3 Analytics Platforms for Deploying Smart Building IoT Solutions

October 15, 2020

In recent years, a growing emphasis on energy efficiency in commercial buildings has played a key role in the development of smart building IoT solutions. Federal tax incentives for energy efficiency upgrades and initiatives like the Smart Building Analytics Campaign have further encouraged building owners, operators, and facilities managers to adopt these solutions.  

Measuring energy efficiency is not the only solution offered by smart building IoT software. Collecting and analyzing real-time data from an interconnected network of building management and analytics tools is key to reducing energy consumption in smart buildings. However, choosing the right analytics platform for deploying smart building IoT solutions can be challenging, especially as a growing number of products enter the market. For facilities managers, understanding the options is critical to making the best decisions. 

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3 Building Analytics Platforms for Commercial Spaces

The first step toward creating a smart and sustainable commercial building is to automate operations that run on power, such as lighting, heating, air conditioning, and security. Sensors in IoT devices installed throughout the building can work together as a system, fetching data, and sending it to a secure cloud-based building analytics platform. The analytics platform then mines the data to suggest changes in building management and optimize energy efficiency.

The best smart building IoT solutions for commercial spaces offer significant opportunities for reducing energy consumption through HVAC monitoring, heat map analysis, and predictive maintenance. They can also go beyond that to help with a multitude of other building functions, including parking space usage, smart room booking, indoor positioning, structural health monitoring, and smart trash. 

While there are many aspects to smart building IoT solutions, building analytics are what turn individual devices into a truly transformative strategy for commercial spaces. By taking a closer look at three of the most popular analytics platforms on the market today, you can start to shape the smart building IoT solution that makes the most sense for your building. 

Kaizen 

Developed by CopperTree Analytics, Kaizen is a powerful analytics tool that works with building automation and metering systems to monitor the overall energy consumption of a building. This analytics platform can help you to manage your facilities by:

  • Receiving real-time updates: You receive real-time alerts about building operations through automated fault detection and diagnostics (FDD).
  • Evaluating energy performance: You can measure a building’s energy performance initiatives with the help of energy management and information system (EMIS).
  • Generating automated reports: The platform sends you automated reports on energy efficiencies.

While you can analyze the information gathered from building automation systems in the form of trend logs in a simple user interface, Kaizen’s Golden Standard feature provides a built-in framework for setting priorities and tracking changes. This can help you develop intelligent strategies for enhancing the energy performance of your building.

Clockworks

Developed by KGS Buildings, Clockworks offers end-to-end management of energy efficiency in smart buildings, including analytics, maintenance, workflow, performance, and reporting. For facilities managers, the benefits of Clockworks include:

  • Proactive maintenance: Long before you receive complaints from tenants, you can identify and address mechanical and control issues in the building.
  • Identifying cost-saving opportunities in building management: By tracking utility performance and expenses related to repairs, maintenance, and operational changes, you can find areas of potential improvement.
  • Analyzing energy efficiency goals: How much did you save year-over-year on energy and were you able to meet the energy efficiency goals for the building? The monthly and quarterly impact reports help you answer such questions.   

Significantly, you do not need to be a pro in technical jargon to understand the impact reports generated by this platform. Along with the graphical and numerical diagnostic results, Clockworks offers information in plain English text to give you a clear picture of what is happening in your building and take action.

onPoint Analytics

When choosing a building IoT solution, the ability to dive deep into the data and easily access the information you need is critical. onPoint makes this possible. With onPoint, operators and contractors are able to identify key areas in which to improve comfort and energy efficiency. onPoint’s comprehensive building analytics package uses machine learning and data-driven analytics to provide the insight you need to address problems across your portfolio. This platform helps you save energy and increase the lifespan of building automation systems via multiple innovative features. These include both those listed above and the following:

  • Predictive analytics: Using advanced machine learning algorithms, onPoint can identify equipment and system failures before they occur. 
  • Minimal manual intervention: By focusing on automation and optimization of building equipment, onPoint offers energy savings through minimal human interaction. 
  • 4-D insights: For fault detection and diagnostics, onPoint’s 4D Insights are multi-layered analytics that take into account data from an interconnected network of building equipment to get closer to the root cause of an alarm. This gives you much more detail on the actual issue and provides possible steps you can take to resolve the problem. 
  • Mobile-first: onPoint allows you to access actionable insights on energy, comfort, and operational efficiency from your laptop, tablet, or smartphone—from anywhere in the world.

While each of these building analytics solutions has unique features and advantages, there are several key factors to consider before committing to a platform.     

Choosing the Best Building Analytics Platform to Manage Smart Building IoT Devices 

It is important to understand that the mere implementation of a smart building IoT solution or a building analytics system will not increase energy efficiency overnight. Rather, IoT devices and intelligent analytics help you identify the issues causing maintenance problems and high energy consumption—issues you address to improve efficiency. Choosing a comprehensive analytics platform that allows you to manage IoT devices and easily access insights to make meaningful changes is essential to success. 

Some of the most important considerations are:

  • Installation: The ease of connecting a building analytics platform to an existing control system often influences the decision to adopt new IoT solutions at all. Usually, the data provided by older control systems are not accessible by third-party applications. This often makes property owners delay implementing smart building solutions to avoid further investing in a new controls system.  
  • Data capabilities: A building analytics platform with robust data integration and data capturing capabilities can more reliably identify data integrity issues, improving the accuracy and efficacy of fault detection and diagnostics. 
  • Return on investment: The ROI for a smart building IoT solution is often the chief deciding factor when choosing a platform. You want to see real results in terms of reduced operational costs and increased energy efficiency.   

onPoint was developed with these factors in mind. This leading-edge platform uses SkySpark, an advanced systems-level analytics platform that offers users the ability to write their own rules tailored to the specific equipment or conditions found within their unique buildings.

For the ease of deployment, onPoint works with all industry-leading open-protocol control systems, such as Tridium’s Niagara 4 framework, and comes complete with secure remote access capabilities. With its robust data mining capabilities and actionable insights, onPoint is a highly cost-effective platform for both new and existing buildings. 

Though smart building IoT solutions are still in their early adoption phase, the growing demand for data-driven facilities management is rapidly changing the industry. With the right analytics platform, you can improve efficiency, enhance the comfort of your tenants, and realize meaningful cost savings. 

To learn more about how onPoint can help you create a smarter and more efficient building, register for our monthly webinars. Or contact our analytics team to get more information about onPoint and building analytics. 

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