Why Performance Intelligence represents a quantum leap for top-performing organizations

BrandPost By Rob McGreevy
Oct 19, 2021
IT Leadership

Sited at the convergence of big data, AI, and human capability, Performance Intelligence leverages analytics for powerful growth and sustainable operations, writes Rob McGreevy, EVP Operations Business at AVEVA.

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rob mcgreevy headshot AVEVA

Author: Rob McGreevy

Climate change affects our lives in many ways. In 2018, in the City of Salem in Oregon, drinking water supplies were threatened by rampant algae blooms in the nearby Detroit Lake reservoir. That year, a flourishing bloom released high levels of toxins into the water, putting young children, pregnant women, pets, and those with weakened immune systems at risk, and triggering a shortage of bottled water.

Determined to prevent another similar outbreak, the city used the AVEVA PI System to drop sensors from a pontoon into the middle of the lake to measure everything from algae activity and toxin levels to weather data from satellite imagery. The resulting stream of information enables ecologists and statisticians to create artificial intelligence models that automatically notify city authorities ahead of harmful algae blooms, enabling local water authorities to take the appropriate action ahead of time: change filters or pumps, or redirect water supplies so the city doesn’t face a shortage again. This is just one powerful example of Performance Intelligence at work.

Digital transformation – powered by Performance Intelligence – is what makes the difference between good and great. Companies and governments around the world are leveraging data for extraordinary results. By analyzing disparate sources of data using artificial intelligence, scientists and public executives can make quick and precise decisions, while reducing time and effort, optimizing system efficiency, and improving sustainability.

Performance Intelligence refers to this enabling alchemy of data and artificial intelligence to unlock the power of human insight thanks to richer information and stronger contexts.

When information is leveraged for actionable insight, the result can provide a significant competitive advantage for industrial enterprises. To understand how Performance Intelligence works, consider an analogy of the way water flows around the world, from sources in glaciers and wetlands through a network of rivers and streams into homes, offices, and public places before reaching the sea. By measuring water quality, consumption, and other parameters at every point along the way, and monitoring for patterns using AI, it discloses information about current events, what incidents may occur down the line, and what actions can be taken to produce a predetermined result. The impact of each of these results can be further forecast through data-based simulation and sophisticated predictive modelling techniques – enabling accurate predictions that facilitate optimized business operations.

Performance Intelligence in action

As data rapidly becomes the global new currency, sharing accurate, industrial information with multidisciplinary project teams has proven to drive higher performance. This is key to remaining competitive and driving sustainability.

According to a recent AVEVA survey, 75% of companies believe they are on a journey to realize Performance Intelligence in their businesses.

Human insight, creativity, and experience will undoubtedly continue to represent the cornerstone of success for every business. But the role that technology can play in augmenting and enhancing human capabilities is evolving. The scope and scale of the cloud to improve collaboration, combined with the predictive capabilities of machine learning, AI, and smart engineering, are all elevating data to industrial intelligence.

Overall, about 40% of companies in the survey identified digital transformation as a key near-term strategic priority as they build on the foundations of digital acceleration.  

Quantum leap toward industrial leadership

As Dr. Pat Kennedy, the founder and former CEO of OSIsoft, the pioneer in real-time industrial operational data software and services and a company that AVEVA acquired, says, you could put a million sensors on a power plant and make it sing. But when you spread the same number of sensors over 100 power plants, the inherent value is many times bigger. The scale is the same, but the expanded scope allows you to cast your net beyond a single plant to span an entire enterprise, community, or even a global ecosystem. The whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts.

When these sophisticated models are taken out of the boardroom and put in the hands of the first-line connected workers that comprise 80% of the global workforce across fields and factories, the result represents a quantum leap forward for enterprises operating in the industrial and manufacturing sectors and beyond. This is Performance Intelligence at work.

Recessions have consistently proved to be a catalyst for onboarding innovative solutions and processes. The post-pandemic decade will be no different, but it is the decisions we make now that will help industrial enterprises establish their leadership in the coming years.

Amid the Great Reset, Performance Intelligence lends greater operational agility, sustainability, and resilience to industries, enabling operational processes to benefit from rich, reliable data – thereby optimizing the entire industrial lifecycle. With Performance Intelligence, organizations in every sector can deliver uninterrupted service levels to users, partners, and stakeholders at every level.