Smart RDM platform as a tool that supports corporate responsibility

Gabriela Gic-Grusza

Data collection and analysis are critical in creating and using data-driven models in any industry. There are several common challenges organizations face in this context. To mitigate these challenges, it is important to have a clear data collection plan, use appropriate data collection methods, implement quality control measures to ensure the data’s accuracy and reliability, calculate appropriate metrics based on the accurate input data, visualize the results in the form of charts, diagrams, and report and finally support the decision-making process.  

In ConnectPoint, we know how to deal with all these problems so that the process runs smoothly. We are a team of experts and developers dedicated to designing and delivering systems supporting the operation of smart heat and electricity transmission networks (Smart Grids), IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) platforms, and critical business applications based on real-time data in energy and industry. Our teams specialize in solving a variety of data-related issues: 

· The Data Science team deals with acquiring, processing, and analysis of data, and above all, drawing conclusions from it and predicting the future.  

· The BI team analyses, designs, implements, and maintains database systems, Big Data/Data Lake platforms, and reports for the industry and energy sector. 

· The DevOps team develops and maintains IT infrastructure for customers.  

· AVEVA PI team is responsible for standardizing and delivering all the OT data for further analysis. It specializes in implementing, maintaining, and developing the AVEVA PI System for Clients. The team’s scope of competence includes integrating distributed data sources, building data models and analytics based on process data, process visualization, building business and technology reporting, and integrating with other business systems. 

One of our solutions – The Smart RDM platform – collects and processes production data from AVEVA PI (or other equivalent solutions) to give quick and adequate information at every organizational level. Recently, due to legislative changes at the European Union level, most of our clients have asked us if we could support them in ESG reporting. Of course! Below we describe the main reporting challenges and how we can help address them. 

ESG reporting requirements 

ESG reporting aims to provide stakeholders, including investors, customers, employees, and the general public, with information about a company’s impact on the environment and society, as well as its governance practices (ESG). With the increasing focus on sustainability and corporate responsibility, there is a growing demand for ESG data that is accurate, consistent, and comparable across companies and industries. However, the lack of standardization and the variability in the quality and granularity of ESG data pose significant challenges for investors looking to integrate ESG factors into their investment decisions. This is why many organizations and initiatives are working to develop frameworks and standards to provide more consistent, comprehensive, and transparent ESG information. Some of the most widely used ESG frameworks include GRI, SASB, TCFD, SDGs, CDP, IIRC, and many others [1]. These frameworks guide what ESG information should be disclosed (e.g., specific metrics and KPIs) and how it should be reported to improve the comparability and transparency of ESG data across companies and sectors. 

Reporting Tools 

Sustainability Reporting Tools (SRTs) are software and platforms that provide companies with an instrument for reporting on their ESG performance and impact. SRTs can range from simple online reporting tools to more sophisticated reporting software and platforms. They typically include features such as data management and performance tracking based on KPIs defined in the framework (mentioned above). Each KPI has its internal guideline, including processes, tools, roles, and responsibilities.

By using SRTs, companies can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and provide stakeholders with a more transparent view of their ESG performance. This can help establish the company’s reputation, legitimacy, and credibility and to create value and build trust with investors, customers, employees, and other stakeholders.   

The source of data 

Usually, all data to prepare ESG reports is extracted from companies’ systems or systems from third parties with their authorization when relevant. The data acquisition process (or its selected steps) is often done manually. Depending on the industry, not all information needed is readily accessible. For example, the best quality data related to environmental KPIs are available for the oil and gas industry, while data for other sectors, such as agriculture and forestry, still need to be included. The latter have not traditionally been heavily focused on monitoring CO2 emissions or waste produced, but they have to implement new solutions to meet ESG requirements.  

Our clients already use the Smart RDM platform integrated with AVEVA PI (formerly OSIsoft PI) to create a complete monitoring, analysis, and planning system. AVEVA PI is a source of all environmental data (e.g., greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, water consumption, and amount of waste produced) in real time. The Smart RDM is a technology solution that leverages data science techniques to collect, process, and analyze the data and provide improved data accessibility, real-time data analysis, enhanced data visualization, improved data management capabilities, and reporting. Smart RDM integrates with the most powerful reporting software, like Microsoft BI, to visualize the data.  

The Smart RDM platform can bring many benefits to organizations that are obliged to prepare ESG reports, including increasing efficiency and accuracy in data collection and analysis, reducing manual data entry, and minimizing the risk of human input errors. Smart RDM enables the implementation of validation controls to ensure that the data collected is consistent and of high quality. These controls can range from simple data format validation to more complex data quality checks that flag potential errors or inconsistencies. Furthermore, Smart RDM makes it easier to monitor and track the collection and processing of data. This can help companies identify any issues or bottlenecks in the data collection process and take corrective action if necessary. Finally, based on the data collected and validated, Smart RDM can be used to prepare specific KPIs essential to ESG reporting.  

In summary, Smart RDM can be used as a data management platform integrated with specific SRT (e.g., Microsoft Sustainability Manager) to simplify the ESG reporting process greatly. 

*GRI – Global Reporting Initiative Standards, SASB – Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, TCFD – Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, SDGs – United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, CDP – Carbon Disclosure Project. IIRC – International Integrated Reporting Council