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Earlier this spring, I attended the Fiatech conference as an exhibitor. It was my first experience with the information management field as it relates to BIM (building information management) and construction.
Our booth received questions about our compliance to ISO 15926.

Having never explored the standard, I was unsure how, or if, or why, our system would comply. Maybe I missed something? After all, who doesn’t comply with the right keywords?

I was set at ease during a discussion with a Ph.D. student in the business information modelling world. After my pitch about how we do these great this with meta data and document formatting, he said “of course, we’re looking forward to the day when we don’t have the documents at all, just the information”

And that’s the difference. ISO 15926 is about moving the data. Not so much about the documents. When your world is so wrapped up in solving document related problems (like ours), it can be hard to step back, and look with more Utopian glasses about how data connectivity and flow should happen. Ideally there would be no documents, just data. That data would be verified, authorized and transmitted from system to system, as if it was native to each system. No need to manage documents, because the source information is all available, and the docs (if needed in paper) could be created at the moment they are required.

So, I think we have some breathing room. First, we need testing equipment OEM’s need to embrace a more data focused environment, and comply with a standard such as ISO 15926. The support for the infrastructure then needs to extend to the manufacturers, then to the reps, then the EPC, then the end user.

I think DocBoss is well positioned to help here – we are bridging the gap between the order information and the quality documents. We are creating the data which needs to be integrated into the document flow. Once those documents start being replaced by data sets, I expect there will continue to be missing information. We’ll start to interact more directly with the data sets, rounding out equipment data with order relations. We’ll massage data (like we now massage documents), and interface to the customer data systems.

Its exciting to think about the path forward. There will be a huge amount of time savings, and we will certainly make better use of the data currently trapped in the PDFs. But, there is a lot of work to do, so I’m happy that we are solving the current problem, while we ramp up our connections to both vendor and engineering systems.