Actionable Data in Facilities: The New Currency

In 2017, The Economist published an article detailing the data's role in today's society and its value. While oil remained the most valuable resource on earth for more than a century, evolution led to a new resource—data. As facility budget cuts continue, Facilities Professionals are scrambling to tap into this new resource. Data enables continuous improvement of facilities maintenance and solves the challenges present in reactive management, limited visibility to a distributed portfolio and subpar guest experiences, and Facilities Professionals need to understand why.

What Keeps Businesses from Leveraging Actionable Data?

Facility management data alone does not add value. It merely provides a means of tracking an event of consequence, yet data is an asset. Like the crude oil of the past, it must be refined through software-enabled intelligence for multi-site maintenance and management. Assumptions based on inaccurate or outdated data will result in poor outcomes. It is the same premise as paying with a $100 and only getting change for a $20 on a purchase.  In fact, consider these other challenges in using data for facilities management:

  • Limited financial resources. Fewer available resources lead to deferred maintenance, creating wildfires throughout the organization. Instead of trying to put out the fire at the point of ignition, the right data application can prevent it from reaching that point and avoiding its high costs. In other words, it can reduce energy consumption and peak energy demand, identify and correct issues remotely, increase end-to-end visibility and ensure consistency.
  • Systems are more complex than ever before. System complexity builds distrust and confusion, but outsourcing and SaaS-based systems reduce the worry. Moreover, dedicated data software analysis enables impacts across the value chain, optimizing all operations and focusing efforts to arrive at a desirable outcome. As a result, companies can take advantage of actionable asset-level data to predict future expenses and enhance capital planning. Of course, this hinges on making sense of data, especially between systems.
  • Data security is a paramount concern. Data security is a significant issue. It is the pin numbers that empower the data currency, and it will grow in importance. Thus, it is essential to work with an established partner. Yet, that brings up another point; does the established partner have a history of proven service and value? 

Actionable Data Enables the Continuous Improvement of Facilities Maintenance and All Other Operations

To achieve continuous improvement, Facility Professionals need a success triad, using the right technology, software, and expertise—to make informed decisions. They should follow these steps to open the data-driven wallet:

  • Retrofit facility assets. Recommission critical assets with more insight and visibility into their function and useful life. This includes the retrofitting of such critical assets with wireless technology unless already included within the asset control system. Even equipment that manufacturers embed with pre-built sensors can burden a company with more technology. An established partner turns these solutions into results with extensive analytics packages that offer a turn-key solution.
  • Leverage targeted analytics to improve proactive and efficient maintenance strategies. Using targeted analytics, your partner should drive business decisions that have a high ROI which enables continuous improvement of facilities maintenance by reducing the amount of reactive maintenance and addressing the maintenance backlog.
  • Using the right data to make proactive decisions. What does that mean, in any case? To answer that question, you have to recognize which data is useful and what it says concerning other data gathered in the facility. In other words, you need to know how to review and understand data and make it “actionable” to drive a proactive decision.
  • Monitor critical assets through “virtual” systems. The application of actionable data allows for increased remote monitoring, management and resolution when issues arise. Facilities Professionals can have enterprise-wide visibility and can see an issue that was identified and resolved by an advisory service.
  • Use the right technologies; focus on customer impact. Companies can create rich customer experiences through better facilities, offering the product or service, knowing that customers will value the company’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions. In addition, transparent metrics further enhance such initiatives. Transparency means that data is both shareable and actionable. As the conversation surrounding global warming increases in intensity, implementing a sustainable solution that leverages end-to-end transparency is the best way to avoid the risks and successfully care for your customer base while embracing cost-avoidance.

How Does Actionable Data Translate Into Savings and Cost Avoidance Revenue?

Actionable facilities management data provides a specific and clear path toward financial success and a renewed commitment to sustainable practices in your organization. Key benefits achieved from the use of actionable data include:

  1. Better budgeting and capital planning processes, resulting in immediate cost avoidance savings and extending your budget through artificial means.
  2. Refined maintenance, moving to a preventive, predictive, prescriptive maintenance program and eliminating the maintenance backlog.
  3. Creation of rich customer experiences that do not place an undue burden on staff and meet customers’ expectations.
  4. Optimal customer service that increases retention/ repeat business that results from better products or services.
  5. Connecting systems that reduce stress, eliminate siloed data costs and deploy actionable insights.

 

Actionable Data Is Everything in Today’s Facilities – It is the New Currency

Data alone is meaningless. It is the application of data to derive actionable insights that create value. Such value gives Facility Professionals insight into how to achieve their goals and make informed decisions that translate into empowered business leaders, higher employee retention rates, better customer service, and extended asset life expectancy. Ultimately, eliminating costs by reducing the incidence of reactive maintenance and optimized planning of all activities leads to cashing-in the value of actionable data.

Since data is now the world's greatest resource, failure to use it is tantamount to throwing a cash-filled wallet, complete with account numbers, pin numbers, credit cards, and property deeds, into a busy highway and hoping no one sees it. Your livelihood is at stake. Your brand image is at stake. Make sure you have a proven partner that can carry the burden and make you wealthy with actionable data.

Eric Crabb

Eric Crabb