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How To Do Data Maintenance


You probably didn't get into facility management to spend your days combing through spreadsheets, building macros for data entry forms, and constantly running and printing useless reports.

That's why, as the volume of facility data increases, especially in high-performance, technologically complex buildings, facility managers need to develop a system for data management that requires as little maintenance as possible. FMs are certainly familiar with the concept of selecting facility equipment based on maintenance requirements (and cost). And so they should apply this knowledge and expertise when developing analytics, diagnostics, and fault detection of energy and other facility data.

Maintenance of data may not be something about which FMs have given a great deal of thought, but as Katie Rossmann, energy engineer at the University of Iowa says, "You can building something that is really cool — like a flashy dashboard. But if it's not usable or if it's overly complicated, it won't be adopted. Don't keep yourself from being innovative, but be smart where you spend your time and resources." (Look for a story in the September issue of Building Operating Management that details the University of Iowa's Energy Control Center, and its real-time energy monitoring system.)

Dashboards are certainly all the rage these days in high-performance facilities – and with good reason. They easily explain how well the facility is doing. But if the data powering these dashboards needs to be constantly scrubbed or manually converted to another format before it's ready for general consumption, you're probably defeating the purpose of the dashboard.

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