Knowledge First Architectures

Knowledge First Architectures (KFA's) enable scalable and continuously improving analytical solutions. KFA's are essential for robust data to decision making.
Knowledge First Architectures

The knowledge first architecture (KFA) elements

Businesses can derive insights from asset models and in-turn inform decisions. The process is described below:

  1. Inputs are provided to the asset model.
  2. The resultant model is passed to one or more types of analyses or solvers.
  3. The result of each analysis is used to form one or more outputs.

The elements connect like this:

What is a Knowledge First Architecture (KFA)?

What is a NFA, and why do we want to use a KFA over a traditional needs first architecture (NFA)?

Let's start with a NFA. If your organisation is often reacting to problems or needs when it comes to asset management initiatives:

For example:

we NEED a capital planning tool,

or We NEED to get better at maintaining our assets,

then your Data and IT architectures are most likely NF. This means that your organisation typically starts with the problem, picks or develops a solution to solve the problem, and then looks for the data / inputs / knowledge required to feed the new solution.

This approach is it usually results in a siloed functions or workstreams, And often uses many different software tools to solve the organizations’ various problems.

Sometimes, you may even work back to the data / inputs, and realise that you can't feed the solution what it needs to deliver value.

Knowledge first architectures, on the other hand, come at it from the other direction.

It's bottom-up approach to solving problems and it's often, data and detail heavy. Firstly it starts with the question "what assets do we have", then it asks "what do we know about them", and only after we have a good grasp on these two questions, do we look at, “what do we want to know” in order to solve our problems.

So the main difference between KFA and NFA, is the establishment of a knowledge base, or current understanding of the assets, up-front.

Having a KFA, means that all parts of the organisation (capital, financial, risk management teams, operational and maintenance teams etc.) can ALL draw from this knowledge base, that contains the latest thinking and current understanding.          

Let's look at a Electricity Distribution Example:

Knowledge First Architecture Example

The main building blocks are asset models (Knowledge bases), and Solvers (Use Cases).

So again, the benefits of a KFA, is the removal of siloed approaches by having a single source of understanding that feeds all downstream processes.

By adopting a framework that can scale and be continuously improved, it can evolve as your organisation changes and matures.

It also unlocks unlimited use cases (see asset analytics), as long as you can articulate a method or process that you want to implement, it can be connected up as part of the larger end to end process.

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