Beyond the “Aha!"

15 October 2017

Before a discussion of how Seeq is going “beyond the aha!”, a quick head’s up to let you know Seeq is now a Schneider Electric Wonderware Registered Partner.  This partnership is another milestone in our effort to support the broadest range of customer data sources, including options that span a dozen historians, relational data sources like Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle, and open source systems for “big data.” 

Specific additions to our roster of supported data sources in the last month include Schneider Electric’s Wonderware and CitectSCADA historians, and support for PostgreSQL.  What accelerates the development of these connectors is the Seeq Connector SDK, a software library Seeq and third parties use to quickly build the software. Our customers and partners have used the SDK as well to build connectors to HortonWorks data lakes and the PAS-X MES system, along with other data sources. If you are interested in using the Seeq SDK, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Now, beyond the “Aha!”…

Our initial use case for Seeq was enabling an engineer who was in the midst of an investigation, trying to find insight in a root cause analysis, or predicting the performance of an asset.  The goal was to replace the engineer’s spreadsheet with an application dedicated to analysis of time series data so they could “get to aha!” much more quickly. This is a common theme in the feedback from our customers. They can find insights far more quickly using Seeq than with traditional methods, generally in just a fraction of the time.

That said, the vision was never that the engineer using Seeq would be working alone; few engineers work outside the context of a team or set of colleagues that they interact with in their efforts. From the very beginning, collaboration was a cornerstone in the application model for Seeq; sharable (and private) workbooks, and the ability to share formulas and searches (if desired) across documents and users.  When combined with real-time screen sharing, and Seeq’s application access from any modern browser, this set of features provides a comprehensive story for collaboration and sharing across organizations.

So, the first step beyond the “aha!” was collaboration - working together to get to “aha!”. 

In the last two software releases, R17 and R18, Seeq has introduced two significant features that continue to support the collaboration capabilities within organizations, helping users move beyond the moment of insight to support knowledge capture and publishing.

The first of these features is Journals, introduced in Seeq R17. Journals (above image) are now a standard feature of the Seeq Workbench application, and can be accessed from the third tab in the central tools panel.  Journals enable the engineer to write down what they are doing as they do it, with the ability to create links into their investigation and document their process, including annotations.   “Seeq Links” are the key to this feature because they provide a breadcrumb trail to each step of the process, making it easy for any other user to follow the effort of the person who originally created the analysis. 

All content in Journals is indexed for easy searching from the Search tab, enabling other users to quickly find the content and follow the trail of thought.  This is miles away from typical spreadsheet analysis process, which is either having no documentation, or cutting and pasting spreadsheet formulas into a word processing document with a written explanation of what each formula is analyzing.  With Seeq Journal, the process of documenting your work, tying it to the process, and making it available to others is all a single, fluid experience from start to finish.

 

The second new feature is Topics, which are documents in the new Organizer application in Seeq R18.  Organizer (above image) enables engineers and managers to publish a time-relative summary of Seeq analyses, which includes links back to the underlying data, very easily.  The question, of course, is if that sounds like a report creation tool, why didn’t we call it that? 

The reason is because the Topics in Organizer are better than a simple report because they are time relative, meaning that they are assembled from the work you’ve already done, namely Seeq Analyses in Seeq Workbench, and are linked to the underlying data.  This last part is critical: if a user either publishes a PDF file or shares a read-only URL with others, then the viewer or recipient can click on any image or data in the Topic to launch a read-only view of the live data in Seeq.  Morning reports, shift reports, production summaries, and other documentation for sharing can now be created in a matter of minutes.

The combination of collaboration, knowledge capture, and publishing features in Seeq offer you and your organization unparalleled support to not just discover, but to capture the history of your analyses, and publish your “aha!” moments for the benefit of everyone in the company. 

There is more coming soon… stay tuned!

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