“The measure of analytics success is not the number of faults you generated, it’s the number of tasks you complete.”
—Dennis Krieger, Clockworks Analytics
It’s not normal for me to email you on a Monday, but this is not a normal email. Nexus and Clockworks Analytics (formerly KGS Buildings) collaborated on a new free whitepaper I think you should take some time to read this week (especially if you work in analytics). Of all the content Nexus has published this year, this is one of the pieces I’m most proud of.
What’s the whitepaper all about?
For proponents of fault detection and diagnostics software (who I lovingly refer to as “analytics nerds”), it feels like the greater facilities industry is finally beginning to take notice of our hard work. The power of analytics—in supporting the energy management, commissioning, and data-driven maintenance processes needed to operate a modern portfolio of commercial buildings—is truly gaining momentum.
As evidence, a number of high-profile case studies are available, including the recently-published results of the US Department of Energy’s four-year Smart Energy Analytics Campaign, where analytics software including Clockworks drove a median 9% energy savings on 6,500 buildings across the US.
As analytics technology crosses the chasm into the mainstream, it’s time to bust a myth that has been propagated in the community of us early adopters. The myth says that because fault detection and diagnostics (FDD) tools require action by a “human-in-the-loop”, the people and processes involved in implementing faults detected are of paramount importance.
As we’ve detailed in the white paper, there’s actually a limit to how much you can accomplish with people and processes if the analytics tool hasn’t been carefully selected. Tool selection requires an understanding that not all FDD tools are created equal. There are actually two kinds of FDD software: those that stop at the first “D” (Detection) and those that go all the way to Diagnostics.
The whitepaper tells the story of that second “D” and why it’s so important. To illustrate the importance, we portray an example that every facilities team knows well: a large air handling unit that’s experiencing several classic issues. How would alarms, FD, and FDD identify, quantify, and help an O&M team or service provider act on those issues?
As you’ll see, FDD can be accomplished with FD-only tools, but that requires too much manual effort, overwhelms the O&M teams, and delays the path to action and real results.
Want to go deeper?
We wrote the whitepaper in a vendor-agnostic way because we want to help move the whole industry forward. It’s a challenge for everyone involved: building owners need FDD, not just FD.
However, if you want to go deeper specifically into how Clockworks implements the concepts in the whitepaper, check you this interview, where I asked Clockworks’ Dennis Krieger to present some slides on their approach to going the full distance to FDD. He even does a software demo at the end…
Thanks for reading (and watching)!
P.S. Nexus Labs works with partners like Clockworks Analytics to tell compelling stories like these that will help move the smart buildings industry forward. If you want help telling your story, fill out this form to tell us what you have in mind.