EMCOR UK: Turning data into action in the FM workspace
25 August 2021
As we count down to IWFM Conference 2021 on Monday 13 September, Insight Partner EMCOR explores the second of our megatrends, technology…
Data has become a force for change across the facilities management sector; however, the biggest challenge is achieving tangible value from it. Leaders are striving for return on their investment in technology, connectivity and data collection. Turning data into action demands that the right fundamentals are in place from data capture and collation, right though to analysis and action.
Integrating human-centric technology and data positively and seamlessly into the work experience sounds simple in theory; the reality is not. Impressive results can be achieved by bringing together data sets from service providers, the building, utilities consumption, the environment, the building occupants and users into a single repository from which data science, statistical analysis and AI can be leveraged to extract insight. Getting data aggregation and governance right is vital for success.
Creating one data core through convergence is clearly a complex undertaking – and utilising modern, collaborative digital platforms does aid this process. However, ensuring that only accurate and ‘clean’ data is used is fundamental. Drawing on established data sets from legacy systems has risks, not least because poor quality will always skew outcomes and obstruct true value. Devising a robust quality control methodology which encompasses all potential sources is crucial for superior data accumulation. It may not be the most exciting part of the process, but the impact can mean the difference between success and failure. Once a level of complete confidence in the data is achieved, the application of sophisticated AI tools can then provide real, effective predictability and visibility of the actions required to deliver superior performance.
How far down this road has the FM sector travelled so far?
In a recent poll we conducted with IWFM, only 20% of facilities professionals felt they were ‘fully able‘ to maximise the value of the data being captured in their workplace. A further 47% suggest their organisation is currently ‘partly able’. So, although some progress is being made, it appears that there is still some way to go.
‘The facilities and property industry continue to lag behind when it comes to technology adoption and data integration. Leaders must reset and supercharge their capabilities, delivering value through systemisation and digitisation to optimise the workplace and in doing so the world of work.’
James Dunnett, Chief Information and Transformation Officer, EMCOR UK
We are living through Industry 4.0 which has been all about connectivity – using multiple devices and systems to improve performance. In recent years we’ve seen sensors that ‘talk’ to a central system, devices that respond to triggers, the extensive use of wireless technology to bring about enhanced performance – and the results, particularly from an environmental management perspective, have been impressive. This kind of technology is no longer the future, it’s the reality of a modern workspace.
We are now entering Industry 5.0, the fifth industrial revolution, and what happens next is equally as exciting.
The next stage of industry and workplace evolution is all about putting people at the heart of technology in a data-driven and highly connected world. And when we reach that point, a multitude of new opportunities are created for facilities management.
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