Getting More Out of your Historian – Part 1

May 17, 2012 2:42:00 AM | Posted by John Clemons

You probably already have a data historian of some kind. And, if you don’t, get one! The data historian collects some data and probably gives you some reports and what not and that’s probably about it. It works pretty well. No one ever thinks about it. It just does its job and not much else.

That’s pretty typical for most people and their historians. But, it barely touches the hem of the garment to what a historian can do. Data historians are amazing tools and can do so much more than just collect a little bit of data and give you a few reports. Let me give you some ideas.

First of all, a data historian is really good at collecting a lot of data, not just a little data, and from a whole bunch of different sources, not just a few. Most historians get installed to address a particular need, as part of a particular project, and they do that well but never get beyond that initial job.

But, if you think about it, you probably have lots and lots of data out there that you may not even know that you have. That’s right. I’ve seen it time and time again, people have data in small PLC’s, in local HMI’s, and so on, that they don’t know they have and have no way to do anything with. Well. It’s not complicated. Run a cable to that PLC or HMI (or better yet, hook it up wireless) and put that data into the historian.

Wow. Now you’ve got a lot more data. Actually, data you’ve always had. But, now, you can do something with it. Expand some reports. Create some new reports. With the data in the historian now it’s in a place where it can be used and lots of people can get at it and use it when they need to.

And, best of all, when there’s a problem, now you have the data to take a look at what’s really going on out there. So, find that data and get it into the historian and make it earn its keep.

It’s actually pretty easy. And, you really, probably have lots of data out there that’s not being used that you might not even know you have. So, get out there and find that data and get it into your historian. Then everyone can see it, everyone can use it, and that’s all good all the way around.