Andy Bane, CEO
Today, as technological advancements are taking over the way businesses operate, data has become a critical resource for firms across all market sectors. Additionally, a robust data management posture is needed to help firms boost their overall operational efficiencies through leading-edge analytics. However, as most data is stored in disparate silos, a majority of firms struggle to leverage data applications such as business intelligence (BI) tools, and more. Particularly in the energy sector, as the data from their operational technologies (OT) is distributed across many production sites, and the OT data is complex data to prepare for sustainable analytics, energy companies are struggling to adopt the emerging OT/ IT convergence strategies for their data management. To help energy businesses overcome this hurdle, California-based Element offers Element AssetHub™, that is purpose-built to assist operators in unlocking their industrial data seamlessly and effectively. “We enable energy companies to use modern analytics tools to improve operational performance by automating OT/IT data integration, governance and contextualization, unlocking their source system data at scale,” says Andy Bane, CEO at Element.
Founded in 2015, Element’s core mission is to help industrial asset operators achieve cleaner, safer more profitable operations through data whether it’s housed in legacy systems, the cloud, or both. Bane believes that once a firm can holistically view and access their enterprise data, they can digitally-enable operations through data and enhance their overall performance. And to help its clients achieve this, Element has developed AssetHub to help energy businesses unify the three fundamental data domains, namely, asset life-cycle, supply chain, and production (including maintenance information).
We enable energy companies to use modern analytics tools by more efficiently unifying their diverse sources of industrial data, delivering the data context essential for OT and IT teams to collaboratively solve problems, accelerate operational efficiency, and improve operational performance
“AssetHub is a native SaaS product that snaps into our customers architecture to manage their operations metadata and support their analytical use cases. We reduce data preparation and maintenance costs by millions, speeding time to analytical use cases that produce hundreds of millions of dollars in value,” adds Bane.
Further discussing the value offered by Element, Bane mentions a case study where his company assisted a large oil and gas company in minimizing hazardous incidents and production deferrals across their numerous offshore platforms. Initially, after three engineers spent six months to build a data model integrating OSIsoft PI, SAP, engineering and other data sources to support an ML-powered application for process engineers at a single platform, the customer recognized that scaling the application to over 30 assets would be extremely expensive and time-consuming. With AssetHub, the oil and gas giant was able to unify its OT/IT data into contextualized data models to deliver the application into production at 30+ platforms with average deployment time of 1 month per platform using a single engineer.
“Apart from gaining a 30-fold improvement in their time to analytics, the company also gained a contextualized enterprise data model supporting BI and AI applications for predictive maintenance, safety barrier analysis and other high value use cases,” states Bane.
Element has ignited several other success stories throughout its journey in the energy sector. According to Bane, a big part of the company’s customer success is its team of highly empathetic engineers who have firsthand experience dealing with siloed OT data and its challenges. Element’s team also comprises professionals hailing from the big data realm, which, when combined with its energy personnel, gives the company a great understanding of handling a diverse range of client demands. “We approach customer success in a highly collaborative effort where the IT department delivers the enabling architecture, while the operations team ensures that the final solution can meet their operational demands,” opines Bane. And apart from these benefits, Element also assists its clients in gaining positive ROI on all their investments by providing a graph model of all of a customer’s data sources and endpoints. As a result, Element’s clients can easily evolve to, and sustain, both cloud and edge-based systems because of the company’s comprehensive support with respect to the transition of data.
Moving forward, Element is looking to leverage its recent Series B funding to expand its global footprint through the recruitment of seasoned IT and energy experts. With respect to the impact of COVID-19, Element has successfully helped numerous clients get up and running owing to its cloud-native software and remote training regimes.. “We will continue to help IT leaders, who are on the hook to converge AI architecture with IIoT architecture, to unify and sustain OT/IT data and analytics at scale, supporting query in place in legacy systems or in the cloud, to cost-effectively deliver business value,” concludes Bane.