It is a wise warning that we often forget. Where do your building analytics come from…a trusted, independent source, or is the fox in the henhouse? Many building owners and facility teams may unwittingly be putting a fox in their building performance data as more equipment and service vendors offer analytics as a tacked on service. Before you accept their claims, here are a few questions to ask yourself.
What are the conflicts of interest?
Nearly all of the time, equipment purchases and service contracts dwarf the cost of analytic services. Will your service or equipment provider be willing to sacrifice profit for the truth if that is what the data reveals? The building commissioning process, even as an ongoing analytic service, has always been independent for good reason. If you are not getting unbiased transparency with your building data, then what are you really getting?
Are they focused on analytics?
Many providers of building analytic services approach the service as an add-on. The real people and talent in the organization, whom you know and do business with, are elsewhere. If analytics are far from their core line of business, service levels and commitment may be as well. Botched efforts can be frustrating and will often further delay implementation of valuable analytics systems. Further, can you count on them to keep innovating and add value as the Internet of Things continues to grow?
Do they understand real estate?
Building analytics transcend just building performance as a core competitive force in 21st century real estate management and ownership. Connecting the dots from the basement to the C-Suite requires deep commitment to real estate knowledge beyond engineering expertise or a solid warranty alone. Can the provider focus on the big picture to improve and differentiate your business model?
Will they fire themselves?
Meeting future challenges and opportunities requires that you are able to change, innovate and have flexibility. Good data reveals truths to building owners and managers about real performance. Can you trust that your provider will give you truly unbiased analytics, or will competing interests get in the way?
Will you get what you pay for?
We all want a fair deal, but when a difficult and complex service is offered for a low cost or even free, you have to ask yourself…will this service be truly helpful? Will the provider stand confidently behind the data?