Sponsored By:
Big Data Is Useless
Author: Kevin Binnie, CopperTree Analytics

"How much of the data that companies or organizations store is actually being used to create better outcomes or better decisions or better results or better anything?"

Michael Dell, CEO of Dell, Inc. at SXSW Keynote Speech, 2014

Big data is everywhere. In the news, newspapers, online, at conferences… everyone, it seems, is championing the value of macro- and micro-data for driving better business decisions.

That's the key: in order to be useful, data needs to deliver insights that help make better business decisions and take action.

But the truth is, no matter how big it is or how much of it you have, raw data can't help you do that. To make decisions and take action to improve your bottom line, you need meaningful information.

Because the equipment and components of your building automation system (BAS) generate masses of data, you already have material you could work with to better manage your buildings. It's right there in your buildings. Unfortunately, in its current form inside your BAS – and without a lot of manual manipulation – your building data is largely unusable for decision-making.

That's where analytics come in.

Analytics transform your raw data into meaningful information. And it's that information – not data – that gives you a new and wider perspective on your business. Having a new lens into your operations gives you fresh and actionable insight that improves the way you manage your facilities, your teams, and your operating expenses. But to get there, first you need to get your data out of your BAS and get it to make sense.

In the past, energy managers and engineers took a building's schematics, utility bills, and equipment and then painstakingly built up energy profiles with manual calculations.

Today's software-based energy analytics do that work for you by extracting data directly from your BAS. Sophisticated algorithms swiftly analyze your building's energy consumption and display those metrics in dashboards. With software-as-a-service (SaaS) energy analytics, the metrics you once had to spend hours and hours manually calculating are now just a click away.

Now you've got something to work with -- information, not data.

Once you have insight into one of the larger variable operating costs in building management, you can use that information to make changes in your building and reduce your energy spend.

But energy analytics are just the beginning. Building analytics take the insights of energy analytics a crucial step further by using the data from your BAS to track energy plus pull in the multitude of variables that affect your building and business performance – factors like equipment and system data, weather, historical trends, occupancy, scheduling, emissions, enterprise inputs, and more. Because building analytics cast a wider analytical net, they deliver far more decision-driving insights than energy analytics alone.

Unlike systems that rely on energy analytics and dashboards alone, building analytics are powered by automated fault detection and diagnostics (FDD). FDD is a critical capability that moves beyond dashboard visualizations of energy trends to:
  • Predict future consumption spikes so you can take action to avoid them
  • Identify specific equipment and systems that need servicing, repair or replacement
  • Model the effects and ROI of potential commissioning, renovations, repairs and retrofits.
It’s time to move from energy dashboards to enterprise management. The combination of building + energy analytics powered by FDD gives you the critical information you need to create new operational efficiencies and move away from scheduled, rotational maintenance to predictive maintenance – a shift that will save you labor costs while delivering better performing equipment and buildings.

Using building and energy analytics software to automatically extract and process your BAS data and pull in additional business-critical variables transforms these inputs into something that’s finally useful: actionable information. The result? An enterprise management view into your buildings and your business – one that drives the decisions you’ll make to impact your bottom line.

Big data alone can’t deliver that to you. Energy and building analytics do. Deploying building and energy analytics is how you start profiting from the volumes and volumes of BAS data you’re already collecting and storing: by transforming it all into meaningful information you and your team can use to create better business outcomes.

Kevin Binnie has 20+ years of experience in product management, SaaS, M&A and new market development. He is the Director of Product Management at CopperTree Analytics, a comprehensive, intuitive software-as-a-service providing energy and building analytics powered by automated fault detection and diagnostics.

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About Our Sponsor: CopperTree Analytics is not your typical analytics company.

Sure, we're techies, developers and software experts, but our history of innovation stretches back even further.

As part of the Delta Controls group, we're drawing upon 35 years of controls manufacturing and smart building experience – and we're on a mission to make sure automated buildings finally deliver on their promises.

Our solution: Energy and building analytics powered by automated fault detection and diagnostics in one comprehensive, intuitive software-as-a-service.

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