When it comes to collecting data, our number one piece of advice is to focus first and foremost on existing data. Additional metering systems, though sometimes very useful, also have some major drawbacks: their high cost, mixed reliability, and the often wasted amounts of new data they generate.
Preparing an action plan for data collection
To optimize your financial and organizational approach, we suggest the following steps:
- Focus first on existing data, then accessible data, and finally data obtained through additional sub-metering
- Adapt the metering system to your actual needs: avoid excessive precision (e.g., metering by the minute for monthly energy monitoring)
- Use reliable statistical models to find anomalies in large volumes of energy data
- Prioritize virtual energy audits to detect energy savings
- Use the resulting data wisely by asking the right questions
Adopting a pragmatic data collection strategy
Data is a means, not an end in itself, so don’t lose sight of why it is being collected. For example, if the goal is to improve energy performance, it’s important to ask the right questions in the right order:
- Are the consumption figures for my building reliable?
- Is it normal for my building to consume more than other comparable buildings?
- Could my building consume less?
- What savings can I make in this building?
- Once actions have been taken, how can I maintain the building’s performance?
Once these questions have been asked, figure out what data will help you answer them. Which leads to the final query: does this data already exist within my organization, and how can I collect it in the simplest possible way? Once these preliminaries are settled, data collection can really begin.
A smart data collection strategy is crucial to the optimal management of your building portfolio. Discover the four types of data available to help you along the way.