Thanks to the growing popularity of mobile phones and internet, data is being generated at a mind-boggling pace. And this vast mine of information will benefit all sectors including real estate.  Yet, many real estate practitioners still underestimate the value of big data.

Real estate energy managers already do some data analysis of limited scope. By tapping into big data, they can unearth a whole wealth of information.

What is big data?

To put it simply, big data is a massive volume of information that typical databases cannot handle. That concept should be somewhat familiar to energy managers because many of them already use large sets of data for tracking real estate expenses, selecting sites and building security applications. In order to analyze the existing databases, they usually use some kind of integrated workplace management systems (IWMS). When these tools are coupled with emerging tools, energy managers will be able to analyze big data effectively.

The power of data

By simply analyzing monthly energy consumption trends, real estate managers can gain deep insights that will ultimately help them to reduce energy consumption. For example, they can identify which buildings consume the highest and lowest energy per square foot. They can also identify what energy star ratings these buildings have.

These details will allow the energy manager to discover ways to reduce energy consumption through a whole building analysis. Sophisticated software tools that can identify problems more comprehensively than on-site energy audits are now available.

The need to tap into data

In order to save more energy, you need to identify the right measures beforehand. By planning ahead, you will be able to implement these measures when an opportunity arises. Such planning and their implementation won’t be possible without competent analytics. Luckily, new analytics tools integrate components such as capital projects, maintenance, and space management.  Some energy analytical tools can also identify the measures that should be taken to save energy. Better still, there are tools that can accomplish this by simply analyzing hourly energy consumption data; this eliminates the need for on-site energy audits which can take a lot of time.

After identifying these energy-retrofit measures through an on-site analysis or by using remote analysis tools, energy managers can develop new databases containing this information. These databases will allow others to integrate energy retrofits with space management and capital upgrade requirements.

In addition, managers can program their analytics tools to notify their employees when it is time to consider an energy retrofit measure.

Any attempt to reduce incremental costs is a right step towards integrated energy management.

More data means more value

Managers are yet to fully realize the power of energy retrofits. Any reduction in energy consumption will reduce energy costs and also avoid capital upgrade costs, minimize risk and build enterprise leadership. In order to estimate this value, energy managers need to access more data than they are used to.

Besides creating tactical plans to reduce energy consumption, managers can use big data to verify energy savings and capital costs of all deployed energy projects.

Right now energy managers have access to a lot of useful data. They just need to use their existing systems and a little intuition to leverage the resources available to them.

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