Beyond Data Context: Enhancing Analytics with Smart RDM Platform while Leveraging AVEVA PI System’s Strengths

Gabriela Gic-Grusza

Data has become a pivotal aspect of business operations in various industries, with data analytics being an essential tool for driving growth, enhancing efficiency, and making informed decisions. AVEVA PI (formerly OSIsoft PI) System is a widely utilized technology in industrial settings, recognized for its ability to build data context and aid in data analytics. However, organizations should be aware of the potential limitations of implementing the system, as with any technology.  

AVEVA PI System for data context 

The AVEVA PI System is a widely used technology for collecting, managing, and analyzing real-time data in various industries. It allows organizations to build data context and gain insights that can help drive growth, optimize processes, and make informed decisions. In the subsequent discussion, we will delve deeper into the AVEVA PI System, exploring its features, benefits, and potential limitations.  

The AVEVA PI System is designed to collect data from different sources, such as sensors, machines, and devices, and organize it into a centralized repository. This allows organizations to monitor their operations in real-time, ensuring that they are aware of any issues as they arise. Additionally, the system can perform complex analytics on the data collected, generating insights that can help organizations optimize their operations, reduce downtime, and enhance productivity.  

The system allows organizations to collect and analyze data and provide context to the data. This means that organizations can understand the relationships between different data points and how they impact each other. This is particularly useful in industrial settings with many moving parts, and it can be challenging to identify the root cause of an issue.   

Another advantage of the AVEVA PI System is its scalability. Depending on the organization’s needs, the system can be easily scaled up or down. This means that organizations can start small and expand the system as their needs grow. Additionally, the AVEVA PI System has a wide range of connectors, allowing it to integrate with different technologies and systems. This means that organizations can easily integrate the system into their existing technology stack, reducing the need for significant changes to their infrastructure.  

However, like any technology, the AVEVA PI System has potential limitations that organizations should be aware of. One of the system’s potential limitations is its limited data modeling capabilities. Although the system excels at handling time-series data, which is prevalent in industrial settings, it may not be suitable for more complex data modeling tasks that involve non-linearly correlated data. This can limit the system’s ability to perform advanced analyses or modeling tasks, potentially reducing its usefulness in some industrial settings.  

Another potential limitation of the AVEVA PI System is its limited machine learning capabilities. The system may need to support advanced algorithms or deep learning models, making it difficult to perform more advanced analysis. This can be a significant disadvantage for organizations leveraging the system.  

Moreover, the system may have limitations regarding integration with other data analytics platforms. This can make it challenging to combine data from multiple sources or use different analytics tools in conjunction with the PI system. As a result, organizations may need help to get a complete view of all the data in an industrial setting, potentially limiting the system’s usefulness.  

Smart RDM for data science  

The Smart RDM platform is an excellent complement to the AVEVA PI system, delivering a suite of functionalities that broaden the scope of data analytics. The platform encompasses a comprehensive analytical module that enables authorized end-users to efficiently manage ETL processes and analyses. Its key features are the ability to manage algorithms available to users, run algorithms with customizable runtime parameters, and configure the launch context to related elements in the resource AF tree. Additionally, the platform offers a scaling mechanism implemented on Kubernetes to ensure each analysis operates in an isolated environment and does not interfere with other scripts’ functioning.  

Furthermore, the Smart RDM platform facilitates the parallelization of calculations, allowing multiple subtasks to be executed simultaneously on several PODs, thus reducing overall task execution time. For large-scale analyses, the platform offers scheduling for the complete set of analyses, ensuring that results from one analysis become input data for the next.  

The Smart RDM platform provides various data export and exchange approaches, depending on the analysis’s objectives and input data type. These include direct integration with PI AF or Parquet files via the Python scripting interface, direct integration with SQL or DataLake, and ETL processes using SSIS packages triggered via the Python scripting interface. Direct integration is primarily used to perform analyses using the PI AF or SQL structure or store results, while ETL processes are mostly used to prepare data for business reporting.  

Additionally, the Smart RDM platform can be integrated with Azure Cloud services such as Azure Synapse to enable the execution of complex data workflows and enable data transformation at scale. The results of the analyses can be saved back in the PI system and visualized on PI Vision dashboards or accessed through external reporting tools like MS Power BI, MS reporting services, Grafana, and Tableau. The Smart RDM platform’s flexibility makes it a versatile solution that provides a comprehensive view of all data in an industrial setting while leveraging the power of the Azure Cloud.


The AVEVA PI System is the best technology used in various industries for collecting, managing, and analyzing real-time data. It allows organizations to gain insights and optimize processes by building data context and providing scalability. However, the system has potential limitations, such as limited data modeling and machine learning capabilities and challenges with integration with other data analytics platforms. The Smart RDM platform is a valuable addition to the AVEVA PI System, expanding its capabilities and providing a range of functionalities for efficient ETL processes, analyses, and parallelization of calculations. The platform also offers different data export and exchange approaches, making it a versatile tool for comprehensively viewing all data in an industrial setting.