Collecting, analyzing and then utilizing big data can improve energy efficiency and unlock value hiding in plain sight
The big data in any context is usually data that is dispersed in various parties’ data systems. It is changing and being updated constantly, but within silos that aren’t open to each other. Within the built environment, examples of this include: data from HVAC systems, lighting and security systems, as well as many other services in a building that are rarely given a second thought.
These separate data streams are entirely unorganized in terms of interacting with each other, only concerned with their unique intended purposes. There are many of these data streams in any commercial building, with the number of sensors being installed growing exponentially in buildings around the world.
There is plenty of data in a building, with potential for massive productivity and efficiency gains to be made if collected and analyzed, but it is challenging to acquire this and use it easily via traditional methods.
Data integration gathers all data and holds it in a single location
In almost all cases, data can be made available using integrations. Integrations between automation and metering systems are usually real-time (1/s). For instance, new features in Microsoft Azure environment enable monitoring of HVAC and energy trends in one second intervals. This, in return, makes detailed energy analysis possible. Integrations between data systems often function more slowly (1/h, 1/d). However, it is possible to update data to Power BI reports more frequently than once per day.
Data storage and security matters, a lot.
Integrating data is one thing. Storing it securely is another.
More than ever, we are understanding that data has value and that if it is not stored securely, it can be used by others without your permission. This is the new reality of working with big data in the connected 21st century, and the amount of data and potential for the misuse of data is only going to increase over time. So, it is important that you store data from your building in a way that optimizes its usefulness but also ensures its security.
Ideal data storage is that which is able to receive large quantities of data rapidly and store it efficiently and securely. Ideal data storage also organizes the data flowing from your building in a way that is optimal for analysis (ideally in real time) so that it is available for use. Ideal data storage also takes care of data back-up, because we all know what it is like to lose a document or file that wasn’t saved correctly. Can you imagine how you would feel if your entire building’s data was suddenly lost?
Advanced analytics makes big data useful
Analytics helps us combine data from different sources and use it to calculate information required for decision-making. At this point in time, it is us, the humans managing and using buildings who will ultimately make decisions and implement strategies based on the data that is analyzed. Decision making is the beginning of the end game with advanced analytics in a building, so having your analysis as close to ‘real-time’ is the goal.
When it comes to energy efficiency or indoor air conditions, the closer to real-time the analytics are, the faster it is possible to react to exceptions. If you are dealing with only one property, these functions can be carried out using modern automation. If you have several properties, a centralized solution is in practice the only viable alternative purely due to costs.
Portfolio and maintenance management improves with big data analysis
Big data that is securely stored and properly analyzed can take general maintenance management to the next level. Analyzing building system alarms to find out exactly what kind of faults an alarm has detected and what type of spare part should be taken along to the site for repairs is a big benefit for building managers. The ability to automatically identify leaky water fittings, poor indoor air and the risks of damp and mold problems is a huge opportunity for efficient management.
At a portfolio level, it is important to be able to compare issues relating to the energy efficiency, costs or responsibility of selected portfolios. Shopping centers, hotels and office buildings all have different use profiles and in order to identify the state of energy efficiency, costs and responsibility for all of your property assets and compare the development of the entire property stock, advanced analytics is a must-have.
Nuuka can provide a solution for the real-time analytics of raw data, helping you to react quickly to unexpected disruptions in your building or failures in your systems. With Nuuka it is possible to automatically combine necessary data from a range of data sources and produce reports in an understandable format for decision-makers and experts.
This is the big deal about big data - automation of data processing; rapid generation of insights; and the ability for decision-makers and experts to see where opportunities for building productivity, optimization and efficiency are hiding.
Big data can be collected, stored and analyzed for one building, or a portfolio spanning the globe. The nature of the world’s information infrastructure makes this possible and some buildings are moving ahead on this opportunity while others are lagging. The end game is efficiency, optimization and healthier buildings that are more sustainable and worth more to building owners.
The big deal with big data is that in the end, by connecting data points and creating opportunities for efficiency and productivity, we can reduce the environmental impact of our buildings globally. Big data is how your building contributes to a better world.