Information Quality for Asset Management (IQAM)

Information Quality for Asset Management (IQAM) is a 3-year EPSRC funded project aiming to help organisations optimise decisions related to the management of their assets. Examples of 'assets' include vehicles, aircraft, machines, parts, buildings/facilities etc. Optimised decisions could reduce the total cost of ownership, life cycle cost, and carbon emissions of assets.

The right information is of fundamental importance to making good decisions. Consequently, it becomes imperative for companies to gather and manage useful information about their assets throughout the entire asset lifecycle. Poor quality information can lead to decisions which do not optimise asset performance over the asset lifecycle. Therefore, an objective of this project is to determine the information quality dimensions that are critical for making effective decisions. Furthermore, we aim to develop an information quality audit tool for use by industry to assess the information quality performance of asset management systems.

The novelty of this research is that we are looking at the entire lifecycle of the asset: decisions that relate to acquiring, installing, operating and maintaining, and retirement of assets - not just at a single decision in one phase of the lifecycle.

Formally, we aim to answer the following questions:

  1. What information quality dimensions are critical for managing and improving asset performance and how can they be measured?
  2. How can we maximise asset performance by optimising decisions strategies during the asset lifecycle?

class="p h3">Researchers involved:

Ajith Parlikad, Philip Woodall, Alexander Borek, Maurizio Tomasella


Industrial partners:

ExxonMobil, Caterpillar, BAE Systems, Pullman Fleet Services, Infosys Technologies, BT, Scottish Water, BAA, Interfleet Technology, London Underground, Lloyd's Register, Marshall Solutions, The Woodhouse Partnership, Ubisense, Scottish Power, Decision Support Tools Ltd.


Specific activities involving DIAL researchers at Cambridge

WP1: Modelling Asset Lifecycle Management Decisions


WP2: Information Quality Assessment


WP3: Asset Performance Optimisation


WP4: Industrial Practice


The first three Work Packages represent the research activities and the fourth work package groups together the industrial activities within the project. WP1 and WP2 build the foundation for this research by developing models and tools for asset lifecycle decisions and assessment of IQ dimensions. WP3 forms the core development activity in this programme, where we develop optimisation tools for asset performance as well as IQ. Finally, WP4 consolidates the activities related to industrial interaction within the project.


Current Progress with the IQAM Project

Working with ten Asset Management (AM) organisations in the UK, we benchmarked their current level of Information Quality Management (IQM) maturity by focussing on the AM unit of the organisation. Using these benchmarks we were able to provide guidance to the organisations regarding how they can improve their IQM practices and ultimately their AM information quality. The following paper describes these maturity assessments:


Maturity paper

Recently, we developed a new approach to assessing Data Quality (DQ) called the Hybrid Approach. This approach shows how it is possible to combine the best parts of existing DQ assessment techniques to produce a new assessment technique that is suitable for any specific organisational requirements. This approach has been recently been trialled with the London Underground Limited to provide them with a report of the current state of their data quality. This approach is currently being extended to include DQ improvement. The following paper describes the Hybrid Approach to DQ assessment.


Hybrid Approach paper

In Addition, we are developing a process for Total Information Risk Management (TIRM) as part of IQAM. Information can create significant hazard, control and opportunity risks, which need to be managed. TIRM are coordinated activities to direct and control an organization with regard to information risk. Information risk is defined in the context of TIRM as risk that arises from information resources and their quality. TIRM builds on the body of knowledge from the risk management and information quality management disciplines. The TIRM process is currently being trialled in three different organisations.


4th International Workshop on Asset Management

The Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory (DIAL) held the 4th International Workshop on Asset Management at the University of Cambridge, Institute for Manufacturing on Tuesday 9th November 2010.


The workshop brought together people from leading asset management organisations and leading academic researchers to disseminate the latest developments in asset management research and practice.


The workshop was sponsored by the following research projects:

  • Cambridge Service Alliance – a global partnership of leading companies and universities established to develop new understanding and approaches to complex service systems.
  • Information Quality for Asset Management (IQAM) – EPSRC funded project that aims to develop tools and methodologies to quantify and optimise information quality in the context of asset management.
  • The workshop was also supported by the Institute for Asset Management (IAM) and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

The following presentations from the workshop are available for download:


  • "Obsolescence Management", Prof. Rajkumar Roy, Francisco Moremo Rojo (Cranfield University)
  • "Managing asset information quality ... by the book", Julian Schwarzenbach (The Institute of Asset Management)
  • "Asset Management: Smarter. Managed. Predicted.", Emil Bernal (IBM)
  • "National Grid: Our approach to data quality", Paul Dowson (National Grid)
  • "Optimizing the management of aging assets", Jack Huggett (The Woodhouse Partnership Ltd / The SALVO project)
  • "Information Quality Governance", Prof. Andy Koronios (University of South Australia)
  • "Managing your information risks with the TIRM process", Alexander Borek (DIAL, University of Cambridge)
  • "Through-life management of engineering assets", Maurizio Tomasella (DIAL, University of Cambridge)
  • "Assessing and Improving Asset Information Quality", Philip Woodall & Ajith Parlikad (DIAL, University of Cambridge)


Related links

CIEAM | Cooperative Research Centre for Integrated Engineering Asset Management

The Institute of Asset Management



For more details about this project, and if you would like to participate, please contact Philip Woodall E:

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