Measurement and Control 2022

The Missing Link

Since the very beginning of the hype of Observability, we have contended that the link with Controllability must be maintained for there ever to be a return on investment (ROI) that matches the extravagant claims from vendors pushing a message of more-is-better.

Feedback Loops

There should exist one or more feedback loops between Observability and Controllability processes.

An Observability component supplies a Controllability component with signals generated by events during the execution of a process.

While regulating flow and interfacing with analyzers and actuators, the Controllability component must also emit signals back to the Observability component to influence the measurement process, including adjusting sampling, sequencing, and sensitivities.

There are both bottom-up and top-down signaling streams within the human brain.

Looking at the current approaches to Observability, we see neither provisioning nor placement for such fundamental mechanisms, means, and modes of cooperation between components.

Raw data, not of a signal kind, is grabbed, gobbled, garbled, and gorged on before being shoved down a pipeline via a collector out towards a black hole that some call a “management” dashboard.

In doing so, we maintain an ongoing engineering illusion of control when it is almost impractical for humans to reason and respond.

Even if we were to replace a human with some form of superintelligence, there would still be the issue of how it reaches out into an environment so far removed from it – spatially and temporally.

The solution is that Observability and Controllability of some degree are preferably collocated.


We must look to others in other engineering domains, such as process measurement, –mining, –control, and –automation.

We need to get the fundamentals in place, starting with offering greater diversity at the instrument level and having an instrument infrastructure, a toolkit, that allows multiple instruments to be composed and integrated coherently.