The role of data in the drive for sustainability and decarbonisation was highlighted this week at a conference in London.

“Fifty-four per cent of all energy produced is being consumed by industrial companies,” said Christoph Papenfuss, EMEA Regional Manager for software company OSIsoft, which manufactures real-time data technology called PI.

“And that 54 per cent is too much,” he added. “It is really important that we protect our environment. It is important that we, in our industrial companies, work towards a sustainable future.”Christoph Papenfuss of OSIsoft

He told the OSIsoft EMEA Users Conference that in order to have any impact on this energy consumption, “we need to do something big”. And that ‘something big’, he said, was the digital transformation.

“People with data in their hands can really transform their world,” he stressed.

Papenfuss explained that “with the advent of the digital transformation, we have seen some major changes. We are now able to collect ever-more data – we are also able to collect it in places that we were not able to before. And we are also able to get more insights out of the data that we already have, using things like machine learning and predictive analytics.”

As an example, he spotlighted the work being done by US drone company AeroVironment. “They use drones, geospatial data and time-series data and mix it all up the keep renewable assets out in wild generating – really cool stuff.”

He also highlighted the work of US utility DTE Energy. It deployed new types of IoT sensors in its network, which resulted in a dramatic drop in power outages.

OSIsoft founder and chief executive Pat Kennedy said that the digital transformation was a “fundamental change in the business process”. He said the digital transformation has two axis: “One is the digitalization of the world, which we are seeing happen time and time again. But the surprising thing is that the digitalization of the world is not necessarily giving you that much value.” The value, he said, “comes is changing the way the fundamental business process works”.

OSIsoft is part-owned by Mitsui and Softbank and headquartered in California.  

VIDEO: Click here to watch full presentation by Christoph Papenfuss at this week’s conference.