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Lack of Planning

Most building operations do not have a data management plan. What passes for the data plan consists of a database associated with their Building Management System (BMS). With this approach the information is limited to those systems monitored or managed by BMS. In addition, the setup of the database, the naming conventions format and structure is left to the BMS contractor, usually with little or no input from the building owner. Furthermore, getting the data out of the BMS database often involves additional software or application programming interfaces (API) from the manufacturer, sometimes even multiple copies of the same software or APIs based on data points limitations of the software or API.

Comprehensive planning means that one should take a broader look at all the data and information required in order to manage the building's performance. The data management plan needs to be put in writing and a standard operations policy—no more makeshift, improvised approaches. An investment of time at the start to properly develop a data plan will save time later.

Start the plan with a wide-ranging scope. Identify the data and information that different people need to perform their work. Much of the data will be monitoring points on building systems, but, some data may be needed from business systems or other systems outside of facility management or even outside the organization.

Identify where the data exists or how it will be generated and collected, and estimate the scale or volume of data. Decide on a data format. Deal with the administrative aspects of the plan such as user access, dissemination of the data, how data will be integrated, how it will be archived, retention of data policies, and how often the plan is reviewed. Plan the organization of the data to assure the data is accurate and easily accessible.

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