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Seeq Team
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  1. Earlier this month (November 2020 ) I was honored to be asked to present at the American Fuel and Petrochemicals Manufacturers Women in Industry event and speak to over 100 attendees on leading during uncertain times. My talk focused on what I believe are key leadership themes and what those look like when a crisis strikes. These types of crises will stretch and grow us, forcing us to make choices we never thought we’d be faced with, while determining the types of leaders we want to become. When I asked the group what they think when they hear the phrase “leadership in times of uncertainty,” many used words like listening, empathy, communication, and inspiring. As women, we are leaders in our industries, communities, education, and family lives. Each of these areas of life are different, yet we have the ability to listen, empathize, communicate, and inspire in every single one. The group was spot on in identifying these skills as the cornerstone of how we lead through any challenge. Now, we must lean on those abilities more than ever while taking risks, building a healthy network, and communicating to drive alignment. The first topic we explored was taking risks. When I asked the group what they picture when they hear the word risk, many said failure, danger, reward, opportunity, being vulnerable, and potential mistakes. All of these are true, and more than one can be true at the same time. We’ve all taken risks, for better or worse, and we’ve all failed. However, by taking those risks we acquired new skills and experiences, preparing us for leading in a crisis. Calculated risk taking is actually the foundation of a good leader. When we look back at our lives, it’s clear we’ve all taken a series of risks to get to where we are today. We went out and got an education to enable us to succeed in traditionally male-dominated fields. We chose jobs that would give us the experience we wanted to reach career goals. All throughout this journey we’ve shared our ideas, and there is certainly risk in that. Beyond sharing what we think, we also navigate day-to-day risks, such as where we sit in a meeting and when we speak. I took a risk by coming to Seeq and growing the analytic engineering team. One of my goals has always been to encourage my team members to freely share their ideas. That has proved to be an effective strategy as we’ve navigated the COVID-19 pandemic. When travel came to a screeching halt, we were forced to pivot our entire training model. My team sprang into action to create an incredible virtual training setup, enabling Seeq to reach our customers anywhere in the world, while accommodating their different learning styles. It was absolutely a risk, but we had to try—and our efforts netted success. We are on pace to complete just over 300 virtual trainings by the end of the year, with 50-100 attendees per session. Another key element of leading during uncertainty is networking. While most people think of networking in the context of a social event, this type of networking is based on trust and energy. That is imperative for leading during a crisis. So how do we build the type of network that goes beyond swapping business cards? It’s not easy and, when asked, many in the group said the hardest part is following up, keeping up with relationships, and interactions feeling forced. However, when we shift our mentality to focus on building trust and energy, we take the long view. Trust only evolves with time—from initiating a relationship, to developing and sustaining it. We build that trust by doing what we say we will do and showing that we have the best interest of everyone on the team in mind. One of the best ways we can network to build trust is to be an energizer. Energizers create enthusiasm in part because they engage in a set of foundational behaviors that build trust. Energizers approach situations with a clear head, giving them endurance to lead. When you interact with an energizer, try not to worry that you will be judged, dismissed, or devalued. Without fear of rejection, it’s easier to share fledgling ideas or novel plans—to innovate, take risks, and think big. Energizers create trust, but trust isn’t all that they create. The real power of energizers is that they enable others to realize their full potential. While taking risks and networking to build trust and energy are critical to leading during uncertainty, ultimate success hinges on combining these endeavors with effective communication and leading by example. We must align our teams (and our customers!) towards a common goal so we can make efficient and effective progress. In addition, we must be willing to take the risk of putting our own ideas out there for all the world to see. After all, in every crisis there is an opportunity to consider new and exciting ideas to pave new paths, elevate team members, and reap the rewards of hard work and ingenuity. Many thanks to each and every woman who participated in the AFPM Women in Industry event. Your feedback and willingness to engage in discussion made the risk I took to speak pay off. The organizers did a fantastic job and it was a terrific experience overall. I am grateful for the opportunity and I can’t wait to see the impact each of you will have on your teams, your companies, and the industry as a whole. View the full article
  2. In the process industries, manufacturing requirements for an individual company can vary significantly over time due to lengthy research and development timelines and differences in market demand compared to forecasts. In pharmaceuticals, for example, companies may not have the capital or desire to invest in and build a manufacturing plant for their products as their expertise lies in research and development. Whether a smaller biotech or a large-scale producer, they must also contend with patent expirations on their most profitable drugs. These uncertainties for both big and small pharma have led to a significant increase in outsourcing of clinical and commercial manufacturing to contract manufacturing organizations or CMOs. While the pharmaceutical industry has seen a dramatic increase of projects being outsourced in recent years, contract manufacturing is also prevalent in many other industries including food and beverage, semiconductors, and upstream oil and gas. View the full article
