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Results Viewer and Dashboards

You can play with the numbers here… clicking on any field will dynamically change the dashboard – How the Results Viewer and Dashboards can support our decision-making process?

Staff working during the operational phase of any asset has a common and undeniable need: be great at making fast decisions all the time. And nothing can feel more empowering than showing off with the right solution. The opposite, a bad decision, can lead your plant to operate under degraded conditions, resulting on losing a few hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Considering the underlining (and increasing) complexity of the process plants today which has to be combined with the dynamics of the market and ever increasing expectations of performance/availability is a potential recipe for disaster. Added to this is the requirement fast decisions complicates the entire process more.

Reading this article from Forbes – 6 tips for making better decisions – gives a good idea of the hierarchy of data/information/knowledge require to support the decision-making process. Translating this to our industry:

  • Data: Raw data is comprised of  statistics, historical data, performance data. I agree that “conclusions based on data in its raw form will lead to flawed decisions based on incomplete data sets”. But I believe some decisions, which should be taken in isolation, could be relying simply on raw data. Although it might be hard to visualise
  • Information: Information is simply an evolved, or more complete data set. Information is therefore derived from a collection of processed data where context and meaning have been added to disparate facts which allow for a more thorough analysis.
  • Knowledge: Knowledge is information that has been refined by analysis such that it has been assimilated, tested and/or validated. Most importantly, knowledge is actionable with a high degree of accuracy because proof of concept exists.

Results Viewer and Dashboards

Learning from the overwhelming amount of information coming from simulation tools such as Maros and Taro (and Phast and Safeti) is one of the biggest challenges today for the software industry. As mentioned before, there must be a balance between being able to accurately assess the information while making the best decisions possible in a timely fashion. Results Viewer and Dashboards are important tools to translate generic information into meaningful results.

This has been a key area for us in DNV GL. Back in the early 2000s, when we were moving from Maros generation 7 to generation 8, we launched our Results Viewer. More recently, when moving from Taro generation 4 to generation 5, this was also the case. The Results Viewer is an application which is aim at:

  • Reporting view of simulation results
  • Detailed view and analysis of simulation results
  • Ability to publish and redistribute Results Viewer packages

The last is probably one of the most useful features available in Maros/Taro. The Results Viewer can be used as a standalone application. If you are commissioning a study, you can check the results yourself! The results can also be exported via Maros (or Taro) icon on the top right, select Export and click on Publish Results as show below:

Publishing results in Maros and Taro

This will generate an executable file which does not require a license to be seen. Please be aware that firewalls tend to prevent “.exe” files from being open so it is important to zip this file prior sending it to colleagues.

The interface of the Results Viewer when run as a standalone application is shown below:

Results Viewer as a standalone unit

Independently of how the Results Viewer is run there are basically two sections. Each section provides a different view of the results data. To access each section click the appropriate button on the application’s main toolbar. The following sections are currently available:

  • Report View Provides a graphical overview of the key results groups
  • Results (Expert) View Provides access to the detailed source tables used to generate the Report View

For most KPIs you are able to drill-down into the results and go to the level of detail required to support the decision-making process.

Now the future looks even more interesting. My colleague Kenny Shaba has already published a number of interesting dashboards for the Risk products in the following posts – check it out here Dynamic Results Dashboard for Visualizing QRA.

But what about us?! We have got a few templates ready to go – as you can see on the top of this article – whoever wants to get their hands in one of them, please let me know. Maros and Taro create an Access database and all you need to do to is to connect to the database with the template to load your results.

These dashboards also allow users to enquiry the data directly. For example, we could as a question to the dashboard – “What is the most critical for this model?”.

This opens our doors to do anything with the results, furthermore it allows other parts of the organisation to access existing dashboards and develop their own. In the concept of Evergreen RAM models, we can keep pushing RAM analysis to be taken by operational staff where decisions can be easily incorporated to the business plan.

With all of this potential, I will challenge you with a question. Paul Barringer (one of the legendary reliability engineer who deserves all and every bit of admiration we can give) used to say: “Explain using the dollars, that’s what people making decisions really understand”.

How are you explaining reliability improvements?

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