The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) has published the IIC Industrial IoT Analytics Framework Technical Report (IIAF). It is the first IoT-industry technical document to include a complete set of instructions that IIoT system architects and business leaders can use to deploy industrial analytics systems in their organisations.
IDC has predicted that by 2020 one tenth of the world’s data will be produced by machines. Yet without an analytics blueprint, that data could sit unused, never being analysed and turned into useful insights. The IIAF is a first-of-its-kind blueprint for system architects and designers to map analytics to the IIoT applications they are supporting, to ensure that business leaders can realize the potential of analytics to enable more-informed decision making.
“Using analytics to provide insights is the holy grail of industrial IoT,” said Wael William Diab, IIC Industrial Analytics Task Group chair, IIC Steering committee member and senior director at Huawei. “The IIC IIAF takes a holistic approach by developing the foundational principles of industrial analytics as well as looking at the complete picture from design considerations to creation of business value and functionality. This entire ecosystem approach is valuable to both business leaders as well as technologists, engineers and architects looking to deploy IIoT systems.”
The IIC IIAF is the first document to offer a broad scope of requirements and concerns for industrial analytics applied to IIoT systems. It shows IIoT system architects the steps involved in developing analytics for IIoT systems with state-of-the-art information, including definitions and information flows that shows how the technologies can be applied to the applications. Guidance is provided how and where to deploy industrial analytics based on the characteristics of the applications and outcome expectations. In addition, the IIAF looks at emerging technologies including artificial intelligence (AI) and big data, which are expected to play an increasingly important role in industrial analytics.
“Industrial Analytics is changing rapidly, from data lake to stream processing and machine learning. Our framework provides a common understanding and encourages interoperability across the IIoT ecosystem,” said K. Eric Harper, IIC Industrial Analytics Task Group Chair, IIC Steering Committee Member and senior principal scientist at ABB. “With this foundation, it is more likely that applications will be able to adopt new technologies and techniques in the future without substantial rework.”
Analytics have been applied to other many other fields such as finance and retail to improve the customer experience and increase corporate revenue. The major differentiation in industrial settings is the physicality of the systems. For example, if IIoT systems are not configured correctly, or if their maintenance schedule is wrong, the systems can cause physical harm. Analysis and improvement of operational maintenance across multiple systems must be performed with extreme diligence, and are as important to technology leaders as they are to business leaders looking to increase profits.
“Industrial analytics are the engine that takes data from industrial systems and creates value and insight to get business results,” said Will Sobel, IIC Industrial Analytics Task Group Chair and chief strategy officer at VIMANA. “The sophistication of analytical methods in other domains, such as finance and media, have been evolving at a breakneck pace, but little has been done to apply these techniques to industrial systems. The IIAF provides the special considerations one needs to consider before one uses these technologies in an industrial system.”
When analytics are applied to machine and process data, they help optimize decision-making and enable intelligent operations. These new insights and intelligence can be applied across all levels of any enterprise in any industry if the appropriate data can be collected, curated and analytics are applied correctly.
“In transforming machine raw data into actionable information, industrial analytics plays a crucial role in the industrial Internet just like refineries that turns crude oil into high energy fuel. The actionable information from the analytics is the fuel that drives the optimization of industrial operations and production, the creation of new revenue streams and the enablement of new business models,” said Shi-wan Lin, IIC Technology working group chair and CEO and co-founder, Thingswise, LLC.