Predictive Analytics Pilots That Work

Don't get stuck in pilot purgatory

Posted: November 15, 2018

Asset Performance

Predictive Analytics Pilots That Work

According to Forbes, “Digital Transformation isn’t a buzzword anymore. It’s the way.” In today’s increasingly competitive marketplaces, every business is looking for an opportunity to exploit a new competitive advantage that helps combat their industry and market pressures. Numerous cutting-edge technologies promise to help overcome these pressures. With the adoption of digital transformation increasing across every industrial vertical, companies are looking to technologies like predictive analytics, mobility, and augmented and virtual reality to uncover those advantages. The question then becomes – how do companies implement these technologies with minimal risk? The answer – Pilot Programs.

A lot of the technology being introduced in industrial applications today may seem like magical black boxes that can only truly be understood and leveraged by data scientists. Take Predictive Analytics for example. While that term is thrown around quite a bit in industry publications, a lot of companies may be struggling with how this technology can be implemented in a way that proves its value with minimal upfront investment. This is the perfect case for a pilot project. The concern that companies and vendors need to watch out for however, is a term being referred to today as pilot purgatory.

Pilot Purgatory

Pilot purgatory may sound comical at first. But with all the hype and noise around digital transformation technologies like predictive analytics, machine learning and big data, pilots are often implemented at a snail’s pace as users get up to speed on how the technology works and explore how it’s applied to their specific use case. This can result in pilot programs that run for years instead of weeks or months. In fact a recent McKinsey report notes that for Industrie 4.0 pilot projects:

  • Only 30 percent of the pilots end up reaching scale across the entire organization with companies failing to capture value from 70 percent of their pilots
  • Some 85 percent of the companies surveyed spend more than one year in pilot mode, while 28 percent spend more than two years

To avoid pilot purgatory when it comes to predictive analytics software here are some things to consider.

Qualify Vendors Prior to Pilot Phase

The core competencies of predictive maintenance software vendors can be identified before the pilot process kicks off by evaluating the vendor’s:

wonderware-homepage-control-configuration-manager

  1. Existing customer base/references
  2. Software capabilities and features
  3. Proven software scalability
  4. Domain knowledge (for predictive analytics and asset performance management this goes beyond data scientists).
  5. Ability to act as a long term strategic partner with a roadmap for the future
  6. Support and services approach
  7. Relative cost of solution.
  8. Total cost of ownership (TCO).

A Foundation of Strategic Partnership

After numerous successful pilot programs involving AVEVA’s PRiSM Predictive Asset Analytics solution we’ve found that the most successful pilots are not the result of an attempt to uncover a business case but instead to validate the business case to invest in the software in the first place. The pilot project should focus on the vendor and customer working as closely as possible for the pilot to succeed.

Tips for a Successful Predictive Analytics Pilot Program

While there are a number factors that go into ensuring a successful pilot project when evaluating new technology, here a few tips to help guide your path.

  1. Recruit Executive Leadership Support. With any technology project it’s important to get buy-in from the executive leadership team. Some leading companies such as BASF have even developed specific teams focused on digital transformation.
  2. Define scope and success up front. Work with the vendor to identify specific and measurable outcomes that will result from implementing the technology. Again, the focus of the pilot should not be to define a business case but to instead prove a business case. For example, proving that the software can predict equipment failures that avoid $30+ million in costs.
  3. People are the key. At the end of the day people need to use the technology for it to be of any benefit. That means that putting a training program in place is mandatory. And if the pilot is successful, continuing to invest in training on a regular basis.
  4. Create a timeline. Pilot projects should not continue indefinitely. It’s critical that a timeline is attached to the pilot program that specifically states a go-no-go point in officially adopting the technology. If the software can’t prove it’s worth within that timeline then alternate solutions should be investigated.
  5. Formal Project Management. Pilot programs need the same level of attention as a production level implementation. Resources to conduct the pilot should be assigned accordingly with a documented project plan in place before the pilot kicks off.

future-oil-refinery-technologyFor additional tips on how to avoid potential failures when it comes to digital transformation and other technologies like predictive analytics, check out the Harvard Business Review article Why So Many High-Profile Digital Transformations Fail. And remember that when the pilot program is successful, a plan must be defined to scale and rollout the technology as part of an overall deployment strategy.

To learn more about how predictive analytics fits into an overall Asset Performance Management strategy view the webinar Implementing Predictive Analytics in an Asset Performance Management Strategy.

author
Written By
Matt Newton | Senior Portfolio Marketing Manager

Matt is a Senior Portfolio Marketing Manager at AVEVA. With over 15 years of experience in the technology sector as an applications and systems engineer, Matt has extensive experience in supporting embedded platforms, automation systems, wired and wireless networking, network security technologies, and the Industrial Internet of Things.

See how APM 4.0 drives measurable and immediate results to your bottom line. Get Connected

Related Blog Posts

Stay in the know: Keep up to date on the latest happenings around the industry.

Oil and Gas
$1 trillion to be unlocked in Digital Transformation?

Data is the foundation of Digital Transformation of Oil and Gas. Data feeds into predictive analytics, optimises process, predicts machine failures.

Chemicals
Are you ready to ride the wave of the petrochemical industry growth?

To overcome business and operational challenges, companies will need to increase their level of digital maturity through value chain optimization.

Oil and Gas
Understanding the Refining and Petrochemical Value Chains to Drive Optimization

Understand the complexity of the refining and petrochemical value chains to create a solid digital transformation strategy that optimizes the entire enterprise.

