data silos big data

Data Silos Are No. 1 Facility Technology Challenge: Study

  October 11, 2018

By Greg Zimmerman

While big data can be a big boon to facility operations in terms of creating efficiencies, big data can also be a big boondoggle if the systems and expertise aren’t in place to use the data and analytics effectively.

One key finding in a new study from Veolia, Getting Value From Investment in Facilities Technology: How To Overcome the Barriers, reports that 80 percent of facility managers can’t get different data systems to talk to each other and, as a result, are losing out on the value of collecting this data. These so-called data silos were cited as the No. 1 barrier for facility managers when implementing technology. This results in data feeling thin, according to the report, and especially in the case of energy data, facility managers aren’t able to understand the full context of the data, leading to “unjustified conclusions.”

One possible solution is to run targeted software integration projects “that enable a more complete view into facilities data.” Facility managers are twice as likely to use an integrated workplace management system if it is able to integrate facilities data like energy, maintenance and assets, and real estate data from all sites, according to the report.

The survey also found that about 70 percent of facility managers have not yet fully realized value from their investments in facility technology. This is true for several reasons – from lack of training to lack of understand particular feature sets of the technology. One solution, says the study, is investing more time understanding the value of emerging technology, such as energy-as-a-service.

This Quick Read was submitted by Greg Zimmerman, executive editor, Building Operating Management. Read his cover story profiling John Chadwick of Arlington (Va.) Public Schools.


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