Data Teams Spending Crucial

New companies broadly serving the data market continue to pop up on my radar. The following news reports a survey of more than 350 attendees to the 2023 Data Teams Summit. I should have figured there would be large conferences targeting those who work with data. This report is from a company called Unravel Data.

“For the third year in a row we’ve had the opportunity to take the pulse of enterprise data teams to better understand the daily challenges they face as they accelerate their ambitious big data analytics programs,” said Kunal Agarwal, co-founder and CEO of Unravel Data. “In just the course of a year we’ve seen a significant shift in how these growing, cross-functional teams are prioritizing DataOps as an established discipline across their organizations in a similar way that DevOps became an entrenched practice among software teams a decade ago. But despite this progress, this year’s survey also demonstrates that issues like FinOps, cloud utilization, and data security continue to present unique challenges to data teams.”

The results of the survey include:

● Cloud spending is now a critical KPI for the majority of data teams: More than two-thirds of data teams surveyed said that cloud spending has become a KPI of high strategic importance. When responses were broken down by role, almost 80% of business stakeholders said cloud spending was a critical KPI while just over half (55%) of data practitioners indicated the same.  

● Cloud resources are being underutilized: In addition to cloud spending being elevated as a top KPI, almost half (44%) of all respondents in this year’s survey also reported that they believe that they are leaving money on the table when it comes to their public cloud utilization. Alarmingly, almost a quarter of respondents (23%) said they were unable to even estimate what percentage of their cloud resources went unused.

● FinOps interest is high yet adoption lags: Despite the fact that data teams have reported a lack of visibility into cloud spending, the adoption of mature FinOps practice was not viewed as an immediate priority among respondents with just over 20% reporting that their data teams have an established FinOps practice while a third of data teams reported that they are still in the early planning phase of implementing FinOps.

● DataOps as a practice is maturing: This year, more than 44% of respondents reported they are actively employing DataOps methodologies, compared to just less than a quarter (21%) of respondents in 2022, representing a 110% increase from the year prior. Further demonstrating the maturing DataOps practice, only 20% of respondents in this year’s survey said they were at the beginning stage compared to 41% last year.

● Data reliability emerges as the top challenge: This year when participants were asked what they viewed as the top challenge with operating their data stack, 41% respondents cited the lack of data quality as their most significant obstacle while 35% noted that the lack of visibility across their environments was the second biggest obstacle to managing their data stack. 

C# Support Added to MQTT Client

MQTT continues to prove its value as a lightweight data transport. HiveMQ had written a Java client some years ago. It has now released a C# client for those of you in the Microsoft world. The company notes that this should appeal to companies building IoT applications on the Microsoft .NET framework. These are said to work with any MQTT broker to fast-track application development cycles.

The HiveMQ MQTT C# client is available on GitHub under the liberal Apache 2 license, and community feedback and public contributions are welcome. Key features include:

• The ability to send an MQTT message in as little as 3 lines of code

• Compliant with the MQTT 5 specification

• Support for all MQTT Quality of Service (QoS) levels

• Security features including TLS and basic authentication

• Support for the latest Microsoft .NET Framework

• Available as a NuGet package on

AspenTech DataWorks, Enables Customers to Unlock Value from Data

This ARC Forum company update looks at a new Business Unit of AspenTech called AspenTech DataWorks. Probably relevant to this discussion is a quote from Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s Fooled By Randomness, “The more data we have, the more likely we are to drown in it.”

The founders of inmation Software, recently acquired by Aspen Technology must have had this in mind as they developed technology for making sense from data.

The week in Orlando every year always gives me a chance to catch up with Mike Brooks, Global Director of APM Solutions at AspenTech. He always has something interesting to talk about. He was part of the leadership team that sold Mtell to Aspen Technology in 2016. That brought predictive and preventive maintenance technology applications to the AspenTech portfolio. Under the covers of the tech was the use of machine learning—a technology now hitting all the media headlines as AI.

Brooks always grounds my thinking about ML as a useful technology not for the marketing hype but for actually using AI as an enabler for asset management. He explained how ML is more adaptable than model predictive control because of its iterative nature. It analyzes data iteratively and can then run the scenario out for 40 days in a predictive mode.

Dwain Plauche, Sr. Manager DataWorks Product Marketing, joined the meeting to explain the new business unit, DataWorks.

They consider the past of turning data into value as a trickle. The idea of the new AIoT Hub plus inmation Software is to turn that trickle into a stream. Now known as AspenTech DataWorks, the rebranded business unit provides customers with a singular solution to access and manage their industrial data, whether at the plant level or enterprise wide, in support of their digital transformation strategies.

