A Short Guide to Data Historians: What Is It and Why Should We Care?

A data historian is a software system that collects, stores, and analyzes data from the operation of industrial processes, equipment, and other devices. It is designed to provide a comprehensive and searchable repository of data from these systems and devices. Data historians are used to monitor and analyze industrial processes and equipment, identify trends, and detect anomalies. They can also be used to provide actionable insights for improved decision-making, efficiency, and cost savings.

Data historians can be used by anyone who needs to track, store, and analyze time-series data from industrial processes and other sources including operations, engineering, and IT. This can include manufacturing and process industries, research and development organizations, energy and utilities, oil and gas, transportation, and government agencies.

Data historians are most commonly used in industrial and manufacturing settings, where there is a need to store and analyze large amounts of data from a variety of sources. Data historians are used to capture, store and analyze data from production equipment, sensors, and other devices to allow for improved predictive maintenance, process optimization, and other analytics-driven decisions. They are also used in other industries, including finance, healthcare, and energy, to provide real-time insights into their operations.

Uses of a Data Historian?

A data historian poses numerous benefits which can make it a great aid for your business model. Below we have listed the most prominent usages of data historians. Take a thorough look and decide for yourself whether it is worth your time:

  • Monitor and analyze real-time process data: A data historian enables industrial organizations to collect, store, and analyze data from multiple sources in real time. This data can be used to monitor process conditions and identify areas of improvement.
  • Improve maintenance and reliability: Data historians can also be used to monitor and analyze maintenance activities. Organizations can use this data to identify areas of improvement, as well as to plan future maintenance activities.
  • Visualize trends and patterns: Data historians enable users to visualize data trends and patterns over time. This can be used to identify areas for improvement, as well as helping to identify root causes of process issues.
  • Improve operations: By capturing and analyzing data over time, data historians can help to improve operations. By understanding the data, industrial organizations can make decisions that lead to increased efficiency and profitability.
  • Automate alarms and notifications: Data historians also allow users to set up alarm notifications for when certain conditions are met. This can be used to notify operators of potential problems, allowing them to take corrective action quickly.
  • Improve energy efficiency: Data historians can also be used to monitor energy consumption over time. This enables users to identify areas of energy waste and take steps to improve efficiency.

Here are some markers to look out for when choosing the best data historian

Make sure the data historian you choose is capable of scaling up as your data volume increases. Ensure the data historian has features that protect your data from unauthorized access and malicious attacks.

The data historian must have the ability to store and retain data for long periods of time. It should be able to handle different types of data, from structured to unstructured data. Good support for integration with other applications and data sources is integral. It should be able to query and process data quickly and accurately. Lastly, of course Consider the cost of the data historian, including any associated software and hardware costs.

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