The ENTOUCH Blog

06. 13. 2017

The Internet of Things Meets Big Data in Facilities Management

The Internet of Things will revolutionize everything when big data in facilities management comes knocking.

Big data surrounds you. It is the amount of information gathered through various connected devices, like smart appliances and even your smartphone. However, many relate the applications of big data in facilities management to transactional or customer-service activities. This revolution is about to change again as the power of consumer-generated data moves into facilities managers’ hands, and you need to know a few things about how this will happen.

1. The IoT Builds on Technology

Building automation systems (BASs) are an innovative concept that reduce the physical workload behind managing a facility. This might include automated lights, remote-access thermostats, and automated entries. But, the IoT can transform automation into a smart process.

Think of it like this. A lighting system automatically activates when a person enters a room. The motion sensor sends information back to an IoT-enabled platform that analyzes patterns in usage and can reroute power from energy stores in the facility to avoid increased costs during peak energy usage hours.

2. Big Data in Facilities Management Improves the Occupant Experience

Yes, all companies want to make customers as happy as possible, but you still need to keep your employees happy too. Big data in facilities management has the capacity to improve the lives of your team members by increasing returns, decreasing overall operating costs. As a result, your company could pay higher wages or offer other rewards and benefits to employees.

3. Big Data Prevents Inappropriate Changes

Cloud-based systems prevent inappropriate changes, like unauthorized access, to your facilities management systems. Third-party facility management companies are actively using the power of big data to isolate cybersecurity or physical security threats before they become incidents. In other words, big data enables companies to keep greater control over their environments while still allowing proper parties to access systems.

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4. IoT-Enabled Facilities Management Are the New Standard

Your facility might be independent of other businesses, but what about facilities using the same building, like strip shopping centers? These facilities rely on the information and activities of their “neighboring businesses” to keep overall costs down. According to Edward Sullivan of FacilitiesNet, most modern HVAC systems are IoT-Ready, meaning they can be seamlessly integrated into any facility with internet connectivity. More importantly, even systems with advanced microprocessors may need advanced IT knowledge to incorporate into your energy management strategy.

To discuss this issue, engineers have created an entirely new set of tools and platforms to manage facilities, like energy-management-as-a-service (EMaaS) and smart building solutions. As more of these systems come online, their features and insights through an ever-growing mountain of data will increase.

5. Big Data Lets You Do More With Less

The greatest direct benefit of the IoT and big data is the ability to do more with less. While this applies to reducing energy reliance, it also has implications on your workforce. Employee standards are changing, and the roles of facilities management employees are evolving too. By some reports, 25 percent of all businesses are using a chief digital officer as an extension of traditional facilities managers, explains Bhavesh Patel of Facility Executive.

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New roles inherently mean higher labor costs, but the IoT and big data effectively reduce costs while keeping workloads down for these individuals. Furthermore, smart devices enable automated control of systems, ending employees doing the “leg-work” in keeping things running.

Unlocking the Power of the IoT in Intelligent Facilities Management

These benefits and effects from the combination of the IoT and big data are profound, but their impact goes beyond simply managing activities. In part two of this series, we will explore how the IoT and big data result in smart facilities management processes, decreasing risk and leading to data-driven decision making beyond traditional stereotypes of facilities management.

 

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