Solving the OT Data Dilemma for ESG Reporting

Having timely, relevant data empowers business decision-making. The dilemma comes from challenges with data access, which is especially true with ESG (environmental, social, governance) programs. Without robust ESG reporting based on data collected, companies struggle to meet compliance requirements, follow ESG frameworks and ratings, or address investor expectations around sustainability.

A global study on corporate adoption of ESG by Capital Group highlights the need for data alignment and preference for active management. Forty-nine percent of the 1,000 institutional and wholesale investors surveyed said a lack of robust data is holding back their organization’s further adoption of ESG goals like net-zero and lower carbon.

For companies with asset-intensive operations, wrangling operational technology (OT) data for ESG reporting is even more challenging. Manufacturers employ third parties worldwide. Oil and gas companies are involved in joint ventures in far-flung places. Data lives in disparate places too.

A recent webinar presented by Microsoft and Uptake offered guidance on solving the OT data dilemma. Several key points made in the webinar are helpful in thinking through how a technology solution can solve the data dilemma and help your company meet ESG reporting requirements.

From Sensors to the Boardroom

Sensors on industrial machines alert the performance of those machines. In many industries, however, machines lack sensors and so data is difficult to capture on equipment performance.

The OT data reflects the health of the machines. Naturally, that data is of great interest to reliability engineers. It’s also a key indicator for business health and to board members, who are not only considering the bottom line of assets in operation but also their environmental impact.

OT Data in the Cloud

Machine data stored in a central repository in the cloud makes the data accessible for advanced analytics that are essential for ESG reporting. The roadblock is getting the data out of the asset or out of the historian or system where the data is stored.

Guaranteed and Verifiable

ESG reporting requirements call for data that can be guaranteed and is verifiable as fact. With data from sensors to the boardroom transferred to the cloud, it’s much easier to guarantee the accuracy of the numbers cited in reports and make them easily verifiable. Given the concern of greenwashing, having data you can attest to makes all the difference.

Tamperproof Traceability

For data reporting, every business prefers using spreadsheets. The challenge occurs when data needs to be shared across sites, business units, and regions. Companies need technology that goes beyond the spreadsheet and solidifies your audit trail.

Carbon-centric Decision-making

Your company has sustainability goals, and they’re shared across the enterprise. That’s why you need decision-making that happens enterprise-wide, so ESG reports reflect your company’s sustainability commitments and market variability.

Confidential Data

Whether data is transferred to or stored in the cloud, it’s a cyber security risk. Look for technology that can protect your data on its journey to the cloud and can leverage the privacy of your own cloud environment. With Uptake Fusion, for example, Microsoft Azure protects all your cloud-based data and eliminates third-party exposure – all while the data serves as the single source of truth.

Lower Total Cost of Ownership

ESG reporting may be a requirement, but earning a profit and pleasing shareholders are also essential to the business. And so with reporting. That means your company doesn’t want a rip-and-replace solution that comes with months of integration and training. You need a solution offering the lowest cost of ownership, with flexibility in industrial intelligence use cases and data integration.

Liberating OT Data

Chances are, your company is facing a data dilemma. The lack of data access is not only interfering with ESG reporting requirements; it's also holding your digital transformation hostage.

But companies can liberate their OT data. Solve and centralize data, and you’ll discover the impact of having timely, relevant data on decision-making in all areas of operations.

Ready to put your data to work?

Talk to a Data Expert