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Give Your Data Purpose with Context and Structure


Recently, I met again with the founder & principal advisor at PLM Partner Bjørn Arvid Fidjeland to discuss the importance of getting more value from your data by giving your data context and structure.

Known for his PLM writings. Bjørn has 20+ years of consulting experience and has witnessed countless digital transformation initiatives over the years. Bjørn’s easy style and logical approach helps businesses break down the steps to see the devil, and the salvation, in the details.    

In this free-form discussion, we spend some time talking about structure where Bjørn shares his best pieces of advice on how to place data in the right context.

The complete episode is found below in this article. You can also watch the complete episode on YouTube.


So, Why This Strong Focus On Structured And Connected Data?

To establish the foundation needed for cost-efficient operation and maintenance, you need data that is connected, clean, comparable, interoperable, and connected to the context it should be used in. Otherwise, the data becomes meaningless.  

Particularly, Bjørn talks about how connected data is used in the context of capital facility management and how you can combine structured data from that context with data from another context, like product development context.

Now, it is the ability to combine and work with data across structures to reveal context and meaning across the lifecycle. This is where data brings true value.


The European Spallation Source

Bjørn continues by sharing insights into how the European Spallation Source organizes their data across the lifecycle and what value they add. In the last part, Bjørn covers how the digital twin can be applied to give data context and structure. 

He has worked on the ESS project for several years now and has been allowed to share intimate details on the project.


So, What Is The European Spallation Source?
In short, it is a 750 meters long and 250 meters wide facility that houses a huge linear proton accelerator or LINAC. The accelerator is responsible for accelerating protons produced by an Ion Source up to 96% of the speed of light. The protons are then collided into the target which is a 2.6 m-diameter stainless steel disk containing bricks of a neutron-rich heavy metal called Tungsten. This is where Spallation occurs, where neutrons are flung out from the target wheel. These neutrons are the main product of the European Spallation Source, and they are guided through neutron guides to the instruments that allow researchers to do their research. It is anticipated that 22 instruments will be installed in total.

For more information, check out


The Concept of Engineering Master Data

Companies should put the effort into harmonizing their data in different systems and across different departments. Though standards are favored as a fast track for this initiative, they often prove lacking.

Data from one department/“silo” in an organization can look like hieroglyphs for the receiving department/“silo”.

Bjørn proposes an alternative method to standards utilizing a dictionary or Rosetta Stone to translate – creating cross-organizational engineering master data. The dictionary enables users to understand the context and meaning behind enterprise data regardless of their touchpoint or role.

Additionally, not all industries have standards, and these definitions allow users to move forward with their data and parts libraries in an easy to understand way regardless of its origin.

Bjørn has also commented on companies relying on an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) to handle data flow and the limitations and complications introduced via this highway with configured exit points.


Additional Points of Consideration

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) includes enterprise-wide Master Data. Master data has in the last few years gained a lot of traction especially in ERP and CRM domains.

If you would like to know more about Engineering Master Data, be sure to check out our first episode with Bjørn Fidjeland. Also, check out his blog post on Engineering Master Data - Why is it different?


Keep the Conversation Going

What are your takeaways? What did you learn about how the world’s most powerful neutron source enables scientific breakthroughs addressing some of the most important societal challenges of our time? And what did you learn from this multi-country collaborative build? Share them with the community and keep the conversation going.

Want to share your story? Drop me a line or send me an email at I’d love to hear from you.


About the author

Jennifer Moore

Jennifer Moore has more than 15 years of experience in Business Transformation across different industries. Her extensive experience includes helping companies navigate complex regulatory requirements through software solutions. She has been developing and deploying large, multi-faceted enterprise software project, driving revenues as well as market adoption.

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