Facilities Management Data: 2020 Is the Year of Data-Driven Decisions

Facilities management data forms the primary component of successful business cases for investing in and implementing new facilities management technologies. As reported by Facility Executive, the walls between traditional information technology (IT) departments and facilities management will fall in 2020. A newer, best-of-breed solution for facilities management is coming, and it will give Facility Managers the actionable data needed to ensure positive outcomes and base all decisions on data, not assumption.

Barriers of Facilities Management Data Application

The barriers of facilities management data application derive from a lack of access to data and the inability to understand it. In its raw form, data is meaningless and immeasurable. With the amount of data generated by today’s connected assets, no one can practically review raw data manually. Manual review is cost-prohibitive. The other side of the barrier rests on access to data. Even when processed through advanced analytics, data must be actionable. What does that mean?

Well, data insights help managers see the what, why, how, and when of a problem. The only value to these ends lies in understanding what must happen to achieve what should happen. Actionable data should be formatted in a digestible manner, making it easier for dissemination throughout an organization. It needs visual functions that provide a sweeping view of operational efficiency with only a glance. Those are the barriers to data application, and 2020 will usher in a new way of using data to make decisions. 

Why 2020 Will See a Surge in Data-Driven Decision Making

The introduction of artificial intelligence and machine learning will form a significant share of the facility management capabilities that will come to light in 2020. Major software vendors have already taken the steps to instill AI and machine learning within existing facilities management software suites to glean insights from data, especially facilities management data points that managers often overlook. 

For example, under utilization of space can amount to costs in excess of $500,000, assuming a 5% error. Now, imagine the possibilities if only one-fourth of all space is underutilized? The costs could rise to $2.5 million in excess spend. In addition, up to 40% of all commercial office space falls under this category, says ZD Net. To avoid disruption and promote budget adherence, Facility Managers must start looking outside the box and finding ways to make data more actionable. In other words, they must start looking to AI and machine learning to extract the most value from data. 

How to Prepare for a Data-Driven Year in Facilities Management

To streamline the transition to data-driven facilities management, your organization should start following these best practices:

  1. Start collecting data and benchmarking facility asset performance and TCO. 
  2. Recognize the risks of your maintenance backlog. 
  3. Stay apprised of changes to facilities management through online educational resources and news.
  4. Recommission facility assets with Internet-enabled sensors and wireless devices. 
  5. Take advantage of remote functions that unify your whole portfolio. 
  6. Deploy the analytics’ triad of understanding and action. 
  7. Continue looking for opportunities to collect and apply IoT-enabled devices and facilities management data. 

Put the Power of Data to Work With Modern Facilities Controls

The coming year will see an infusion of data in the field of facilities management. While data and the IoT have formed major steppingstones to the trends of 2019 and the past, 2020 will see the seeds of big data analytics blossom into more effective and actionable capabilities. The result—Facilities Managers will finally know what to do with data and use it to build the ever-growing business case for continued investment and better facilities management.

Eric Crabb

Eric Crabb