Virtualization, Cloud, Analytics, Edge Computing

Spreadsheets for analytics

Many companies offer software for data analytics to create information and insights from data collected from automation, controls and instrumentation. Most data-gathering software also downloads in a spreadsheet format: Many users have spreadsheets for special applications or quick insights.

By Mark T. Hoske January 7, 2022
Searching on “analytics” in the New Products for Engineers database returns 245 entries that may help when you need more than speadsheets. Courtesy: CFE Media and Technology New Products for Engineers Database.

 

Learning Objectives

  • Understand that spreadsheets still help with many industrial applications.
  • Share how you’re using spreadsheets for automation, controls or instrumentation.
  • Explore other options beyond spreadsheets for industrial analytics.

Spreadsheets for data analytics? Isn’t that so “last millennium?” Well, yes and no. For spotting trends in some processes, a spreadsheet may be fine. Also, highly-developed spreadsheets with automatically updating links can provide serious analytic insights with many different templates available.

Still, some experts say spreadsheets can limit data analytics for many industrial applications. Of course, any analytics software relies on reliable data inputs for reliable outputs.

Reader insights: How is your organization using spreadsheets?

Many software packages are designed for data analytics. For what automation, controls, or instrumentation-related applications are you or have you used spreadsheets? Are they still used? Do you also use industry specific analytics software? Don’t send me your spreadsheets, but I would like any answers you might like to share with peers. Email answers to mhoske@cfemedia.com with the words “spreadsheet article” in the subject line and a willingness to share your insights with peers. Several subscribers, in research for 2022 coverage, suggested a discussion of spreadsheets for analytics.

Some spreadsheet resources from Microsoft

At www.microsoft.com/Excel, Microsoft said the Microsoft Excel data analysis tool learns user patterns, organizing data in ways that save time, while new charts and graphs present data in compelling ways for better understanding and forecasts. Collaborative capabilities and integration with camera apps for data input saves additional time.

Searching on “analysis” under Microsoft templates brings results that could be useful for automation, controls and instrumentation, including:

  • Gantt charts
  • Gauge and chart dashboard
  • Pareto charts for problem analysis
  • PivotTable report
  • Process map for basic flowcharts.

Analytic software in the New Products for Engineers Database

CFE Media and Technology publications (Control Engineering included) use the New Products for Engineers Database to feed topical website pages, newsletters and print/digital editions. Searching on “analytics” in the New Products for Engineers Database returns 245 results as of Jan. 4, 2022, including:

  • Aveva Prism Predictive Analytics
  • Beckhoff Automation TwinCAT Analytics Frequency Analysis without Programming
  • Beyond Limits Luminai Refinery Advisor
  • Cognex Edge Intelligence data analytics software
  • Emerson Automation Plantweb Optics Augmented Reality (AR)
  • Endress+Hauswer Asset Health Monitoring Solution
  • Festo Predictive Analytics Software for the Auto Industry
  • Flow Software Flow Information Platform
  • GE Digital Proficy Historian
  • Honeywell Process Solutions Uniformance Cloud Historian
  • Iconics Hyper Historian
  • L&T Technology Services Avertle AI-based, IoT-powered predictive and Prognostic Maintenance Solution on Edge
  • Ocean Data Systems Dream Report
  • Panduit IntraVue Industrial Network Visualization and analytics
  • Predictronics PDX platform for predictive analytics
  • Progea North America Movicon Pro.Lean
  • Reonix Automation SCADADroid Dashboard
  • Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk Analytics for Devices
  • Seeq Advanced Analytics for Process Manufacturing Data R22
  • SyTech XLReporter
  • Trendminer 2021.R1 with data dashboards and code-based data analysis
  • Trihedral VTScada.
Searching on “analytics” in the New Products for Engineers database returns 245 entries that may help when you need more than speadsheets. Courtesy: CFE Media and Technology New Products for Engineers Database.

Searching on “analytics” in the New Products for Engineers database returns 245 entries that may help when you need more than speadsheets. Courtesy: CFE Media and Technology New Products for Engineers Database.

That’s not 245 entries, but if you have created and sell industrial analytics software, and it’s not in the New Products for Engineers Database, enter it here: www.controleng.com/NPE.

Mark T. Hoske is content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media, mhoske@cfemedia.com.

KEYWORDS: Spreadsheets for analytics, industrial analytic software

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Mark T. Hoske
Author Bio: Mark Hoske has been Control Engineering editor/content manager since 1994 and in a leadership role since 1999, covering all major areas: control systems, networking and information systems, control equipment and energy, and system integration, everything that comprises or facilitates the control loop. He has been writing about technology since 1987, writing professionally since 1982, and has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism degree from UW-Madison.