Asset-intensive industries looking to maximize value from industrial data often are challenged to do so securely and economically as the data is often trapped in different silos across the organization. AspenTech DataWorks addresses these challenges by aggregating and contextualizing data, both transactional and real-time, from assets across the enterprise using powerful integration technology. With this unique, industry leading offering, organizations are now able to realize successful digital transformation, with capabilities including:

 Data Governance – Centralized, flexible data management that supports contextualization and user access control, as well as encryption for all data types

 Connectivity – Vendor-neutral connectivity to all major OT and IT interfaces that allows organizations to integrate data from disparate sources and manage from a centralized system

 Data Integration– Value-added application enablement such as advanced analytics, decision support, and AI

Datanomix and Hexagon Partnership Brings Real-Time Factory Analytics to Industrial Manufacturers

Partnerships are all the rage these days. It is a great way to add value to customers without the risky business of acquisitions. This one concerns Datanomix and Hexagon.

Datanomix announced a partnership with Hexagon to offer the Datanomix production monitoring software solution to its global manufacturing customers. 

Through the new partnership, Hexagon’s customers will be able to access the Datanomix solution more easily.  The two companies will also begin a journey of joint development and integration of new data sources that visualize larger and larger segments of manufacturing processes, enabling business leaders to zero in on untapped layers of efficiency in their operations.

10 Expert Digital Transformation Tips

[Note: If you had previously signed up to receive new posts via email, you’ve noticed that they stopped and then restarted. WordPress had notified me that this service had ended. I recently saw where it was active, but not supported. It’s on for as long as WordPress enables it or until you unsubscribe.

You can subscribe to an occasional newsletter that I’ve been playing around with. It comes through my email account. If you haven’t checked out Hey, give it a look. I haven’t moved my business email there, yet, but I like the new take on an email client. My email address there is [email protected] The newsletter is at and you subscribe there or get the RSS feed for your reader.]

Inductive Automation’s Jennifer Faylor wrote on the company’s blog some thoughts from last fall’s Community Conference about digital transformation tips. She notes that digital transformation is “unignorable”. Yep. Even I write about it, even though I think that it’s something that began many years ago and will continue indefinitely.

Despite the abundance of companies forging ahead with plans to digitally transform, there are some that remain a little lost in the weeds. And for those that are already navigating Digital Transformation adeptly, staying on the cutting edge of best practices is indispensable, to ensure you continue to create top-notch solutions.

Following is her compilation of tips.

1. Think Big, Start Small, and Act Fast

“When you start thinking about Digital Transformation, think big, start small, and act fast. … And the big one, I think, most people overlook is actually the acting fast. They get too caught up, or they think about this as a traditional, large, single-entity monolithic project or initiative, instead of a whole bunch of small, iterative, flexible, agile approaches to transforming the company.” – Jeff Winter, Industry Executive for Manufacturing with Microsoft

2. Prepare for Expanding Scopes

“A lot of times with these types of projects, as they expand, as the interest in it grows, the scope of the project grows. So really [it’s important] to define what our core objective is that we want to accomplish, once we meet that objective, add on additional features to it. Sometimes it seems like with these projects, they can balloon almost too quickly. If we can keep it focused on a couple of specific objectives and meet those, then we can take that and build upon it.” – Nate Kay, Engineering Manager at MartinCSI

3. Show How Easy It Can Be

“I think a big thing for Digital Transformation is oftentime clients are very shocked by how easy it is to implement some of the Digital Transformation concepts … and I think we need to continue to push customers to do things like proof of concepts, or really just see a demo for what their system could be. I personally think that the SQL Bridge Module is the most powerful tool, and that customers have been using bad tools for so long that they just don’t realize how simple it can be to capture data and do things like eliminate that manual report that they’ve been filling out for 15 years.” – Elizabeth Hill Reed, Project Engineer, DMC, Inc.

4. Flip the Process From “Push” to “Pull”

“As soon as you do the first line and you prove the data is real regardless of what the preconceived notions are of what the data should be, you turn from a push process, where ‘We’re from central office and we’re here to help,’ to a pull process, ‘I have a problem with another line, can you guys do what you did on that line over on this line?’ So as soon as that coin flips, you’re golden.” – Dan Stauft, Director of Operational Technology, SugarCreek

5. Follow the “4 Rights”

“[Get] the right data to the right people in the right place at the right time.” – Steve Chapman, Partner, Barry-Wehmiller Design Group

6. Embrace Your Role as an Educator

“As an integrator you’re also an educator, in terms of especially today in the space where you do have IT, OT … those are two different levels that for years hadn’t really talked to one another and don’t really know each other’s world. And so now they’re being forced to communicate with each other, and we’ve got to try to help educate them on what’s important to each other and why.” – Mike Ficchi, Senior Controls Engineer, Multi-Dimensional Integration (MDI)

7. Empower People on the Ground

“And the idea is, is that if you work with people on the ground rather than just [sending them] a memo, to say that we’re going to be putting in this system, speak with the people first, get their opinion, and ask them for input because now you’ve empowered them, now they’re part of that solution, and they feel like this solution is going to help them produce better, not this is just going to be some measuring stick as an excuse to get rid of people.” – Craig Resnick, Vice President, Consulting, ARC Advisory Group

