The ENTOUCH Blog

10. 30. 2017

Do You have a Smart System? Why You Need a Facilities Analytics Platform

Smart systems are becoming the new normal in facilities management, but in order to reap tangible benefits a facilities analytics platform is essential.

Making the decision to implement a smart facilities management system is relatively easy. Facility managers can browse through possible vendors, select the vendor that has the tools to effectively monitor and control the system and move on. But, is that really it? The best smart building systems on the planet can have a critical issue hiding in plain sight if not paired with a proper facilities analytics platform. Just because a system can do something through the internet or report on usage doesn’t mean that you can save money unless a person actively views the information from the system and takes action to correct the problem. In other words, information gathered from the smart system still needs analysis. It needs a facilities analytics platform, and your organization needs to understand why.

Facilities Analytics Platforms and Smart Systems Are Similar Systems

Think about this example; you buy a home monitoring thermostat. The thermostat turns on and turns off the system at pre-defined times. You can also turn off a switch on the system at your leisure via mobile device, but is the system really saving you money? To answer that question, you need to know how often it is being used, the amount of energy concerned with the juice, the time of day the system was active and more.

Now, imagine how much energy you could save if the system could tell you which patterns would lead to the greatest opportunities for lowering your energy bills. This is where a smart system transforms and relies on insights within a facilities analytics platform, so even if your organization has a newly purchased smart system, you may still need a facilities analytics platform.

What About Smart Systems That Include Basic Analytics Functions?

Some modern smart systems may include basic Analytics functions, like average energy consumption rates. In addition, the system may contain recommendations for how a user can reduce operating expenses. However, the information contained within built-in data analytics is often difficult to adapt to large-scale companies. In addition, insights may be relatively small and have limited impact on return on investment.

Of course, a company has the option of developing customized analytics platforms in-house that review data gathered from a smart system, collect information from the utility company, identify other trends within a facility and present information to the facility manager. Unfortunately, customized, in-house analytics can be difficult to implement and build, especially for small to mid-sized businesses, so more companies are turning to software-as-a-service (SaaS) analytics platforms, the so-called energy management-as-a-service (EMaaS) and complete managed services by third parties to eliminate the burden and stress of creating and managing systems internally, explains Brandy Moore of Facility Executive. In turn, an integrated network of sensors and systems managed outside of your company reduces cybersecurity risk, asserts Deloitte. In other words, outsourced services can help prevent vulnerabilities from arising, as seen in the recent hack of Equifax.

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Will an Analytics Platform Affect Total Cost Ownership of a Smart System?

Speaking of costs, a facilities analytics platform will impact total cost ownership of a smart system. A smart system can be considered an extension of your existing assets, so if the platform reduces the total cost ownership of your facilities systems, such as the HVAC system, it effectively reduces total cost ownership of your smart system simultaneously.

Moreover, different payment models, such as a one-time cost for “lite” analytics platforms or subscription-based analytics platforms, impact total cost ownership of a smart system as well. Although recurring charges in a subscription-based platform may seem to increase total cost ownership, the cost savings achieved through a team of experts and facilities management gurus working on your behalf can effectively reduce total cost ownership for your facility assets as a whole. Essentially, measurement, verification and predictive analytics controls in managed services outsource the process of figuring out what the data in your smart system means to drive residual value, reports FacilitiesNet.

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Tap Into the Power of Smart Systems With the Actionable Analytics or Managed Services Platform Now

A smart system is only as valuable as the way in which information is applied to drive savings. In other words, a smart system’s value is derived from actionable analytics, not the other way around. If your organization has not implemented a facilities analytics platform or program, your smart system is not living up to its full potential. Find out how your organization can leverage the power of actionable analytics by speaking with an analytics expert at ENTOUCH today.

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