Understanding Big Data’s Importance to Your Organization

We all know the era of Big Data is here. However, there’s never been the ability to capture, store, and analyze data on the scale that we are capable of today. We have the technology at our disposal to work with massive, complex data sets. We can now make predictions, study user behavior, and perform other high-level data analytics that would have been difficult, or even impossible, to achieve in decades past. It’s crucial to the success of your organization to understand what Big Data can do for you, particularly from a facilities' management perspective.

How Big Data Creates Value

In the world of facilities management, big data has many important applications. In order to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by big data, managers need to have a structured way to collect and analyze the data relevant to them.

Energy efficiency and environmental stewardship are in the forefront of many business leaders’ thoughts these days. As such, one of the key intersections of big data and facilities management is in the area of energy management.

As the systems powering our facilities grow more complex every year, maintaining these systems properly is an ongoing challenge. Some systems are being graded on outdated metrics, some of them can’t interface or communicate with other integrated systems, and in many cases there’s a lack of visibility and effective management protocols.

When systems are running inefficiently due to problems like these, big data analytics can identify problems and lead to better decision-making when dealing with them.



Big Data and Facilities Management

Here are a few of the problems that big data analytics are well-positioned to address:

1. Detecting Future Outages or Failures

Today, data can be collected and shared among integrated systems, either via smart sensors or more traditional reporting methods. Data on usage patterns and historical performance can be used to forecast outages and equipment failure, giving facilities teams a heads-up so they can act before operations break down.

2. Benchmarking to Compare Energy Use and Waste

By running thorough comparisons between buildings, facility managers can identify weak points more easily. It’s easier to identify what is being used, what is getting wasted, and where to invest, in order to realize the biggest improvements in efficiency.

3. Managing Building Performance

When you’re able to evaluate long-term sets of data from various integrated systems, you have a more transparent and accurate look into the overall performance of a facility. This enables you to devise optimized solutions for shifting energy usage to off-peak times.


We’re still discovering all the ways Big Data can potentially improve facilities management and other aspects of business. As a field of study, Big Data is still young and growing. However, facilities managers can use it to harness the analytical power of complex historical data, improved data gathering tools, and state-of-the-art technology in generating optimized plans and more efficient energy practices for their buildings.