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With a move to `smarter' distribution networks through an increase in distribution automation and active network management, the volume of monitoring data available to engineers also increases. It can be onerous to interpret such data to produce meaningful information about the health and performance of automation and control equipment. Moreover, indicators of incipient failure may have to be tracked over several hours or days. This paper discusses some of the data analysis challenges inherent in assessing the health and performance of distribution automation based on available monitoring data. A rule-based expert system approach is proposed to provide decision support for engineers regarding the condition of these components. Implementation of such a system using a complex event processing system shell, to remove the manual task of tracking alarms over a number of days, is discussed.