Current efforts towards achieving better connectivity and increasing intelligence in functioning of industrial processes are guided by the Industrial Internet of Things paradigm and implicitly stimulate occurrence of data accumulation. In recent years, several researchers and industrial products have presented Historian application solutions for data accumulation. The large amounts of data that are gathered by these Historians remains mostly unused or used only for reporting purposes. So far, Historians have been focused on connectivity, data manipulation possibilities, and sometimes on low-cost solutions in order to gain higher applicability or to integrate multiple SCADA servers (e.g. Siemens–WinCC, Schneider Electric – Vijeo Citect, IGSS, Wonderware, InduSoft Web Studio, Inductive Automation – Ignition, etc.), etc. Both literature and industry are currently unable to identify a Historian solution that functions in fog and efficiently applies and is built upon Industry 4.0 ideas. The future is to conceive a proactive Historian that is able to, besides gathering data, identify dependencies and patterns for particular processes and elaborate strategies to increase performance in order to provide feedback through corrective action on the functional system. Using available solutions, determining patterns by the Historian operator in the context of big data is a tremendous effort. The motivation of this research is provided by the currently unoptimized and partly inefficient systems in the water industry that can benefit from cost reduction and quality indicator improvements through IIoT concepts related to data processing and process adjustments. As the first part of more complex research to obtain a proactive Historian, the current paper wishes to propose a reference architecture and to address the issue of data dependency analyses as part of pattern identification structures. The conceptual approach targets a highly customizable solution considering the variety of industrial processes, but it also underlines basic software modules as generally applicable for the same reason. To prove the efficiency of the obtained solution in the context of real industrial processes, and their corresponding monitoring and control solutions, the paper presents a test scenario in the water industry.
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