Data Management Plans Are Crucial For Facility Managers

  June 23, 2016

With the emergence of the Building Internet of Things, and the move toward integrated building management systems, it has become essential for facility managers to have a unified data management plan. Data planning takes a look at all the operational data and information required in order to manage a building’s performance. Identify the data and information that different people and groups involved with the building’s performance need to do their work. Much of the data will be monitoring points on building systems but some of the data that may be needed is in business systems or other systems outside of facility management or even outside the organization. Identify where the data exists; how it must be accessed and collected; and how it will be exchanged. Then estimate the volume. Decide on a format — use naming conventions and modeling.

When it comes to the data, it is one thing to have access to it; it's another to make it actionable. With more data available than ever before, the industry is presented with a new challenge. Device data is stored and communicated in many different formats. The data has inconsistent, non-standard naming conventions, and provides very limited descriptors to enable us to understand its meaning. Simply put, the operational data from smart devices and equipment systems lacks information to describe its own meaning. Without meaning, a time-consuming manual effort is required before that data can be used effectively to generate value. The result is that the data from today’s devices, while technically “available,” is hard to use, thus limiting the ability of facility managers to fully benefit from the value contained in the data.

It is essential to standardize what things are called. A multi-building campus with buildings completed at different times with different contractors is likely to have multiple names and tags for similar pieces of equipment. You don’t want to end up with ten different names for air handlers or pumps. Multiple naming conventions in an existing building or portfolio of existing buildings is the largest and most time consuming issue involved with implementing an integrated building management system.

This quick read is from Marc Petock is vice president, marketing, for Lynxspring, Inc. Read more about the Building Internet of Things.


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