  3. In the process industries, manufacturing requirements for an individual company can vary significantly over time due to lengthy research and development timelines and differences in market demand compared to forecasts. In pharmaceuticals, for example, companies may not have the capital or desire to invest in and build a manufacturing plant for their products as their expertise lies in research and development. Whether a smaller biotech or a large-scale producer, they must also contend with patent expirations on their most profitable drugs. These uncertainties for both big and small pharma have led to a significant increase in outsourcing of clinical and commercial manufacturing to contract manufacturing organizations or CMOs. While the pharmaceutical industry has seen a dramatic increase of projects being outsourced in recent years, contract manufacturing is also prevalent in many other industries including food and beverage, semiconductors, and upstream oil and gas. View the full article
  4. Dr. Margret Bauer is the Professor of Automation in the Faculty of Life Sciences at HAW Hamburg University in Germany, and she’s an expert in data-driven process monitoring. And Seeq is a leader in advanced analytics for manufacturing and is the analytics provider of choice for many leading companies in the oil & gas, pharmaceutical, chemical, and other process manufacturing sectors. Recently, Dr. Bauer and Seeq combined efforts to provide graduate students at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences with a hands-on experience in the critical skills of analytics in process manufacturing. View the full article
  5. Depending on the type of problem a subject matter expert (SME) is trying to solve, there are countless different ways they can monitor for changes in process data. As simple as it seems to look at data and identify a change in the way it is behaving, this methodology is not always straightforward due to the lack of advanced analytics capabilities in the engineering toolbox. View the full article
  6. Depending on the type of problem a subject matter expert (SME) is trying to solve, there are countless different ways they can monitor for changes in process data. As simple as it seems to look at data and identify a change in the way it is behaving, this methodology is not always straightforward due to the lack of advanced analytics capabilities in the engineering toolbox. View the full article
  7. If 2020 has proven anything, it is that agility and resilience are imperatives for process manufacturers. Demands on technology infrastructure, a critical enabler for business continuity, along with demands for data-driven operational decisions, are increasing rapidly. Add to this the expanding number of team members working from home, and you have a situation where the ability of IT organizations to support operational needs is being pushed to the limits of both capacity and capability. View the full article
  8. Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about data cleansing. But is it possible to clean your data too much? What does that even mean? Many engineers don’t even realize that they are cleaning their data and are just doing so because they are forced to by whatever tool they are using (i.e. to comply with Excel’s limit of 1,048,576 rows or because they are just used to seeing their data in a certain way). View the full article
  9. William Shakespeare once wrote, “...the readiness is all.” I think he was onto something... View the full article
  10. Many manufacturers today list sustainability as one of their main corporate objectives. These companies understand that “going green” is more than just a trendy catchphrase—they realize that optimizing their processes to reduce energy consumption and waste gives them a significant competitive advantage. View the full article
  11. Many upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas customers use Seeq to gain faster insights, improve outcomes, and cut costs by enabling engineers to rapidly search, cleanse, investigate, and monitor the time-series data generated by their plants and assets. View the full article
  12. The landscape of labor has evolved due to innovations in connectivity and mobile devices. This has lead to the mobilization of individual workers and globalization of organizations as distributed work has transformed into a practical arrangement. View the full article
  13. Process manufacturing data is complex. The time series aspect of this data creates challenges. From differences in data sampling rates to inconsistent or custom units to data storage across multiple systems, process data can be difficult enough just to collate and align for modeling. While our engineering training drills into our head that we should always document our assumptions, we often focus solely on the assumptions of the model itself, such as what regression method we used, what training data set we used, or how the model only applies within a certain range of input values. We often overlook some of the key assumptions that went into the data preparation. These assumptions can be critical in deploying a model with high confidence as to which variables are critical process parameters (CPPs) versus a model with just a decent representation of the data set or moderate r-squared value. View the full article
  14. I want to share our perspective on coronavirus and recent market fluctuations, and on how Seeq will ensure the sustainability, efficiency, and optimization efforts of our customers continue unabated. View the full article
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