Oil and Gas
When Digitalization and Transformation are not Enough: Accelerate.

Market-disrupting industrial organizations differentiate themselves by transforming business through innovating and accelerating past the competition.

Oil and Gas
Optimizing my Refinery Blend is Much Harder than Baking Cookies

Refinery products are blended to get final products with desired quantity, quality and schedule specifications. However, rigorous planning, scheduling and ...

Oil and Gas
3 Steps to Maximising Pipeline Integrity

Ageing infrastructure is posing huge challenges for pipeline operators in keeping their pipelines running optimally and profitably in the face of increasing ...

Oil and Gas
How Can Predictive Analytics Reduce Unplanned Downtime in Oil and Gas Production?

Production can increase either by developing new fields or improving asset uptime in existing fields, but asset downtime due to facility maintenance – planned ...

Oil and Gas
My Car Has Predictive Analytics, Why Shouldn’t My Refinery?

Rebroadcast of Air Liquide's experience with predictive analytics and AVEVA

Oil and Gas
How Digital Transformation in Engineering and Design boosts Project Profitability

Low oil prices had sanctioned almost every large Exploration and Production (E&P) projects in the oil and gas industry. Today, with the recent recovery of oil ...

Oil and Gas
The Price of Optimizing Your Process Is Asset Reliability

Predictive maintenance (PdM) strategies enable front-line personnel to act before costly failures occur and maximize value throughout the entire asset ...

Oil and Gas
How Closed-loop Operations Enable Digital Transformation of Oil and Gas Fields

Today, the advancement in technology – cloud platform, analytics and computing power – is revolutionising the way how companies can leverage big data and ...

Oil and Gas
How Pipeline Operators are Working to Improve their Asset Reliability

Asset reliability is a key component of an overall asset performance management strategy. And it plays a big part in helping midstream oil and gas operators ...

Oil and Gas
Maximizing Midstream Profits with OT IT Convergence

Historically midstream oil and gas organizations have kept two critical functions within their businesses almost entirely separate – IT and OT. One of the ...

Chemicals
Operational Excellence: Likely the Most Overused Term in the Process Industries

Operational Excellence isn’t achieved overnight. It is a methodology that takes a commitment to focusing on continually improving the process, and its ...

Oil and Gas
How Virtual Reality Compresses Operators Learning Curve in Oilfields

Unlike a traditional classroom environment, the VR immersive training system facilitates interaction between equipment and environment and scenario simulation ...

Oil and Gas
How Advanced Analytics improve Margins at Natural Gas Processing plants?

mproved fracking technology in oil and gas fields is creating an unprecedented boom in natural gas production, exerting tremendous pressure on natural gas ...

Oil and Gas
Implementing a tiered methodology for pipeline integrity significantly improves business’ chances of preventing leaks

With pipeline operators facing increased scrutiny as of late, the conversation must shift to pipeline integrity. Pipeline integrity encompasses three methods: ...

Oil and Gas
Digitizing the Mobile Workforce

The front-line opportunities to improve plant reliability, safety, and profitability are infinite. Value lies in digitizing the mobile workforce.

Oil and Gas
Why IIoT in Refineries Now?

IIoT in refineries is trending fast and promises great short and long-term results, allowing for smoother refinery optimization.

Oil and Gas
IIoT: Acting on All Big Data

The importance of IIoT, big data and closed-loop operations to bridge the gap between unused data and profitability in refineries.

Oil and Gas
Strategic Implementation of IIoT in Refineries

Delivering Closed Loop Business Operations for the Refinery Enterprise with Schneider Electric Software. Strategic Implementation of IIoT - Refineries.

Oil and Gas
How are you minimizing risk throughout the three phases of pipeline integrity?

Pipeline integrity includes three phases: prevention, detection, and mitigation, which together minimize the chances of a leak and the ensuing repercussions.

Oil and Gas
IIoT: Three Trends Impacting Upstream Producers

Many producers have started looking to IIoT to help them navigate through the digital evolution and create a competitive edge for their operations.

Oil and Gas
How the Internet of Things has Influenced Midstream Pipeline Operations

IoT Internet of Things has provided increased ability to connect, measure and analyze variety of behavioral statistics for midstream pipeline operations.

Oil and Gas
How Big Data and Analytics increase Production Asset Uptime in Oil Fields?

Oil companies must continue to make investments in improving operational efficiencies to sustain and improve their profitability.

Oil and Gas
How Digitalization of Process Design and Operations boosts Profitability in Ethylene production

Learn how to apply impacting digital technologies in ethylene production plant design and operations for higher profitability.

Chemicals
You Must Cross That Bridge Now; Not When You Get to It

A successful Unified Supply Chain and Operations Execution Management solution is a fully functional, bi-directional communicative interface between supply ...

Oil and Gas
Advanced Contractual Risk Management

Reducing cost of capital needed to fund large capex projects

Oil and Gas
China HQCEC uses AVEVA Solutions to Design World’s Largest Coal Liquefaction Construction Plant

Situated in the hi-tech heart of China’s Ningdong Energy Chemical Industry Park, the world’s largest indirect liquefaction processing facility covers 2.8 ...

Oil and Gas
How Digital Operations Management Improves Profitability in this Challenging Oil and Gas Environment

Learn how digital operations management framework enables refineries and petrochemical plants to optimize profitability.

previous next

Sign up for our newsletter and get all the latest information straight from the source.