In the industrial field, data visibility is one thing that any organization should assess and consider, especially in this world of IT-dominant business and modernized technology. Having transparent data can help create an ideal world, making a budget, resources, and risk analysis more manageable and safer than before. In making decisions, it is essential to be confident regarding the accuracy, protection, and suitability of the industrial company’s data. With an efficient data transparency tool, like SCADA software, it can formulate an in-depth, real-time data analysis, keeping a business or project more agile and flexible in responding to threats or any weakness.
Knowing About Data Visibility
With the recent trend of SCADA software and the progress of Industrial Cybersecurity (ICS), data visibility is now a must in any industrial company aiming for a massive lead in the competition. It serves as the degree of ease where an enterprise can monitor, display, and analyze data from various sources worldwide, bringing many benefits for industrial operations’ efficiency. The more data an organization acquires, the more informed and conclusive their business decision is. Having insufficient access to data and neglecting the need for its visibility can raise adverse effects on one’s business.
Regardless of the industry, no humanistic efforts can overstate the value of a single piece that data can represent. It needs a careful and precise monitoring to make necessary adjustments throughout the processes in operation. If a manager can identify the problem by analyzing the presented data, the team can adjust its strategies to counter the issue directly. However, this technique cannot be effective without efficient data visibility.
One of the concerns of data visibility is industrial cybersecurity, rooting from the widespread adoption of multiple data-producing applications for CI/CD workflows. A recent report projected the ICS market in 2025 might grow to a CAGR of 5.8%, implying the need for a more structured practice to protect SCADA applications and critical controllers crucial for industrial processes. Having a lack of data visibility may taint processes to and from different sources and could miss out on hazards and roadblocks that might happen.
Importance of Data Visibility in Industrial Operations Today
Information Technology (IT) professionals revealed an inference about how effective data visibility is in infrastructures today and why industrial companies and other fields should have a visibility strategy to formulate. From troubleshooting to network outages, data emerging from and moving between affiliate’s applications extends and flows through an organization’s networks. Here are the reasons why data visibility is essential in today’s industrial operations.
- Improvements in Planning Workloads
Accessing all the data that an industry needs can increase high-level views of future operations, allowing a simple utilization model and resources to enable quick but accurate assessment of current and future projects’ impacts.
- Accurate and Fast Solutions
Having complete data visibility provides extensive, accurate, and fast comprehension and project knowledge useful for proposals to stakeholders and customers, allowing a more confident and stable presentation.
- Improved Decision Making
If an industrial company’s decisions rely on accurate data, there is a higher success rate on the new and existing projects. Having easy access to precise information anytime and anywhere makes smart and savvy conclusions on the complete project vision.
- Proper Allocation of Resources
Without data from the team’s past and current performance, there is a lesser way to know whether the resources are under- or over- assigned to one particular department. An accurate, reliable, and timely data delivery provides better reallocation of tasks to a specific project area.
- Reduced Corrective Actions
With data visibility, a company can minimize application downtime, wrong access of data hierarchies, network outages, and other mishaps during the complex series of industrial processes. Searching through data acquired and presented via modern technologies, like SCADA software, is the best way to troubleshoot and resolve network performance problems.
How the SCADA System Improves Data Visibility
Modern SCADA systems have shown remarkable improvements in industrial resilience while providing tools like SCADA software and enhancing data visibility to increase operational efficiency. Industrial businesses are now reinvesting for better transparency in controlling and reporting schedules, receipts control, production, plan adherence, setpoints, waste, and water management.
One of the SCADA software innovations that help data visibility is paperless recording and reporting material usage with maintenance and engineering functions, improving engagements and plant data visibility. These reports are accessible via the company’s intranet, making it more convenient to track the plant occurrences, even those in remote sites, in one glance. All internal company sites can view other sites’ performances and report, lessening the hassle for direct contact and time-consuming discussions.
SCADA systems now come in virtualized methods, lessening downtime and maintenance with real-time data backup. This innovation aids better data visibility at a lower ownership cost and robust infrastructure, especially when virtualized SCADA combines with terminal client-based services.
Possible Data Visibility Problems to Watch Out
Before starting any data visibility plan, know that plethoras of problems may arise during and after system upgrades. While maximizing the perks of data visibility, one of the must-watch out issues is the industrial cybersecurity (ICS) risks, may it be external, internal, or human factor failures.
In targeted attacks, malicious code (malware) may spread throughout the industrial network in botnet form. Suppose the SCADA software is the target of the cyber-attack. In that case, it may result in espionage that allows the attacker to use the acquired data to shut down energy sources or destroy critical infrastructure.
Another data visibility problem is the disconnection between data versions throughout the enterprise. This problem occurs due to redundant data produced when data is unavailable, where employees hold versions of their workstations’ documents. Knowing the use of version control applications is the best solution to avoid wastage in storage space.
An industrial company may also experience some difficulties in monitoring data between infrastructures. In this case, a centralized log management tool should be available to make the data accessible from all networks and servers. With a fast ingestion and search capacity, data visibility can be attainable instantly and with ease.
Data visibility improves the depth and breadth of the tons of data flowing into and out of business. With the emergence of modern technology, it is also advantageous to know how SCADA software improves industrial operations and secured data access. Feasible and accessible data analysis combined with accurate and fast data production makes an organization more confident, productive, and competent amidst the sea of industrial competition.