ‘Top tips for quality assurance of master data’, and ‘Top tips for building effective maintenance systems’.