02 October 2018
While this statement is obvious to some, it amazes me how little respect we give the data that is required to understand an asset’s condition.
Typically, in the subsea sector we see an annual report produced often 3-4 months after the year’s end, summarising the inspection activities and condition of the subsea infrastructure. This report is reviewed, and corrective action planned and filed somewhere, if we’re lucky. But can we do better? Do we need to do better?
Digital data, digitisation, the digital future – all are current buzzwords, but how do they apply to the world of subsea data? How can we get a clearer picture in the subsea water, where visibility of data quite literally matches the dark and murky visibility on the seabed?
Consider how you file your personal photographs, taken in abundance with your smart phones: do you delete the ones out of focus? Do you back-up some or all (or none) to a remote server, the cloud, or a hard drive? Do you print hardcopies or share them electronically with friends via the increasing number of social media apps available? Do you know which photos are the “important photos” or the “control copies” and where they are stored? Do you have a robust process?
The point is that there are a vast number of disparate data systems and sources that we can use. Current technology allows us to link these together to increase accessibility to data. But the challenge is how to manage the “control copy” or the “common source of truth” over 20, 30, or even 40 years. For subsea assets we need to define which data is important to retain and how to manage it, taking into consideration how it might change as an asset moves through the lifecycle.
Project data tracks changes to a design. Once this becomes operational do we need the “design story” or just the “as built”?