Some ideas are just born to be buzz words, and big data — or Big Data — is certainly one of them. While no one would deny that vastly more data is now available than ever before, the phrase “big data” is sometimes used in a way that suggests vast amounts of data exist in readily usable form. As facility managers are only too well aware, the quantity of data is no guarantee of its being helpful.
But facility managers shouldn’t just roll their eyes when they hear about the importance of big data. Finding ways to capture and use data is one of the most promising opportunities in the field. And this year’s FMXcellence honorees gained that recognition for the ways that they are using data to improve performance. The FMXcellence Awards honor facility departments that implement best practices to add significant value to their organizations. This year there are two winners:
• At the University of Arizona, more than 10,000 utility meter data points are read every 30 seconds; the system has the ability to display and analyze trends, allowing the facility staff to recognize and diagnose anomalous readings. Data analysis has enabled the university to achieve significant savings in water, sewer, and treatment chemical costs and in electrical demand charges.
• Under Armour is using an integrated workplace management system platform to drive continuous improvement in facility performance — for example, reducing hot and cold calls. The system is part of a larger strategy to motivate and enable facility staff to address the needs of their customers.
To learn more about the very different ways those two organizations are benefiting from data, join me at the FMXcellence session at NFMT on Tuesday, March 7 at the Baltimore Convention Center. It’s a session not to be missed if you’re trying to get your arms around the data your facility can provide.