8. Add Extra Value to Everything You Do

“For everything you do, give a little bit of value-added. Something new, something that they haven’t thought of, but something that’s going to give them information that they didn’t have before, or control of something, or view of something, or some new data that you’ve merged two bits of information to produce new data, data that they didn’t have before. And they will love that.” – Chris Taylor, Managing Director, BIJC Ltd

9. Remember: It’s a Journey, Not a Destination

“This process is a journey and not a destination. If you can help everyone involved understand that … ‘This is new, and you know what we’re going to celebrate the wins, we’re going to get better from the losses,’ because both of those things will happen on a journey. You have the highs, you have the lows, but if we all understand, ‘Hey, we’re marching towards this common end goal,’ setting those mental parameters is extremely beneficial when we’re trying to attempt and create really any kind of change, not just Digital Transformation.” – Reese Tyson, Ignition Team Lead, Flexware Innovation

10. Accept That the Solution is “Becoming”

“One very important lesson that we learned last year and have discussed a lot internally is that any solution is never really done. It continues to develop in different directions as new business needs arise with the clients, and we’ve learned the hard way that we have to stop talking about the delivery and instead accept that it’s only a delivery, one of many. And somewhere along the road, we realized that there’s a term for this, it’s the thinker Kevin Kelly who actually coined this, ‘becoming.’ So, things are just becoming, the solution is becoming, it’s never ending as such, it’s just becoming.” – Jan Madsen, Founder, Enuda AB

AVEVA World Announcements

I had committed to a couple of events when the invitation to attend the AVEVA conference in San Francisco in November came my way. Many of my colleagues went out there thinking they had better opportunities to sell advertising than the alternative. Subsequently I received two announcements from the event. Both relate to data.

  • Constellation Energy chooses AVEVA solution to enable easier, faster, cheaper data analytics
  • Vision for connected industrial ecosystems revealed at AVEVA World in San Francisco

Weird thing to me is how marketing over the past few years regards data as something new. Way back in 1976 while working for a manufacturing company, I was moved from a position in operations to one in product development with the principle role as sort of “data czar.” I learned as far back as then about how crucial it was to have verified data in a form usable by all areas of the corporation. I was sort of at the nerve center for a few years.

We just have technologies for compiling, storing, verifying, and visualizing data that I couldn’t even dream about back then.

Constellation Energy for data analytics

AVEVA announced a partnership with Constellation Energy, provider of carbon-free energy, to give third-party analytic vendors secure access to select real-time data from Constellation’s operations.

Constellation will implement the latest release of AVEVA Data Hub, a cloud-based data management SaaS solution, which will help the company accelerate collaboration with trusted analytic partners and implement learnings more quickly, increasing the return on its analysis projects.

Currently, industrial operators, who are focused on data-driven solutions and decision-making, use a variety of methods to make real-time data available to internal and external teams. These methods are time-consuming to develop, maintain, coordinate, and some of them introduce security vulnerabilities that increase business risk. With IT staff in short supply, companies find themselves unable to respond quickly to new data requests or test out new solutions.

Constellation (formerly Exelon Energy), a long-time user of AVEVA PI System, decided to expand their data management solution into the cloud to easily share wind turbine data with a third-party analytics vendor. The company uses AVEVA PI System to collect, enrich, store, and manage sensor and time-series operations data in real-time. It then transfers that data natively to AVEVA Data Hub, a SaaS solution, where they can set up and manage select data sharing with authorized users, applications, and analytic tools both inside and outside the company. The new cloud-based addition to their data management solution is ready to use immediately; users can begin analyzing and processing data to achieve deeper insight in hours, rather than days or weeks.

Vision for connected industrial ecosystems

AVEVA showcases how industrial organizations are using real-time data to connect teams, empower them with data-led insights that speed up decision-making and unlock business value.

“We are witnessing the birth of an industrial universe that is completely connected, enabling a new kind of collaboration across colleagues, suppliers, partners, and customers,” said Peter Herweck, CEO at AVEVA.“Taking a data-centric approach empowers teams by connecting different players across the entire industrial ecosystem. This in turn transforms value chains into agile, profitable, sustainable networks. It is what we at AVEVA mean by the new, connected industrial economy.”

A recent survey, commissioned by AVEVA, of 650 senior international business executives across the chemicals, manufacturing, and power industries in North America, Europe, and the Middle East, found that 87% said they plan to increase their organization’s investment in industrial digital solutions over the next 12months.

Herweck added: “When you bring your data together and apply analytics so that you can visualize it in context, you unlock new ways of working. We are seeing leading companies like Shell and Worley breaking down data silos, building digital twins to deepen collaboration, drive transparency, and deliver actionable insights that enable their teams to work in a smarter and more connected way.”

AVEVA World has shown how leading companies such as Kellogg, Barry Callebaut, Pfizer, Dominion Energy, and Henn, starting to put in place the building blocks of these connected industrial ecosystems.  As the adoption of cloud-based industrial software becomes more widespread, organizations will be able to engage experts within and beyond their enterprise to deliver on innovative capital projects, optimize the operations lifecycle, accelerate decision-making, and reach sustainability targets that drive responsible use of the world’s resources.

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