ENTOUCH Smart Building Solutions

Dark Data vs. Actionable Data: Why Differentiate in Facilities Management?

The responsibilities of Facility Managers have evolved, and facilities management professionals have access to more data than ever before. Unfortunately, data in its raw form is meaningless. Depending on the level of connectivity among your assets, systems generate data that have never even used. Also known as dark data, data that does not hold value or go through a transformation into actionable data accounts for up to 90% of the data in your organization, says Dr. Claire Penny of IBM. Since most data exists in this form, it is essential to differentiate between basic, dark data and actionable data.

Looking at Data-for-Data’s-Sake Versus Actionable Data

Today’s data is more advanced than the traditional computer code of 1s and 0s, but its value is not moot. Data in its raw form simply describes something. It may focus on the temperature values for a given area, the energy consumed by the HVAC unit or another asset. On the surface, this data only reveals what is happening. The key to applying it and transforming it into meaningful information is recognizing how changing variables can lead to proactive improvements in space utilization and energy efficiency.

Meaningful Data Proves Its Value Through Actionable Insights

The goal of data is simple; make things better. This is where data transformation goes from what is happening to what will happen. Also known as predictive insights, predictive data provides a way to foresee future energy costs, runtime, and asset failures before they occur. According to Forbes, the use of predictive analytics can highly predict outcomes within 97.8% accuracy, and as the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) increases, this level of accuracy will wax accordingly. Data can be collected from every facet of activity, including the facility’s environment, foot traffic and the operations in a facility. For example, a retail store may face both facility management and supply chain management concerns. Imagine the combined use of data to understand how activities on the dock influence customer behaviors within the store and vice versa. This is the primordial brew from which improvements in facilities management derive.

How to Implement Actionable Data Solutions in Your Facilities

Meaningful or Actionable data must also have a few other characteristics, including accessibility, liquidity, quality, and organization. As a result, it is best to approach data transformation through these steps:

  • Retrofit facilities with wireless sensors to track data. A retrofit considers both assets with data-generating tools built-in, smart assets, as well as new sensors to monitor other factors, such as room occupancy, heat flows within the facility and more.
  • Use wireless technologies to aggregate data. Wireless technologies allow for the interoperability of data and collect data in real-time.
  • Process data through advanced analytics, including descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics, to understand how actions occur and what to do about them. Integrating data among analytics and control systems will allow for more control and proactive management of assets.
  • Make data accessible through dashboarding and business intelligence (BI) platforms, such as one™ This meets the liquidity requirement, which might also be described as machine-readable and accessible data.
  • Consider using managed services like 360 to understand the numbers and make decisions to achieve cost avoidance. Also, outsourcing effectively puts the burden of data management and avoiding the trap set by dark data in the hands of a third party.

Do More With Actionable Data by Establishing the Right Smart Building Solutions Partner

Actionable data is critical to success in facilities management. While it is possible to aggregate data endlessly, what is the point if your organization does not put it to use? Avoid that risk by analyzing data forward, backward, and sideways. Wring every detail from it, and let analytics do the hard work. You only must turn the proverbial switch, and systems are controlled automatically, you may not even need to do anything. Find out more about how your organization can take advantage of actionable data by contacting ENTOUCH online now.