Bad Actors Visualization


One day you waked up and decided to solve all the issue in your plants -which is a good thing to do in the morning- you opened the production system and sort out all the big issues, you found out that there are many of these issues, so the next logical step is to select the biggest one of these many issues. One of the ways to do that is a Pareto chart, where we want to find the 20% of the causes that create the 80 of the effect -losses in our case- I’ll claim that there are better ways to find and visualize the bad actors, but first let’s try the Pareto chart.

The Data

Our data contains 129 observations (incidents) the first 15 rows looks like this:-

Incident ID Start Date Plant Cost Category Type Lost Production Asset
1 2017-01-14 P5 124980 Equipment Instrument 421 FV-1111
2 2017-01-27 P3 14010 Equipment Mechanical - Rotating 58 K-1111
3 2017-01-30 P3 157313 Equipment Instrument 768 HV-1111
4 2017-02-02 P1 6196 Process Preparation for Planned Shutdown 14 NA
5 2017-02-03 P5 151692 Equipment Instrument 512 PV-1234
6 2017-02-03 P1 16157 Process Preparation for Planned Shutdown 49 NA
7 2017-02-04 P5 245393 Process Preparation for Planned Shutdown 834 NA
8 2017-02-05 P4 16969 Process Preparation for Planned Shutdown 102 NA
9 2017-02-06 P3 40073 Process Preparation for Planned Shutdown 187 NA
10 2017-02-06 P4 39381 Process Preparation for Planned Shutdown 259 NA
11 2017-02-28 P3 152990 Process Plant Start up 807 NA
12 2017-03-01 P3 119481 Process Plant Start up 627 NA
13 2017-03-02 P5 1299618 Equipment Mechanical - Stationary 3849 V-1201
14 2017-03-02 P3 146653 Equipment Process Control 773 PV-2222
15 2017-03-03 P5 1299618 Equipment Mechanical - Rotating 3849 C-1100

you may have different taxonomy and different level of details where you work but the concept still the same, however when it comes to the details, the more the merrier.

Pareto Chart

The first question comes to the mind when we want to do Pareto chart is “group by what ?”. In our case, we have 8 columns, 6 causes and 2 effects(i.e. cost and lost production). so we’ll group by which cause and which effect? which of these effects is more important? I think the answer is very clear for this one.bottom line it’s the cost $. But what about the causes? the “Incident ID” is very small, “Plant” might be very big, the choice of the right level of “data granularity” might be choose based on the frequency of the report, so we might found large granular suitable for yearly report and fine granular more suitable for weekly or monthly reports, however in the second approach of visualizing the bad actors we don’t need to worry about this issue, we’ll see that shortly. Now and for this Pareto example I’ll group by “Type”.

Sunburst Chart

Sunburst chart looks very confusing at the first time but once you give it a chance you’ll love it. You can summarize a lot of data at a glance.

First, we need to make our data in the following format.

con Cost
P1-Equipment-Mechanical - Rotating-P3423 6051
P1-Equipment-Mechanical - Rotating-P3659A 4062
P1-Process-Catalyst & Process Media-NA 16101
P1-Process-Plant Startup-NA 1132052
P1-Process-Preparation for Planned Shutdown-NA 22353
P1-Process-Process Upset-A3635A 11450
P1-Process-Process Upset-C3620 6217
P1-Process-Process Upset-V3651 40381
P1-Process-Process Upset-V3653 16209

We can eaisly format our data in this way using the code provided at “The code” section


The code

production$Asset<- gsub("-","",production$Asset)
production$con <- paste(production$Plant,production$Category,production$Type,production$Asset,sep = "-")
keep <- c("Cost", "con")
production2 <- production[keep]
production2 <- production2[c(2,1)]
production2 <- production2 %>% group_by(con) %>% summarise(Cost =sum(Cost))
sunburst(production2, count = T)

Path forward

After we have identified the Bad Actors, it’s time to take action, now we’ll go from problem identification to problem-solving. The Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is an excellent tool to address high-level problems like the bad actors. For more about the RCA:-

Additional Reading

The additional reading focus on the practice of identifying the “Top issues”:-

Note: I’m not affiliated with linked organizations, references made based on my experience as end-user.


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