From increasing safety and improving efficiency to complying with PHMSA and DOT regulations, quality monitoring is essential for all pipeline operators. Yet, many operators are faced with difficulties managing pipeline assets in robust databases and massive excel files.
To prevent gaps and ensure integrity of pipeline data, operators find a way to gather information that is both comprehensive and correct. A data management tool is the most reliable and efficient way to obtain and verify all necessary information, empowering operators to protect and manage their most valuable assets. Here we will examine causes of inefficiencies in pipeline data management and introduce a solution to effectively manage the data, so operators can dedicate their focus to the safety and reliability of their pipeline.
The Many Sources of Poor Data
There are many reasons that hinder pipeline operators from obtaining sufficient data, the most common include:
- Failure to Capture - In some cases, this data was not captured in the first place, so no records exist. This is especially common with older pipelines, which were built long before the rise of many modern safety and environmental compliance regulations. For example, pipelines built in the 1950s use alignment sheets to gather key performance data, but many of those alignment sheets were not recorded with a sufficient level of detail.
- Failure to Update – Delays in loading new or modified records into the data stores in a timely manner often leads to increased amount of backlog. But more importantly it leads to reviewing outdated data which can impact operations and maintenance calls.
- Information Inaccuracy - Pipeline monitoring systems may gather inaccurate information for any number of reasons. Perhaps the system was not configured properly, or the information was entered manually by multiple personnel causing inconsistencies. There may also be problems with the way the system categorizes different updates, causing it to locate or label useable data inaccurately.
- Failure to Transmit - EEven when a pipeline’s monitoring system gathers the right information, it may not transmit that information to the operator. This could be because the tracking system does not condense the data it gathers into a transmissible packet, or because the operator’s computer fails to load it when it is transmitted. Considering the sheer number of data points that operators monitor, it is difficult to notice any particular point that isn't transmitting properly.
Pipeline operators often suffer from a combination of these problems, especially if they manage a vast network of pipelines of many different ages and in a range of locations. Only by making sure that their monitoring systems aren't suffering from any of these flaws can operators obtain the information they need to maintain compliance.Data Management Tools: A Forward-Thinking Solution
Shoring up these data issues is so difficult in part because pipelines’ information needs to be changed over time. Each year, new laws and regulations are issued that require operators to monitor new features of their pipelines, looking out for safety and environmental issues. Only a proactive monitoring system, which gathers as many types of data as possible, can prepare pipelines for these changing needs. An advanced data management tool offers effective and efficient methods to achieve proactive monitoring through:
- Geospatial Data Gathering- The most effective data management tools gather multiple layers of data. They then organize that information in a way that makes it easier for operators to visualize, enhance, and manipulate it. This maximizes the total amount of data gathered, increasing the chances that operators will have the information to meet ever changing needs.
- Consistent Customization- Effective data management tools are highly customizable. This allows operators to adjust them in accordance to changing internal requirements, reducing the risk of inadvertently excluding key data or vital records. All the while maximizing the data loading procedures for separate business units.
- Data Mapping- Data management tools allow operators to map all the information they gather and identify any gaps in the data. This way operators can quickly determine if any part of the system is incomplete or does not meet a set standard of quality.
TThe Pipeline Data Management Tool from G2 Integrated Solutions offers all these features and more. Designed to prevent data degradation, this tool not only makes sure your monitoring system gathers all the information it needs reliably and accurately, but also helps you easily interpret that information. To learn more about this system and other keys for successful pipeline management, contact G2 Integrated Solutions today.