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Technology Big data:


By Graham Perry, Business Unit Director of iSite, the technology division of integrated property services group, Styles&Wood Plc


an untapped opportunity T


he Facilities Management (FM) landscape is fundamentally changing and as businesses, across all sectors, look to reduce operating expenditure this is having a significant impact on the way the FM industry operates. There is now an increasing number


of providers, with access to enhanced systems and data, competing against a backdrop of raised client expectations and it is those who adopt a smarter approach to working that are standing out from the crowd. As the sector continues to go through a period of change, FM teams are looking at new ways of enhancing the service they provide and the trend of moving towards the better integration and interrogation of data is one we expect to continue into 2016, particularly, as its value becomes recognised more widely. Ultimately, the broadening scope of FM is placing pressure on providers to both deliver value and act more strategically. It is this strategic focus that has seen the use of big data come into its own.


Total FM and the role of big data The increasing number of services incorporated under the FM umbrella


has led to a rise in the concept of Total FM. With the UK market for outsourcing bundled and total facilities management services forecast to reach £23.3billion by 2018, this is only set to continue. In this context, big data and the use of software to collate information into one central building intelligence system has the potential to make a huge impact on the FM industry. The ability to analyse this data allows FM teams to identify trends, which in turn help to inform decision making. In the long run, analysing the information a company already has at its fingertips can transform the way teams work, enabling employers to deploy their workforce to operate more effectively and reduce operational costs in the process.


Realising the benefits By harnessing data effectively, and using it to make more informed business decisions, facilities managers can maximise each aspect of their FM function to ensure they get the best results. For example, the integration of CAFM systems with the platforms used by other functions within a business, such as HR or finance, can transform the impact FM has on a business. This is particularly relevant to helping businesses maximise the use of available office space, as well as forecasting future requirements. For many businesses, making the most of limited resources is extremely important and with property costs representing a significant overhead, using space as efficiently as possible is vital. When looking to accommodate expansion plans the ability to consult data from HR records, access control systems and even motion sensors can help inform workspace design by determining how many people are using the office and at what times. HR records enable a business to identify the number of full-time office-based staff with a requirement for permanent desk spaces, in addition to part-time or mobile workers with a need for hot desks.


134 FACILITIES


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